Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden’s win after being forced to recess for almost six hours after, what resembled the climax from the 2019 film Joker, an angry mob of President Donald Trump’s insurrectionists attacked and breached the U.S. Capitol building.
The attack left four people dead, including San Diegoan Ashli Babbit, 35, who was shot and killed while breaking in, and sent members of Congress fleeing from the floor during what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had earlier branded “the most important vote I’ve ever cast.”
Congressional leaders said they would launch an investigation of Wednesday’s massive security breach at the Capitol.
Today, a number of Democrats have called for the 25th amendment to be invoked removing the President immediately from office, including top Senate Democrat Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and one Republican joined today mentioning administration officials for invoking the 25th Amendment.
President Trump released a statement at 3:05 AM agreeing to an orderly transition of power after Congress ratified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory early Thursday.
On Wednesday, he encouraged supporters to march to the Capitol and then sympathized with those who broke into the building.
Wednesday, Donald Trump encouraged and requested his supporters to “walk over” to the U.S. Capitol as Congress counted the Electoral College votes, the largely ceremonial final step affirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Although Mr. Trump has lately been insisting Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to overturn the election results, Pence defied Mr. Trump on Wednesday and issued a lengthy statement saying he could not change the outcome.
“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol. And we’re gonna cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong,” he said at his rally on the Ellipse.
Shortly before 2:30 PM, chaos erupted at the U.S. Capitol as the angry mob, some of whom were connected to the Proud Boys, QAnon and additional White Supremacist organizations, stormed the stairs. Many waving Trump and Confederate flags or Trump gear breached the building. More than 52 people were arrested, with 47 of those arrested for curfew violations.
Vice-President Mike Pence was evacuated from the Senate, along with other members of Congress. As the president pro tempore, Grassley is third in the line of succession to the President, behind Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Capitol police also begin evacuating other lawmakers and staff present for the Electoral College vote affirmation. On their way out, staffers grabbed the boxes of Electoral College ballots to take them to safety.
As the chaos escalated, rioters broke into the Senate chamber and offices. Below is a photo of Richard Bigo Barnett, who broke into Pelosi’s office. As New York Times reports, the 60-year-old stood outside the building with his shirt ripped open and bragged about the fact that he had been in Pelosi’s office.
At 3:15 PM, Ivanka Trump tweeted to the domestic terrorists, calling them “Patriots” as she asked them to stop the violence. She has since taken it down.
Several hours after rioters breached the Capitol, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweets that Trump had finally dispatched the National Guard to DC, along with “other federal protective services.”
According to CNN, the impeached 45th president initially resisted doing so on Wednesday as his mob breached the building. By comparison, Trump had deployed more than 17,000 members of the National Guard to at least 23 states and DC last summer in response to protests demanding justice for George Floyd.
Earlier in the day, Pence had been on the phone with Joint Chiefs Chair Mark Milley and had encouraged a much quicker deployment of the National Guard to the Capitol to help quell the rioters who were breaking through security barriers and overwhelming Capitol Police.
President-Elect Joe Biden gave a speech in Delaware denouncing the violence and called on Mr. Trump to address the nation. Mr. Trump then posted a one-minute video to Twitter, telling the rioters they are “special” but they “need to go home now.” Since then, Twitter, FB, and IG has suspended Trump’s social accounts due to safety regulations.
It was at 6:27 PM that Congress decided to continue their constitutional duty and count the electoral votes.
Mick Mulvaney, the U.S. special envoy for Northern Ireland and the former White House chief of staff, resigned his post, becoming the latest Trump administration official to step down.
Today, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is also Mitch McConnell’s wife, said in a statement that she is resigning, becoming the first Cabinet member to leave the administration in the wake of Trump’s response to a mob of his supporters breaching the US Capitol.
Jessica Velle reports on entertainment, politics, social media and stories relevant to the Latinx community. She can be reached at Jessica@reel360.com.