The Pelosi Factor Trump’s longtime antagonist played an essential role in his historic indictment.https://t.co/pXc2zCIkDi
— FlashDancer (@MemyselfnFlash) August 7, 2023
Ankush Khardori, for NYMag — “Trump’s longtime antagonist played an essential role in his historic indictment”:
… [Y]ou cannot tell the story of Trump’s historic indictment without Nancy Pelosi. It was the then-Speaker of the House who insisted that there be a congressional inquiry following January 6. And it was the work of the select committee she fashioned that finally appears to have spurred a reluctant Justice Department to action, setting in motion a more intense phase of criminal scrutiny focused on Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The resulting indictment closely tracks the select committee’s work and findings, presenting a factual narrative that traces — almost identically — the evidence presented by the committee of a sophisticated, multipronged effort by Trump to remain in power that culminated in the mayhem at the U.S. Capitol.
“I knew on January 6 that he had committed a crime,” Pelosi told me late Friday afternoon, squeezing me in for a roughly 30-minute interview at the tail end of a remarkable week in Washington…
During the Trump administration, Pelosi emerged as one of Trump’s most persistent and effective political antagonists, and the personal rancor between the two was often on public display. She went toe to toe with him in the Oval Office. She authorized the third-ever impeachment of an American president after Trump’s effort to shake down Ukraine’s president to get dirt on Joe Biden. She famously tore up Trump’s 2020 State of the Union speech while standing behind him. As Trump’s supporters began to approach the Capitol on January 6, Pelosi said that if Trump joined them, “I’m going to punch him out. I’ve been waiting for this. For trespassing on the Capitol grounds, I’m going to punch him out. And I’m going to go to jail, and I’m going to be happy.”
The rioters proceeded to ransack her office, and instead of punching Trump, who was prevented from going to the Capitol by the Secret Service, Pelosi impeached him again. To this day, Pelosi seems to get under Trump’s skin like no one else. Early Sunday morning, Trump called her “a sick & demented psycho who will someday live in HELL!”
Long before January 6 itself, Pelosi had been preparing for Trump to try to disrupt the transfer of power. “During the election, I thought, ‘He’s going to try to pull a stunt and we have to try to have as many states in the Democratic column as possible,’” she told me, contemplating the possibility that Biden’s victory might not be certified and that the House would have to move to an obscure procedure in which each state’s congressional delegation would cast a single vote to determine the next president…
Now that Trump has been indicted over his effort to steal the election, we are in the midst of a singular moment in American history — one that will have dramatic long-term implications for our country and one that will likely be covered in history books for generations to come. The difference, of course, is that as we live through this period, we have no idea how it will end — with Trump in prison or with Trump in the White House again.
I asked Pelosi how she thought this would all end, and she struck a tentative but cautiously optimistic tone. “As we always say, it all depends on what happens at the end of the day, but you have to determine what the end of the day is. Yesterday was the end of a day. The former president of the United States was arraigned, and that was a triumph for the truth.”
“The indictments against the president are exquisite,” Pelosi added, referring to both the latest set of charges and the earlier federal indictment over Trump’s hoarding of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and his subsequent efforts to obstruct investigators. “They’re beautiful and intricate, and they probably have a better chance of conviction than anything that I would come up with.”
As for the prospect of a second Trump term, Pelosi immediately recoiled when I brought it up. “Don’t even think of that,” she told me. “Don’t think of the world being on fire. It cannot happen, or we will not be the United States of America.”
“If he were to be president,” she continued, “it would be a criminal enterprise in the White House.”
There was a time in American life, not that long ago, when that would have been clear hyperbole. These are categorically different times.
Much more at the link!
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“I wasn’t in the courtroom of course, but when I saw him coming out of his car, I saw a scared puppy."
~ Nancy Pelosi
— Jane of the North (@JaneotN) August 7, 2023