Inside Pelosi's push to impeach Trump: This time it's personal

A week ago, another impeachment would have been out of the reach as the Democratic Party was just days away from controlling all three levers of power in Washington, DC and finally saying goodbye to Trump.

But after that During those terrible hours on Wednesday, Trump’s own supporters made the Capitol one of the least safe places in Washington, DC, and Pelosi and her entire Democratic caucus cannot forget it.

“I think Nancy is looking at this too and saying, if the president has put your people at risk of harm or death, how can you not respond as strongly as you can?” Deputy Don Beyer (D-Va.) Said in an interview.

The emotional toll will have a lasting impact on Pelosi and her caucus. About two dozen Democrats were locked in the chamber on Wednesday, some desperately calling their families in case they had to say goodbye as members of an armed mob Many other lawmakers barricaded themselves in their offices where they worked with staff to push desks and couches in front of doors.

“We’re a family. Those were the words that were used over and over again in the caucus appeal,” said MP Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), Who was a member of the chamber. She remembered when Pelosi and “She spoke of her co-workers, how much she cared about her co-workers and those of others.”

Pelosi was one of several Democrats on that 3.5-hour call on Friday To encourage members and their staff to seek counseling for the trauma they experienced that day. The support staff should also have access to the same mental health services, Pelosi said, noting that they too are an integral part of the Capitol core.

“Some of the maintenance guys call me ‘Momma,'” Pelosi said, according to several Democrats on the call.

Pelosi has repeatedly urged both lawmakers and staff to seek psychological support following the horrific attack on the Capitol, including another long phone call with her caucus on Monday.

For Pelosi and many others, the images of Wednesday’s violence are haunting – rioters in tactical gear storm the Capitol, ransacking offices, including their own, before calling in the police, trying to crush one in a door and another out of the building to pull and hit him with a flagpole. Hours earlier, Trump had ordered his supporters to march to the Capitol. He swore the election was rigged and he would never admit.

As she steers her caucus through the emotional debris of the attack, Pelosi also has: Become the main voice again on the indictment of a president who has been one of their greatest opponents for four years. In contrast to the long ramp in support of her impeachment in 2019, this time Pelosi accepted the move within hours.

“One of the things people don’t like about her is that she has a really warm, deep awe of our Capitol, democracy and the presidency,” said Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.), a close ally of House Democratic Caucus Chair the speaker.

The rest of Pelosis Caucus, with very few exceptions, quickly came to the same conclusion as she did. Democrats announced Monday that they would vote on Wednesday to indict Trump after receiving enough votes for it, unless Vice President Mike Pence takes unilateral action beforehand to declare the president incapable.

It’s a notable sign of caucus oneness for Pelosi, who fought their way back to spokesmanship two years ago after a group of Democratic objectors tried to end their long tenure as leaders. And many in their caucus were already predicting a tense atmosphere within the caucus for the next two years, which they considered inevitable when a large-tent party has such a razor-thin majority.

Instead, almost every single house democrat – including the first-year students who were sworn in just a few days ago – quickly lined up for impeachment.

Even some of the caucus’ pro impeachment Democrats were shocked at the speed of their caucus and the support given to their leadership.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Who was dragged out of the chamber on Wednesday when rioters broke through the Capitol, started talking about impeachment almost immediately after she got to a safe place. She was in the same room as Pelosi, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and a handful of others.

While they sat together for hours, Omar reached out to Steny Hoyer, chairman of the house majority, to tell him that she would be drafting an impeachment article for Trump’s role that was causing the riot. He encouraged her to do what she needed, as did several people familiar with the discussions.

Across the Capitol complex, a group of members of the House of Justice Justice – Representatives David Cicilline from Rhode Island and Ted Lieu from California – were also barricaded together in an office when they first came up with the idea of ​​drafting further impeachment articles.

When these Democrats quickly began circulating their draft, Pelosi was also on their phone non-stop. Since the attack, she has spoken to almost every member of her caucus, written texts and called late into the night – much like the Democrats’ first path to impeachment in 2019.

Twenty-four hours after the Capitol attack began, Pelosi stood on the podium to issue a crucial warning – Trump was a seditious threat to the country and if Pence did not take immediate action to remove him, the Democrats would.

Speaking in a nearly empty building, but for the staff working to repair the damage, Pelosi described Trump’s role in “cheerfully desecrating the US Capitol” and hosting members of Congress as “horrors that wreck our nation’s history.” to be stained forever “.

Two years ago, Pelosi spent months carefully managing every step her caucus took to indict Trump. She listened carefully to the moderate newcomers who helped the Democrats win the house back and only vowed to carry on when a sizable group of them – all with a national security background – announced their decision to vote yes.

Democrats around the world, including those who focus on national security, say the decision to indict was easier after what they witnessed on Wednesday.

“I really believe people were barricaded in their offices to make decisions like this,” said Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) In an interview about her decision to support the impeachment. “There is nothing more clarifying than when your life is in danger.” “

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