cloudy.png
Friday September 17th, 2021 6:09PM

Pro-Trump mob storms US Capitol in bid to overturn election

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — A violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and forced lawmakers into hiding, in a stunning attempt to overturn America’s presidential election, undercut the nation’s democracy and keep Democrat Joe Biden from replacing Trump in the White House.

The nation’s elected representatives scrambled to crouch under desks and don gas masks, while police futilely tried to barricade the building, one of the most jarring scenes ever to unfold in a seat of American political power. A woman was shot and killed inside the Capitol, and Washington’s mayor instituted an evening curfew in an attempt to contain the violence.

The rioters were egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to descend on Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s victory. Some Republican lawmakers were in the midst of raising objections to the results on his behalf when the proceedings were abruptly halted by the mob.

Together, the protests and the GOP election objections amounted to an almost unthinkable challenge to American democracy and exposed the depths of the divisions that have coursed through the country during Trump’s four years in office. Though the efforts to block Biden from being sworn in on Jan. 20 were sure to fail, the support Trump has received for his efforts to overturn the election results have badly strained the nation’s democratic guardrails.

Congress reconvened in the evening, lawmakers decrying the protests that defaced the Capitol and vowing to finish confirming the Electoral College vote for Biden’s election, even if it took all night.

Before dawn Thursday, lawmakers completed their work, confirming Biden won the presidential election.

Vice President Mike Pence, presiding over the joint session, announced the tally, 306-232.

Trump, who had steadfastly refused to concede the election, said in a statement immediately after the vote there “will be an orderly transition" of power on inauguration day.

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement posted to twitter by an aide.

Pence had reopened the Senate after the harrowing day and directly addressed the demonstrators: “You did not win.”

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the “failed insurrection” underscored lawmakers’ duty to finish the count. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would show the world “what America is made of" with the outcome.

The president gave his supporters a boost into action Wednesday morning at a rally outside the White House, where he urged them to march to the Capitol. He spent much of the afternoon in his private dining room off the Oval Office watching scenes of the violence on television. At the urging of his staff, he reluctantly issued a pair of tweets and a taped video telling his supporters it was time to “go home in peace” — yet he still said he backed their cause.

Hours later, Twitter for the first time time locked Trump’s account, demanded that he remove tweets excusing violence and threatened “permanent suspension.”

A somber President-elect Biden, two weeks away from being inaugurated, said American democracy was “under unprecedented assault, ” a sentiment echoed by many in Congress, including some Republicans. Former President George W. Bush said he watched the events in “disbelief and dismay.”

The domed Capitol building has for centuries been the scene of protests and occasional violence. But Wednesday’s events were particularly astounding both because they unfolded at least initially with the implicit blessing of the president and because of the underlying goal of overturning the results of a free and fair presidential election.

Tensions were already running high when lawmakers gathered early Wednesday afternoon for the constitutionally mandated counting of the Electoral College results, in which Biden defeated Trump, 306-232. Despite pleas from McConnell, more than 150 GOP lawmakers planned to support objections to some of the results, though lacking evidence of fraud or wrongdoing in the election.

Trump spent the lead-up to the proceedings publicly hectoring Pence, who had a largely ceremonial role, to aid the effort to throw out the results. He tweeted: “Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!”

But Pence, in a statement shortly before presiding, defied Trump, saying he could not claim “unilateral authority” to reject the electoral votes that make Biden president.

In the aftermath, several Republicans announced they would drop their objections to the election, including Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who lost her bid for reelection Tuesday.

Earlier, protesters had fought past police and breached the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls, many without masks during the COVID-19 crisis. Lawmakers were told to duck under their seats for cover and put on gas masks after tear gas was used in the Capitol Rotunda. Some House lawmakers tweeted they were sheltering in place in their offices.

Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., told reporters he was in the House chamber when rioters began storming it. Security officers “made us all get down, you could see that they were fending off some sort of assault."

He said they had a piece of furniture up against the door. "And they had guns pulled,” Peters said. Glass panes to a House door were shattered.

The woman who was killed was part of a crowd that was breaking down the doors to a barricaded room where armed officers stood on the other side, police said. She was shot in the chest by Capitol Police and taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. City police said three other people died from medical emergencies during the long protest on and around the Capitol grounds.

Staff members grabbed boxes of Electoral College votes as the evacuation took place. Otherwise, said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., the ballots likely would have been destroyed by the protesters.

The mob’s storming of Congress prompted outrage, mostly from Democrats but from Republicans as well, as lawmakers accused Trump of fomenting the violence with his relentless falsehoods about election fraud.

“Count me out,” said Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “Enough is enough.”

Several suggested that Trump be prosecuted for a crime or even removed under the Constitution's 25th Amendment, which seemed unlikely two weeks from when his term expires.

“I think Donald Trump probably should be brought up on treason for something like this,” Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., told reporters. “This is how a coup is started. And this is how democracy dies.”

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who’s at times clashed with Trump, issued a statement saying, “Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”

Despite Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud, election officials and his own former attorney general have said there were no problems on a scale that would change the outcome. All the states have certified their results as fair and accurate, by Republican and Democratic officials alike.

Punctuating their resolve, both the House and Senate soundly rejected an objection to election results from Arizona, which had been raised by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and another from Pennsylvania brought by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa. Still, most House Republicans supported the objections. Other objections to results from Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin fizzled.

The Pentagon said about 1,100 District of Columbia National Guard members were being mobilized to help support law enforcement at the Capitol. More than a dozen people were arrested.

As darkness fell, law enforcement officers worked their way toward the protesters, using percussion grenades to clear the area around the Capitol. Big clouds of tear gas were visible. Police in full riot gear moved down the steps, clashing with demonstrators.

___

Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Kevin Freking, Alan Fram, Matthew Daly, Ben Fox and Ashraf Khalil in Washington and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online President, White House, advisers News, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pro-Trump mob storms US Capitol in bid to overturn election
 A violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump have stormed the U.S. Capitol and forced lawmakers into hiding
7:05PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Tom Brady excited, ready to lead Buccaneers into playoffs
New team, same ole Tom Brady
7:04PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Protesters swarm Statehouses across US; some evacuated
Protesters who back President Donald Trump have massed at statehouses from Georgia to New Mexico
7:02PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Romney blames Trump for inciting 'insurrection'
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is blaming President Donald Trump for inciting a violent “insurrection” at the Capitol
6:32PM ( 46 minutes ago )
'Protesters are in the building': US Capitol under siege
The crowd pushed past the police barricades, up the steps to the iron doors and in what seemed like no time at all, hoisted a Trump flag from the U_S_ Capitol."
6:29PM ( 49 minutes ago )
The Latest: Acting AG says Capitol riot 'intolerable attack'
Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen says the violent pro-Trump protest at the U.S. Capitol was an “intolerable attack on a fundamental institution” of democracy
6:25PM ( 52 minutes ago )
AP National News
Warnock, Ossoff win in Georgia, handing Dems Senate control
Democrats have won both Georgia Senate seats — and with them, the U.S. Senate majority
5:06PM ( 2 hours ago )
Statehouses evacuate amid protests in support of Trump
Protesters who back President Donald Trump have massed at statehouses from Georgia to New Mexico
5:04PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump tells 'very special' protesters to go home
President Donald Trump, in a video message, is urging supporters to “go home” but is also keeping up false attacks about the presidential election
4:41PM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
World leaders express shock at storming of US Capitol
World leaders are condemning the storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump
6:33PM ( 45 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump appears to justify backers' Capitol attack
President Donald Trump has appeared to justify the violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters
6:29PM ( 49 minutes ago )
US holds first oil lease sale for Alaska's Arctic refuge
The U.S. government has held its first-ever oil and gas lease sale for Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an event critics labeled as a bust with major oil companies staying on the sidelines and a state corporation the main bidder
5:37PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
John Ossoff wins runoff, giving Democrats control of Senate
Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff has won his Senate runoff election
4:23PM ( 2 hours ago )
American idle: New Hampshire House holds drive-in session
The New Hampshire House has unanimously passed a resolution condemning the violence in Washington
4:21PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Pence calls on protesters to leave Capitol
Vice President Mike Pence is calling on protesters to leave the Capitol immediately, going further than President Donald Trump who merely called for his supported to “remain peaceful.”
4:09PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: Trump tells backers to stay peaceful at Capitol
President Donald Trump is encouraging supporters occupying the U.S. Capitol to “remain peaceful,” but he is not calling for them to disperse
3:29PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump backers breach Capitol, delay Biden vote
Protesters backing President Donald Trump have breached the U.S. Capitol, forcing a delay in the constitutional process to affirm Joe Biden’s victory in the November election
3:03PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: House members told to don gas masks at Capitol
Members of Congress inside the House chamber were told by police to put on gas masks after tear gas was dispersed in the Capitol Rotunda amid skirmishes by supporters of President Donald Trump Pro-Trump protestors breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, violently clashing with law enforcement as lawmakers were gathered inside to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in November’s presidential election
2:52PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Elections
Republicans raise first objection in Congress to Biden win
Republicans have mounted their first challenge to Joe Biden’s win during a joint session of Congress
1:55PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Republicans object to Arizona vote for Biden
Republicans from the House and Senate have objected to the counting of Arizona’s electoral vote, forcing votes in both chambers on Joe Biden’s victory in the state
1:24PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump keeps up pressure on Pence to subvert vote
President Donald Trump is continuing his pressure-campaign against Vice President Mike Pence, telling thousands of supporters falsely that all Pence has to do to stay in office is send Electoral College votes back to the states to be recertified
12:34PM ( 6 hours ago )
General Election News
Pence defies Trump, says he can't reject electoral votes
Defying President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence says he doesn't have the power to discard electoral votes that will make Democrat Joe Biden the next president on Jan. 20
1:26PM ( 5 hours ago )
Congress convenes to confirm Biden while Trump allies object
Congress has convened for a special joint session to confirm the Electoral College vote won by Joe Biden
1:10PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump pressures Pence to overturn Biden's win
President Donald Trump is turning up the pressure on his vice president in a futile effort to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election in Congress
9:00AM ( 10 hours ago )
General Presidential Election News
Tom Brady excited, ready to lead Buccaneers into playoffs
New team, same ole Tom Brady
7:04PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Protesters swarm Statehouses across US; some evacuated
Protesters who back President Donald Trump have massed at statehouses from Georgia to New Mexico
7:02PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Governors scramble to speed vaccine effort after slow start
New York’s governor is threatening to fine hospitals that don’t use their allotment of COVID-19 vaccine fast enough
6:59PM ( 18 minutes ago )
The Latest: Pelosi says Congress to resume once Capitol safe
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will resume the Electoral College proceedings once the Capitol is cleared of pro-Donald Trump protesters and safe for use
6:56PM ( 21 minutes ago )
The Latest: Pro-Trump protesters remain out after DC curfew
Dozens of pro-Trump protesters remain on the streets of the nation’s capital in defiance of the curfew imposed after rioters stormed the Capitol
6:48PM ( 30 minutes ago )