Washington | Democratic leader in the US Congress Nancy Pelosi announced on Friday that she had asked a retired general to conduct a security audit on Capitol Hill after the “devastating” assault by pro-Trump protesters on January 6.
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“To protect our democracy, we must now subject the security of the US Capitol to scrupulous scrutiny,” said the Speaker of the House of Representatives at a press conference.
Retired General Russel Honoré, responsible for military operations during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, will be responsible for this “immediate audit”.
The violence perpetrated against the Capitol after a speech by Donald Trump and during the official certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory left five people dead. The parliamentarians had to be evacuated or holed up in the Chamber’s hemicycle, while supporters of the outgoing president engaged in violence and looting.
“Last week we suffered an assault on Capitol Hill that endangered lives and traumatized members of Congress, and employees,” said Nancy Pelosi.
Parliamentary and probably independent committees will investigate, “but in the meantime, I am grateful that General Honoré has agreed to address our urgent security concerns,” she said.
The House indicted Donald Trump on Wednesday for “inciting insurgency” after the events. Already indicted in December 2019 in the Ukrainian case, the real estate mogul has thus become the first American president in history to fall twice under the influence of “impeachment”.
His impeachment trial must now take place in the Senate.
Nancy Pelosi declined to say on Friday when she expected to forward the indictment to the upper chamber, a necessary condition to start the trial.
“A week ago, on January 6, an act of insurgency was carried out against the Capitol, encouraged by the President of the United States. A week later, this president was indicted ”, a sign of“ the urgency of this subject ”she stressed.
House “prosecutors” “are now working in anticipation of the trial and you will be the first to know when we announce we are going,” she told reporters.
The trial will not begin until January 20, the date of Joe Biden’s inauguration. Soon after, Democrats will seize the majority in the Senate once two new Democrats are sworn in. Their victories must be certified in Georgia by January 22.