Following the unprecedented attack on the U.S. Capitol building by Donald Trump supporters who were determined to use violent force to stop the certification of the 2020 election, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat down with 60 Minutes to detail her experience during the attempted coup. As a regular target of right-wing rhetoric even before Trump took office, Pelosi’s life was in significant danger, specifically as the intruders stormed into her private office. One of the insurrectionists, Richard Barnett of Arkansas, mockingly propped his feet on Pelosi’s desk and boasted to news outlets that he stole a piece of mail from her desk. He’s since been arrested by the FBI.
While touring the Capitol building with 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl, Pelosi showed a room where her staff had barricaded the door and hid silently under a table for hours while attackers banged on the door. It was a harrowing situation that could’ve easily turned deadly. Via CBS News:
Nancy Pelosi: The evidence is now that– that it was a well-planned, organized group with leadership and guidance and direction. And the direction was to go get people. They were vocally saying, “Where’s the speaker? We know she has staff. They’re here someplace. We’re gonna find them.”
But despite the now historic assault on the Capitol building, Pelosi coordinated with Senate Leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer to still certify in the Capitol building as a “show of strength.” Vice President Mike Pence, who was targeted by Trump supporters chanting “Hang Pence,” backed the decision to finish the vote. However, even after the violent scene, Republican members of Congress still attempted to challenge the election results. “Shame on them,” Pelosi said before calling out two-thirds of the GOP House members who are still enabling Trump. “I remember when Republicans in the Senate went to see Richard Nixon and said, ‘It’s over.’ That’s what has to happen now.”