Pelosi announces immediate review of Capitol security following deadly breach

Politics

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that there will be an immediate review of Capitol security following the deadly breach and siege of the Capitol last week.

“To protect our Democracy, we must now subject the security of the U.S. Capitol Complex to rigorous scrutiny.  To that end, I have asked Lt. General Russel HonorĂ©, a respected leader with experience dealing with crises, to lead an immediate review of the Capitol’s security infrastructure, interagency processes and procedures, and command and control,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Members of Congress are moving forward inside the Congress with strong oversight from their committees, and there is strong support for an outside commission to conduct an after action review.”

The California Democrat said that assault highlighted the need for the U.S. to beware of domestic threats, saying, “we’ve really lost our innocence in this.”

Pelosi addressed calls for an investigation that unnamed colleagues gave tours inside the Capitol one day before the breach to those who took part in the assault and vandalism.

“If it 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,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference.

Pelosi said while her managers were preparing for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump she did not address when it would happen.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted 232-197 on Wednesday to impeach Trump on a charge of “incitement of insurrection,” one week after the violent siege of the Capitol by Trump’s supporters.

Trump, now the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, has made repeated unfounded claims he lost due to widespread voting fraud. He will likely be the first president to face an impeachment trial after leaving office.

Ten Republican representatives joined Democrats in supporting impeachment, while others argued Trump’s remarks were protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which defends free speech.

His trial in the Senate cannot begin until the charge has been formally transmitted to that chamber.

Representative Diana DeGette, one of nine Democratic impeachment managers who will argue the House’s case against Trump, said on Thursday that Pelosi was working with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on when to transmit the article of impeachment to the Senate and trigger the start of the trial.

According to Senate rules, the trial would start the day after the charge is sent over by the House. The last time the House voted to impeach Trump, in December 2019, Pelosi did not transmit the charges to the Senate for weeks.

The earlier charges related to abuse of power and obstruction of Congress stemming from Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate Biden and his son Hunter. The Senate in February 2020 voted to acquit Trump, keeping him in office.

The Senate is scheduled to return to Washington on Tuesday, the day before Biden’s inauguration.

Some House Democrats say they favor Pelosi waiting to send the newest charge to the Senate, even as long as 100 days. But others want quick action to get the trial started.

Biden has urged lawmakers not to allow Trump’s impeachment trial to interfere with other priorities in his early days in office, such as approval of his Cabinet and proposed legislation.

On Thursday, the president-elect unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal designed to jump-start the economy and speed up the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic. Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks Friday on his plan to speed up distribution of coronavirus vaccines to Americans.

Reuters contributed to this report. All reporting by Susan Cornwell.

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