Capitol Hill insurrection: Melania Trump breaks her silence on last week's Washington DC riot

Melania Trump has broken her silence following the violent insurrection in Washington DC last week, claiming she was also a victim of the chaos that ravaged Capitol Hill.

The First Lady's husband, outgoing President Donald Trump, has been widely accused of sedition after galvanising his supporters to storm the Capitol on Wednesday (local time) as Congress attempted to certify the results of November's landmark election, won by Joe Biden. 

With his subversive tweets - resulting in the permanent suspension of his Twitter account - and an inflammatory rant during a "Save America" rally that morning, Trump has been regarded as ringleader of the carnage that claimed the lives of five people.

Now, US House Democrats have filed an article of impeachment against the President, charging him with inciting an insurrection - with fewer than nine days left of the Trump administration before Biden takes power.

In an official statement titled 'Our Path Forward', issued by the White House on Tuesday (NZ time), the First Lady acknowledged the six people who lost their lives - including police officer Howard Leibengood, who died off-duty days after responding to Wednesday's assault on the Capitol Building.

"With nearly every experience I have had, I found myself carrying many individuals' stories home with me in my heart," the First Lady wrote.

"Most recently, my heart goes out to: Air Force Veteran, Ashli Babbitt, Benjamin Philips, Kevin Greeson, Roseanne Boyland, and Capitol Police Officers, Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood. I pray for their families' comfort and strength during this difficult time."

However, the First Lady was quick to claim she was also a victim of last week's events, citing that "salacious gossip" and "misleading accusations" had been directed at her by those hoping for "relevance".

Donald and Melania Trump.
Donald and Melania Trump. Photo credit: Getty

"I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week," she wrote. 

"I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me - from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda.

"This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain."

It was then she expressly condemned the insurrection, adding that "violence is never acceptable".

"Our nation must heal in a civil manner. Make no mistake about it, I absolutely condemn the violence that has occurred on our nation's Capitol."

The First Lady also called on Americans to "look at things from all perspectives", imploring people to "stop the violence".

"Never make assumptions based on the colour of a person's skin or use differing political ideologies as a basis for aggression and viciousness. We must listen to one another, focus on what unites us, and rise above what divides us," she wrote.

The First Lady acknowledged Americans' resilience amid political turmoil, simmering social tensions and the ongoing battle against COVID-19, an epidemic that has claimed the lives of more than 374,000 people and ravaged the country's economy. She praised Americans for their strength and determination. 

"Each of you are the backbone of this country. You are the people who continue to make the United States of America what it is, and who have the incredible responsibility of preparing our future generations to leave everything better than they found it."

Trump has been accused of inciting the violent insurrection last Wednesday.
Trump has been accused of inciting the violent insurrection last Wednesday. Photo credit: Getty

With fewer than nine days before Biden is officially inaugurated as 46th President of the United States, the First Lady finished her statement with some parting words.

"It has been the honour of my lifetime to serve as your First Lady. I want to thank the millions of Americans who supported my husband and me over the past four years and shown the incredible impact of the American spirit. I am grateful to you all for letting me serve you on platforms which are dear to me.

"Most importantly, I ask for healing, grace, understanding, and peace for our great nation. Every day let us remember that we are one nation under God."

A vote on Donald Trump's impeachment in the House is now expected within days, but Republicans have already objected to a key resolution calling on Vice-President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.