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politico – Inside Pelosi’s push to impeach Trump: this time it’s personal

A week ago, another indictment would have seemed out of the realm of possibility, with the Democratic Party within days of controlling the three levers of power in Washington, DC, and finally saying goodbye to Trump.

But after Those terrifying hours on Wednesday, Trump’s own supporters made the Capitol one of the least safe places in Washington, DC, and Pelosi and his entire Democratic caucus cannot forget that.

“I think Nancy also looks at this and says, how can you – when the president put your people in danger or death – not react to this in the strongest way possible?” Representative Don Beyer (D-Va.) Said in an interview.

The emotional toll will have a lasting effect on Pelosi and his caucus. About two dozen Democrats were locked inside the chamber on Wednesday, some frantically calling their families in case they needed to say goodbye, as members of an armed mob. by force. Many more lawmakers barricaded themselves inside their offices, where they worked with staff to push desks and sofas past doors.

“We are family. These are the words that were used when calling the caucus over and over again,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), Who was one of those MPs. remembered when Pelosi and other Democrats met by phone for the first time since the attack on an emotional caucus call. “She spoke about her staff, how concerned she was for her staff and other people’s staff.

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

“Some maintenance people call me ‘Momma’,” Pelosi said on the call, according to several Democrats.

Pelosi has repeatedly urged lawmakers and staff to seek mental health support after experiencing the gruesome onslaught on Capitol Hill, including in another lengthy call with his caucus on Monday.

For Pelosi and many others, the footage of Wednesday’s violence is haunting – tactically dressed rioters stormed the Capitol, ransacking offices, including his own, before turning on the police, attempting to ‘smash one into a door and shoot another out of the building and beat it. him with a flag pole. Hours earlier, Trump had asked his supporters to march to Capitol Hill, vowing the election was rigged and that he would never give in.

As she leads her caucus through the emotional wreckage of the attack, Pelosi also, once again become the main spokesperson to impeach a president who has also been one of his biggest antagonists for four years. Unlike the long ramp up to his support for impeachment in 2019, this time Pelosi embraced the movement within hours.

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

The rest of Pelosi’s caucus quickly came to the same conclusion she did, with very few exceptions. Democrats said on Monday that they would vote on Wednesday to impeach Trump after getting enough votes to do so, unless Vice President Mike Pence takes unilateral action before that to declare the president unfit for office.

It’s a remarkable display of caucus unity for Pelosi, who fought to return to the presidency two years ago after a group of Democratic objectors tried to end his long tenure at the head. And many in his caucus were already predicting a tense atmosphere within the caucus over the next two years, which they saw as inevitable when a large tented party has such a slim majority.

Instead, nearly all House Democrats – including freshmen who were sworn in just days ago – quickly lined up in favor of impeachment.

Even some of the Democrats most in favor of removing the caucus were shocked at the speed of their caucus and the support of their leaders.

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