House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday resoundingly rejected the idea that moving forward with a Senate impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump could undercut President Joe Biden’s message of unity in America.
“I don’t see that at all,” Pelosi said in her weekly press briefing when asked the question. “I think that would be harmful to unity.”
The fact is, she said, that Trump incited an insurrection on Jan. 6, when a violent mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and roamed the halls looking for lawmakers to stop them from certifying Biden’s electoral win. Five people died.
“Just because he’s gone now ― thank god ― you don’t say to a president, ‘Do whatever you want in the last months of your administration’ … because people think we should make nice-nice and forget that people died here, that [Trump attempted] to undermine our election, to undermine our democracy, to dishonor our Constitution,” said Pelosi.
“Joe Biden said it beautifully: ‘If you’re going to unite, you must remember,’” she added, referencing part of Biden’s inauguration speech. “That’s our responsibility, to uphold the integrity of the Congress of the United States. That’s our responsibility, to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. And that is what we will do.”
The House voted to impeach Trump a week after the Capitol riot, making him the first president to be impeached twice. A record 10 Republicans voted yes on the single article of impeachment: incitement of insurrection.
It’s up to Pelosi to decide when to send the article of impeachment to the Senate, which would then trigger a trial in that chamber. She said only that it would be happening soon.
“Nope,” she said when asked for more specific timing. “It will be soon, as I said. You’ll be the first to know.”