U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Stands before a National Guard force at the east entrance of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on January 13, 2021.
Oliver Contreras | SIPA | AP
There is no Confederate flag there now.
National Guard forces were protecting Congress on Wednesday when the House of Representatives charged President Donald Trump with inciting a violent mob that broke into the U.S. Capitol complex a week earlier.
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi personally thanked a group of troops who stood outside the Capitol for attention as fellow California Democrats debated procedural motions that will end with the impeachment vote later that day.
Pelosi gave each of the troops a so-called challenge coin, which marked their mission to protect the seat of the legislature of the American government, which was surrounded by rioters on Jan. 6 after Trump urged attendees at a rally to help him fight the Block Congressional confirmation of Joe Biden as next President.
Pelosi later spoke to the House.
"He has to go. He is a clear and present threat to the nation we all love," she said.
"The President has to face a lot of indictment, and I believe the President needs to be condemned by the Senate, a constitutional tool that will ensure that the Republic is safe from this man who is so determined to tear down the things we hold dear lying, "said Pelosi.
Regarding the rioters, she said: "These insurgents were not patriots. They were not part of a political base that should be supplied and administered."
"They were domestic terrorists. And justice must prevail," Pelosi said.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Will meet with a National Guard force at the east entrance of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on January 13, 2021.
Oliver Contreras | AP
Pelosi tweeted on Wednesday about her conversation with National Guard forces.
"Even in this dark period in American history, we find reasons for hope," she wrote. "Today it has been a privilege for me to personally thank the members of the National Guard who work to protect our nation's Capitol. Thank you for your commitment to our American democracy."
On Wednesday morning, a photographer captured a stunning picture of Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., As he passed security guards camped in the convention halls as he walked to the floor of the house.
The acting Washington police chief said more than 20,000 National Guard troops will be in the District of Columbia on January 20 to facilitate Biden's inauguration that day.
The show of force was in response to the hours of chaos last week when thousands of rioters raged through convention buildings, killing a Capitol police officer, beating and spraying other officers, fighting the Confederate flags, and wearing cable ties while hunting of Congress, occupying the Senate Chamber and smearing feces on the walls.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, walks past members of the National Guard as he arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC on January 13, 2021, ahead of an expected vote by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
During the debate on Wednesday, Hoyer and other outraged members of Congress condemned Trump's rallying cry against supporters just before the uprising.
Trump had also delayed the use of armed forces to protect the Capitol after it was overrun despite appeals from members of Congress.
"Rep. [Liz] Cheney of Wyoming, a Conservative Republican, said the following:" The President of the United States has called the mob, gathered the mob and lit the flame of this attack, "" Hoyer noted on the floor of the House of Cheney, who will support Trump's impeachment.
"This is not an irresponsible new member of the United States Congress," said Hoyer. "This is the daughter of the former Republican Whip and former Vice President of the United States. She knows what she's talking about."
The four-page impeachment article the House is due to vote on says that Trump made a number of false claims for months that widespread electoral fraud cost him the presidential election and that he encouraged them to march to the Capitol last week.
"He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, disrupted the peaceful transfer of power and endangered an equal branch of government. In doing so, he betrayed his confidence as President to manifest the violation of the people of the United States," reads the indictment of the House.
The House is expected to approve the impeachment article later Wednesday and then forward it to the Senate, which will have a trial against Trump.
The House had already indicted Trump in late 2019, but the Senate acquitted him in court early last year. This impeachment related to Trump's pressure on Ukraine to announce an investigation into the then-democratic presidential candidate Biden.
The second impeachment proceedings are unlikely to begin any earlier than next Tuesday, the day before Biden takes office. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said Wednesday he declined to approve a Democratic motion to convene the Senate earlier to begin Trump's trial.
While this means the process will almost certainly skip into Biden's first few weeks in office and the Senate will be denied the option of removing Trump from the White House before his term ends, it will lay the foundation for Trump not to re-president can.
If the Senate condemns Trump, it can expel him from the future federal office with a simple majority.
Pelosi said Wednesday that action would be a "constitutional tool that would ensure the republic is safe from this man who is so determined to tear down the things that matter to us and that hold us together."
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told her Instagram followers on a live stream late Tuesday night that she "had a very close encounter that I thought I was going to die" during the riot.
"I didn't know if I would make it to the end of the day alive," Ocasio-Cortez said, giving no details about the incident that made her fearful that she would die.
She also said that during the chaos, "I didn't even feel safe with [some] other members of Congress" who advocated the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Ocasio-Cortez said when she and other lawmakers met at an "extraction point" where they were supposed to be taken to a safe place, she saw rioters who appeared to be motivated by the QAnon joke and Republican members of Congress supporting the conspiracy had accepted.