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The Hill
The Hill
5 Jan 2024
Lauren Irwin

NextImg:Pelosi: Threat to democracy is ‘real, present, and urgent’

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warned of a “real, present, and urgent” threat to America’s democracy in an op-ed in The Atlantic on Friday, marking three years since the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Pelosi, who was Speaker at the time of the insurrection, detailed her experience attempting to certify President Biden’s victory when pro-Trump protestors breached the Capitol and many specifically called after the Democratic leader.

“The threat to our democracy is real, present, and urgent,” she wrote. “The parable of January 6 reminds us that our precious democratic institutions are only as strong as the courage and commitment of those entrusted with their care. We all share a responsibility to preserve American democracy, which Lincoln called ‘the last best hope of earth.'”

While Pelosi does not name Trump in the article, she refers to him by his title and says the then-president “resorted to insurrection in the Capitol” after failing to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the courts.

“January 6 was another perilous moment for our democracy. But on that dark night, Congress again projected America’s strength and resolve,” Pelosi wrote. “Now, three years later, we are called to do the same.”

Pelosi has repeatedly warned of the dire consequences if he returns to the White House.

“Don’t even think of that,” Pelosi said in an August interview about Trump’s reelection. “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, it would be a criminal enterprise in the White House,” she added at the time.  

In Friday’s Atlantic article, Pelosi detailed her experience reentering the chamber on the evening of Jan. 6 to continue its debate over certifying Arizona’s election results. She criticized House Republicans, who earlier that day were “barricading themselves in their offices, hiding under desks and chairs, and witnessing so much pain and trauma” — yet still voted against certifying some state election results.

She called out former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) for their objecting votes after they listened to her, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plea for help from the National Guard.

She also thanks then-Vice President Pence for ultimately carrying out his duty to certify the election in favor of President Biden.

“I also recognized the courage and commitment of the members and staff, who returned to the chambers that night and stayed until about 4 a.m., when we finally adjourned the January 6 session,” she added.