The speaker went a step further and said that if it were proven that some members of Congress collaborated with members of the group that attacked the Capitol, they — as well as Trump — would be accessories to crimes committed during the insurrection.
“And the crime, in some cases, was murder,” Pelosi said. “And this president is an accessory to that crime because he instigated that insurrection that caused those deaths and this destruction.”
While a number of officials, including District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, have said they’re looking into the role Trump played in the riot, none have indicated so far that the president would be an accessory to the deaths that occurred as rioters tried to block the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the speaker’s insinuation that Trump’s words led to deaths at the Capitol.
Pelosi’s comments represent the strongest language yet used by Democrats over Trump’s role in the riots.
While most Republicans have declined to cross Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said little to defend the president since the riots, took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to place blame squarely on Trump.
“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like. But we pressed on.”
House Democrats, who were joined by 10 Republicans, voted to impeach Trump last week on a charge of incitement of insurrection. Pelosi has not said when the article of impeachment will be sent to the Senate to initiate a trial, but indicated in her interview that it would be “soon.”