Pelosi says Congress members may face prosecution if an investigation shows they were accomplices in Capitol siege

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said that Congress members could face prosecution should an investigation show that they were accomplices in the Capitol riots.
  • "If they aided and abetted the crime, there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution for that," Pelosi said during a news conference.
  • Pelosi also pointed out one rioter captured on camera in a "Camp Auschwitz" sweatshirt, describing him as a "punk."
  • "To see this punk with that shirt on and his anti-Semitism that he has bragged about, to be part of a white supremacist raid on this Capitol, requires us to have an after-action review," Pelosi said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that Congress members could face prosecution if an investigation shows that they had collaborated in last week's Capitol riots.

"If, in fact, it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection, if they aided and abetted the crime, there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution for that," Pelosi said during a news conference.

The California lawmaker's warning comes after some House Democrats have said that people on the inside, such as Congress members and police officers, may have helped perpetrate the attack. 

Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey suggested earlier this week that some lawmakers were complicit in the siege. Though she did not mention any names, Sherrill said she saw Congress members "who had groups coming through the Capitol, that I saw on January 5th, for reconnaissance for the next day."

Pelosi announced on Friday that she has appointed Ret. Lt. General Russel Honoré to lead a review of the security at the Capitol. 

"When we're talking about security, we have to talk about truth, and trust. In order to serve here with each other, we must trust that people have respect for their oath of office, respect for this institution," she said. "We must also have the truth, and that will be looked into."

It's been over a week since supporters of President Donald Trump violently stormed the Capitol building and forced Congress to go into lockdown. The siege left five people, including one Capitol Police officer, dead. The House impeached Trump on Wednesday with the support of 10 House Republicans on one charge of incitement of insurrection. 

The FBI and Justice Department said on Tuesday that they have launched an investigation into the incident and expect the number of arrests to "grow into the hundreds."

During her news conference, Pelosi singled out one rioter extensively captured on camera in a sweatshirt with the words "Camp Auschwitz" on it, a reference to Nazi Germany concentration camps that killed more than a million Jews. The rioter, a 56-year-old man named Robert Keith Packer, was arrested on Wednesday.

"To see this punk with that shirt on and his anti-Semitism that he has bragged about, to be part of a white supremacist raid on this Capitol, requires us to have an after-action review," Pelosi said, in order "to assign responsibility to those who were part of organizing it and incentivizing it."

The House speaker also noted that there is "strong interest" from lawmakers to launch a 9/11-type commission to investigate last week's breach.

Security measures at the Capitol have been tightened in preparation for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20 as FBI officials have warned of more possible violence.

Source: Read Full Article