West Virginia Republican Delegate Derrick Evans records himself storming the U.S. Capitol: “We’re in!” | CBS News

A West Virginia state lawmaker recorded video of himself and fellow supporters of President Donald Trump storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, triggering calls for his resignation. In the video by Republican Delegate Derrick Evans, later deleted from his social media page, he is shown wearing a helmet and clamoring at the door to breach the building after Congress met for an expected vote to affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory. “We’re in! Keep it moving, baby!” he said in a packed doorway amid Trump followers holding flags and complaining of being pepper sprayed. Once inside, Evans could be seen on video milling around the Capitol Rotunda, where historical paintings depict the republic’s founding, and yelled “no vandalizing.” Lawmakers from other states also traveled to the nation’s capital to protest the results of the Electoral College on Wednesday. It’s unclear if any other elected official forced their way into the U.S. Capitol. Pennsylvania state Senator Doug Mastriano helped organize a bus ride to protest in Washington, D.C., and said he left the Capitol area after the eruption of violence, which he called “unacceptable.” A Democratic colleague called for his resignation nonetheless.

Full Article: West Virginia lawmaker records himself storming the U.S. Capitol: “We’re in!” – CBS News

National: Congress affirms Biden’s win hours after pro-Trump mob storms U.S. Capitol | Rosalind S. Helderman, Karoun Demirjian, Seung Min Kim and Mike DeBonis/The Washington Post

Members of Congress, shaken and angry following a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Trump’s supporters, put a final stamp on President-elect Joe Biden’s victory early Thursday morning and brought an end to a historically turbulent post-election period. Republicans had at one point planned to object to the electoral college votes in a series of states won by Biden, but after the storming of the Capitol, several GOP senators changed course, disputing only Arizona and Pennsylvania. Both challenges failed. … In the final moments of the joint session, Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black said a prayer lamenting “the desecration of the United States Capitol building, the shedding of innocent blood, the loss of life and the quagmire of dysfunction that threaten our democracy,” and Vice President Pence gaveled the meeting to a close, as the Democrats present gave only a half-hearted show of applause. The lawmakers convened Wednesday evening, after hours of delay, in a show of defiance. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had consulted with fellow congressional leaders, the Pentagon, the Justice Department and Vice President Pence before concluding that Congress should move ahead with the ceremony interrupted earlier in the day by rioters provoked to action by Trump at a morning rally. “Today, a shameful assault was made on our democracy. It was anointed at the highest level of government. It cannot, however, deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden,” wrote Pelosi (D-Calif.). … Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) earned sustained applause from his colleagues for a thundering speech in which he said elected leaders should show respect for voters by telling them the truth, not fueling groundless doubts about the election. “We gather due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of supporters who he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning,” Romney said. “What happened here today was an insurrection incited by the president of the United States.”

Full Article: Congress affirms Biden’s presidential win following riot at U.S. Capitol – The Washington Post

Editorial: Trump Is to Blame for Capitol Attack | The New York Times

President Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress incited a violent attack Wednesday against the government they lead and the nation they profess to love. This cannot be allowed to stand. Mr. Trump’s seditious rhetoric prompted a mob of thousands of people to storm the U.S. Capitol building, some breaking onto the House and Senate floors, where the nation’s elected representatives had gathered to perform their constitutional duty of counting electoral votes and confirming the election of Joe Biden as president. It is fitting that some carried the Confederate flag as they attacked the seat of American government and forced the suspension of congressional debate. They shattered windows and broke doors, clashing with overwhelmed security forces as they shouted their support for Mr. Trump and their defiance of the lawful results of the 2020 election. One woman was killed. The nation’s leaders were sent scurrying for shelter. Explosives were found in the Capitol and multiple locations around Washington. Pro-Trump protests also shut down statehouses around the country. Mr. Trump sparked these assaults. He has railed for months against the verdict rendered by voters in November. He summoned his supporters to gather in Washington on this day, and encouraged them to march on the Capitol. He told them that the election was being stolen. He told them to fight. He told them he might join them and, even as they stormed the building, he declined for long hours to tell them to stop, to condemn their actions, to raise a finger in defense of the Constitution that he swore to preserve and protect. When he finally spoke, late in the day, he affirmed the protesters’ anger, telling them again that the election was stolen, but asking them to go home anyway. It was the performance of a man unwilling to fulfill his duties as president or to confront the consequences of his own behavior.

Full Article: Opinion | Trump Is to Blame for Capitol Attack – The New York Times

National: Election Officials Warned ‘Someone’s Going To Get Shot,’ But That Didn’t Stop Trump | Miles Parks/NPR

Over the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency, people in charge of elections in both major parties have warned that his continued peddling of falsehoods about elections could one day lead to violence. Now, as a mob took over the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, those predictions have come true. “Every elected leader who helped spread lies about American elections paved the way to today,” said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. While many Americans looked at their televisions in shock Wednesday, those in charge of elections seem to have seen it as the natural evolution of a growing problem: A large portion of the country now falsely believes that the electoral process is rigged and that therefore there may be no other alternative than taking to the streets. It’s a theme that predated Trump within the Republican Party and one that will probably plague American democracy long after Joe Biden is sworn in as president on Jan. 20. A month ago, a top election official in Georgia, Gabriel Sterling, begged his fellow Republicans to stop spreading conspiracy theories about voting, as it was leading to death threats against officials overseeing that state’s recount. “Someone’s going to get hurt, someone’s going to get shot, someone’s going to get killed,” Sterling said at the time.

Full Article: Election Officials Warned ‘Someone’s Going To Get Shot,’ But That Didn’t Stop Trump – capradio.org

National: Capitol Rioters Planned for Weeks in Plain Sight. The Police Weren’t Ready. | Logan Jaffe, Lydia DePillis, Isaac Arnsdorf and J. David McSwane/ProPublica

The invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was stoked in plain sight. For weeks, the far-right supporters of President Donald Trump railed on social media that the election had been stolen. They openly discussed the idea of violent protest on the day Congress met to certify the result.“ We came up with the idea to occupy just outside the CAPITOL on Jan 6th,” leaders of the Stop the Steal movement wrote on Dec. 23. They called their Wednesday demonstration the Wild Protest, a name taken from a tweet by Trump that encouraged his supporters to take their grievances to the streets of Washington. “Will be wild,” the president tweeted. Ali Alexander, the founder of the movement, encouraged people to bring tents and sleeping bags and avoid wearing masks for the event. “If D.C. escalates… so do we,” Alexander wrote on Parler last week — one of scores of social media posts welcoming violence that were reviewed by ProPublica in the weeks leading up to Wednesday’s attack on the capitol. Thousands of people heeded that call. For reasons that remained unclear Wednesday night, the law enforcement authorities charged with protecting the nation’s entire legislative branch — nearly all of the 535 members of Congress gathered in a joint session, along with Vice President Mike Pence — were ill-prepared to contain the forces massed against them. On Wednesday afternoon, a thin line of U.S. Capitol Police, with only a few riot shields between them and a knot of angry protesters, engaged in hand-to-hand combat with rioters on the steps of the West Front. They struggled with a flimsy set of barricades as a mob in helmets and bulletproof vests pushed its way toward the Capitol entrance. Videos showed officers stepping aside, and sometimes taking selfies, as if to usher Trump’s supporters into the building they were supposed to guard.

Full Article: Capitol Rioters Planned for Weeks in Plain Sight. The Police Weren’t Ready. — ProPublica

National: State capitals come under siege by pro-Trump mobs | Reid Wilson/The Hill

Protests at state capitals across the country turned threatening Wednesday as demonstrators entered legislative buildings and police escorted elected officials from their offices in response to violent threats. The protests against the November presidential election results, fueled in large part by unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud that were repeated often by President Trump and the White House, coincided with mob violence in the nation’s capital where Trump supporters overran U.S. Capitol Police and officers drew their firearms to protect lawmakers in the House and Senate. In state capitals, police moved to protect elected officials who were threatened by pro-Trump mobs. Staffers at the Utah state Capitol were ordered to evacuate the building, wrote Bryan Schott, who covers the legislature for the Salt Lake Tribune. In Georgia, police escorted Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to safety as militia members gathered outside the Capitol building in Atlanta. In Olympia, the perimeter of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) mansion was breached by a large group of pro-Trump protesters. Inslee was home at the time, according to public radio reporter Austin Jenkins. The governor and his wife have been moved to a safe location. Protesters at a rally in Salem burned Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) in effigy, as city police urged people to avoid the area around the statehouse. Fistfights broke out in Sacramento, where police struggled to contain clashes between dueling groups of demonstrators. In Kansas, state police monitored a group of protesters who entered the statehouse in Topeka. The state Highway Patrol said they had no plans to increase security, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. The protesters later dispersed without incident.

Full Article: State capitals come under siege by pro-Trump mobs | TheHill

National: Kid gloves for pro-Trump mob as Black Lives Matter face strongarm tactics | Robert Klemko, Kimberly Kindy, Kim Bellware and Derek Hawkins/The Washington Post

When Chanelle Helm helped organize protests after the March 13 killing of Breonna Taylor, Louisville police responded with batons, stun grenades and tear gas. The 40-year-old Black Lives Matter activist still bears scars from rubber bullets fired at close range. So Helm was startled and frustrated Wednesday to see a White, pro-Trump mob storm the U.S. Capitol — breaking down barricades, smashing windows and striking police officers — without obvious consequence. “Our activists are still to this day met with hyper-police violence,” Helm said. “And today you see this full-on riot — literally a coup — with people toting guns, which the police knew was coming and they just let it happen. I don’t understand where the ‘law and order’ is. This is what white supremacy looks like.” Helm and other activists across the country who spent much of 2020 facing off with law enforcement officers while protesting police brutality and racial inequality watched with a mixture of outrage and validation as the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol building during sessions of the House and Senate.

Full Article: Kid gloves for pro-Trump mob as Black Lives Matter face strongarm tactics – The Washington Post

National: Protesters swarm Statehouses across US; some evacuated | Morgan Lee and Ben Nadler/Associated Press

Protesters backing President Donald Trump massed outside statehouses from Georgia to New Mexico on Wednesday, leading some officials to evacuate while cheers rang out at several demonstrations as a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol. Hundreds of people gathered in state capitals nationwide to oppose President-elect Joe Biden’s win, waving signs saying “Stop the steal” and “Four more years.” Most of them didn’t wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, and some carried guns in places like Oklahoma, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Washington state. There were some scuffles in states like Ohio and California, with some instances of journalists or counterprotesters being pepper-sprayed or punched, but most demonstrations were peaceful — some of them quite small — and only a few arrests were reported. New Mexico police evacuated staff as a precaution from a Statehouse building that includes the governor’s office and the secretary of state’s office, shortly after hundreds of flag-waving supporters arrived in a vehicle caravan and on horseback. Demonstrators sang “God Bless America,” honked horns and wrongly announced on a megaphone that Trump was the rightful election winner — though Biden won the vote in New Mexico by a margin of roughly 11%. “It’s the first time in the history of the United States that the peaceful transfer of power has been slowed by an act of violence,¨ Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf said. “It is a shameful moment, and I hope that the Congress can recover soon.” Violent protests in Washington, D.C., came as Congress tried to affirm Biden’s Electoral College victory. News that protesters had breached the U.S. Capitol set off cheers at pro-Trump protests in Minnesota, Nevada and Arizona, where armed protesters marched at the Capitol in Phoenix and several men displayed a guillotine.

Full Article: Protesters swarm Statehouses across US; some evacuated

National: A harrowing photo shows a Trump supporter carrying a Confederate flag inside the US Capitol, flanked by portraits of Civil War-era figures | Aria Bendix/Business Insider

As rioters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, a photographer named Saul Loeb managed to encapsulate the siege’s dark historical context in a single image. His photo shows a man waving a Confederate battle flag in front of two portraits of Civil War-era figures in the Capitol Rotunda. To the man’s right is a portrait of Charles Sumner, a Massachusetts senator who protested slavery. To his left is a portrait of John C. Calhoun, the seventh US vice president, who was a staunch defender of slavery and heavily influenced the ideology that ultimately led to the South’s secession. The proximity of the two portraits calls to mind the fractured nature of US civil society in the 1860s — and the recent cleft that has widened in the lead-up and response to the 2020 election. “What I find fascinating about that juxtaposition is its connections to violence, because of course [Sumner] was a victim of violence in the Capitol when he was attacked for having had made a speech critical of slavery,” Judith Giesberg, a Civil War historian at Villanova University, told Business Insider. “What that image should remind us of is that there’s a history of having violent political confrontations in Congress.”

Full Article: Historian analyzes photo of rioter with Confederate flag in US Capitol – Business Insider

National: ‘Be There. Will Be Wild!’: Trump All but Circled the Date | Dan Barry and Sheera Frenkel/The New York Times

For weeks, President Trump and his supporters had been proclaiming Jan. 6, 2021, as a day of reckoning. A day to gather in Washington to “save America” and “stop the steal” of the election he had decisively lost, but which he still maintained — often through a toxic brew of conspiracy theories — that he had won by a landslide. And when that day came, the president rallied thousands of his supporters with an incendiary speech. Then a large mob of those supporters, many waving Trump flags and wearing Trump regalia, violently stormed the Capitol to take over the halls of government and send elected officials into hiding, fearing for their safety. But if the chaos in the Capitol shocked the country, one of the most disturbing aspects of this most disturbing day was that it could be seen coming. The president himself had all but circled it on the nation’s calendar. “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” Mr. Trump tweeted on Dec. 19, just one of several of his tweets promoting the day. “Be there, will be wild!” And his supporters took the president at his word. “If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism,” a member of the Red-State Secession group on Facebook posted on Tuesday, the eve of the appointed day, Jan. 6. Beneath it, dozens of people posted comments that included photographs of the weaponry — including assault rifles — that they said they planned to bring to the rally. There were also comments referring to “occupying” the Capitol and forcing Congress to overturn the November election that Joseph R. Biden Jr. had won — and Mr. Trump had lost.

Full Article: ‘Be There. Will Be Wild!’: Trump All but Circled the Date – The New York Times

‘Trump blows up US democracy’: the world watches on in horror | Tom Phillips and Helen Sullivan/The Guardian

World leaders have reacted with horror to the chaos that has consumed Washington, describing the insurrectionist attempt on the US Capitol building as “disgraceful”, “pitiful”, and “shocking”. Prime ministers and presidents around the world have urged US president Donald Trump and his supporters to accept the result of November’s presidential election and accede to a peaceful transition of power. President-elect Joe Biden’s administration is set to be inaugurated in 14 days. “Inflammatory words turn into violent acts – on the steps of the Reichstag, and now in the #Capitol,” Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, tweeted, as Trump loyalists led a violent assault on the heart of the American republic. Maas urged Trump and his supporters to “finally accept the decision of the American voters and stop trampling democracy”. “The outcome of this democratic election must be respected,” Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general and former Norwegian prime minister, tweeted on Wednesday evening after US president-elect Joe Biden condemned “this godawful display” and warned: “The world is watching”.

Full Article: ‘Trump blows up US democracy’: the world watches on in horror | US news | The Guardian

Editorial: The Far-Right Told Us What It Had Planned. We Didn’t Listen. | Seyward Darby/The New York Times

A woman was killed in the riot on Wednesday — shot in the Capitol by a police officer. Her death shouldn’t have happened, and it should now be investigated, no question. What’s frightening, however, is that many Trump supporters are already heralding her as a martyr. “Say her name” advocates of Wednesday’s coup attempt have tweeted, co-opting the language of the Black Lives Matter movement. A dead or injured white woman — even the illusion of one — has always been a powerful symbol on the far right, a rallying cry for people to stand up and act to preserve their contorted notions of honor, liberty and purity. Consider the apocryphal stories of sexual violence that led to countless lynchings. Or of Ruby Ridge in Idaho, in 1992, when federal agents killed an unarmed white woman during a botched raid: “When the Feds blew the head off Vicki Weaver I think symbolically that was their war against the American woman, the American mother, the American white wife,” an acolyte of the far right, a pastor, said at the time. “This is the opening shot of a second American Revolution.” Right-wing activists have been citing Mrs. Weaver’s death ever since as evidence that they stand for what is good and right: family and freedom. How will they twist the death on Wednesday now, even if the mob brought the violence to the state, and not the other way around? We can’t remedy the past errors that brought us here, but we can avoid new ones, starting by rejecting the assumption that Wednesday’s events won’t lead to something worse. Just because a coup attempt fails doesn’t mean the next one will. History holds important lessons, if only we are willing to hear them. This moment — men and women breaching the Capitol’s barricades, entering the chambers of Congress and demanding the nullification of the presidential election based on nothing more than lies and conspiracy theories — is a culmination, but it is not an ending. It is not, as some pundits have suggested, white supremacy or Trumpism’s “last gasp.” It is the manifestation of a long-held right-wing fantasy. Opponents of democracy stormed the nation’s seat of power. They walked out, many unscathed and uncuffed, to fight another day.

Full Article: Opinion | The Far-Right Told Us What It Had Planned. We Didn’t Listen. – The New York Times

Editorial: Trump caused the assault on the Capitol. He must be removed. | The Washington Post

President Trump’s refusal to accept his election defeat and his relentless incitement of his supporters led Wednesday to the unthinkable: an assault on the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob that overwhelmed police and drove Congress from its chambers as it was debating the counting of electoral votes. Responsibility for this act of sedition lies squarely with the president, who has shown that his continued tenure in office poses a grave threat to U.S. democracy. He should be removed. Mr. Trump encouraged the mob to gather on Wednesday, as Congress was set to convene, and to “be wild.” After repeating a panoply of absurd conspiracy theories about the election, he urged the crowd to march on the Capitol. “We’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you,” he said. “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.” The president did not follow the mob, but instead passively watched it on television as its members tore down fences around the Capitol and overwhelmed police guarding the building. House members and senators were forced to flee. Shots were fired, and at least one person was struck and killed. Rather than immediately denouncing the violence and calling on his supporters to stand down, Mr. Trump issued two mild tweets in which he called on them to “remain” or “stay” peaceful. Following appeals from senior Republicans, he finally released a video in which he asked people to go home, but doubled down on the lies fueling the vigilantes. “We love you. You’re very special,” he told his seditious posse. Later, he excused the riot, tweeting that “these are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away.”

Full Article: Opinion | Trump caused the assault on the Capitol. He must be removed. – The Washington Post

Editorial: Impeach and Convict. Right Now. Trump is too dangerous to leave in office for even another minute. | Bret Stephens/The New York Times

It wasn’t hard to see, when it began, that it would end exactly the way it has. Donald Trump is America’s willful arsonist, the man who lit the match under the fabric of our constitutional republic. The duty of the House of Representatives and the Senate, once they certify Joe Biden’s election, is to reconvene, Wednesday night if possible, to impeach the president and then remove him from office and bar him from ever holding office again. To allow Trump to serve out his term, however brief it may be, puts the nation’s safety at risk, leaves our reputation as a democracy in tatters and evades the inescapable truth that the assault on Congress was an act of violent sedition aided and abetted by a lawless, immoral and terrifying president. From the moment Trump became the G.O.P. front-runner in 2015, it was obvious who he was and where, if given the chance, he would take America. He was a malignant narcissist in his person. A fraudster in his businesses. A bully in his relationships. And a demagogue in his politics. He did not have ideas. He had bigotries. He did not have a coalition. He had crowds. He did not have character. He had a quality of confident shamelessness, the kind that offered his followers permission to be shameless, too.

Full Article: Opinion | Impeach and Convict. Right Now. – The New York Times

Georgia: Fulton County delays counting final ballots due to security concerns | Ben Brasch/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Fulton County’s adjudication process – and also a final tally of votes – has been postponed due to safety concerns, Fulton spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt said Wednesday afternoon. “We have a strong basis for concern based on security threats over recent weeks as well as awareness that there are people, including the President himself, who have singled out Fulton County as a cause for the outcome of the Presidential election,” Corbitt said. Among the concerns is a call in which Trump tried to convince Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the statewide election results. Fulton — home to a tenth of all Georgians — was mentioned by name 16 times during the Saturday call. County officials have rebuked the insinuations. Corbitt said Fulton has received bomb threats and “endless comments” on social media alleging they committed fraud – which has been disproven.

Full Article: Georgia Senate runoff: Fulton County delays counting final ballots due to security concerns

Georgia: Militia members gather outside the Capitol as pro-Trump rioters storm Washington DC | Gustaf Kilander/The Independent

Militia members gathered around the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta, as Pro-Trump rioters in DC attempted to take matters into their own hands and prevent Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college win by storming the US Capitol. Capitol Police escorted Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger and his staff out of the building, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Supporters of Donald Trump attempted to enter the building to deliver “written grievances” about Mr Trump’s November loss. Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said: “We heard reports of threats and left immediately.” Mr Fuchs told ABC News that the people gathering at the parking deck at the Capitol were members of a militia.

Full Article: Militia members gather outside the Georgia Capitol as pro-Trump rioters storm Washington DC | The Independent

Louisiana: Legislators want look at Dominion contract, voting machine bids | Zach Parker/The Ouachita Citizen

State lawmakers say they plan to scrutinize the state’s process of seeking proposals from electronic voting machine vendors like Dominion Voting Systems before bids are let sometime this year. After the presidential election in November, the Denver, Colorado-based company Dominion drew the ire of President Donald Trump and others, who alleged the company’s voting software and voting machines were used to switch millions of votes from Trump to the Democrat nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden. The state Senate Committee on Senate and Governmental Affairs was scheduled to discuss which voting machine hardware the state would utilize in future elections during its meeting Tuesday. That agenda item, however, was rescheduled because someone in Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s office had tested positive for COVID-19. The Secretary of State’s office administers elections in Louisiana. “The Secretary’s office has been talking about needing to replace our aging voting machines,” said state Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell. “They are embarking on a process to do that. I want this committee to have some oversight in that process.” Hewitt chairs the Senate and Governmental Affairs committee. According to Hewitt, she wanted the committee to address how bids would be awarded to companies seeking to provide voting machines and software to the state.

Full Article: Legislators want look at Dominion contract, voting machine bids | Local/State Headlines | hannapub.com

Michigan lawmakers hunkered down as rioters breached US Capitol | Todd Spangler and Clara Hendrickson/Detroit Free Press

As an unprecedented confrontation at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday devolved the finalizing of the Nov. 3 election for President-elect Joe Biden into chaos, members of Congress, including those from Michigan, hunkered down in offices, sheltered in place and were moved to undisclosed locations as President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the building. With shots being fired and tear gas being released in the halls of Congress, the Electoral College count was suspended at least temporarily as the National Guard was called in, a 6 p.m. curfew was imposed in Washington D.C. and members of the U.S. House and Senate voiced disbelief at the violent turn of events. “There was shooting at the doors and they evacuated all of us to an undisclosed location,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, who was on the floor of the U.S. House when protesters overwhelmed Capitol Police and swarmed the building. “Is this America?” she asked, clearly shaken. “Is this the country we believe in?” “They tried to lock us in to keep us safe,” she added, “but that ended when people started pounding on the doors. We heard them shooting at the doors. People are in hand-to-hand combat in the Capitol.”

Full Article: Michigan lawmakers hunkered down as rioters breached US Capitol

Michigan: Trump repeated lies about election before pro-Trump supporters stormed Capitol | Clara Hendrickson/Detroit Free Press

Hours before pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, forcing lawmakers convening to certify the Electoral College votes to seek safety, President Donald Trump gave a speech repeating lies that he won the election and unleashed a litany of debunked claims about Michigan’s election, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 154,000 votes. After the riots broke out, Trump waited two hours to press for calm. In a tweet, Trump told his supporters to “stay peaceful” but did not condemn the actions by his supporters. In a video released an hour before a 6 p.m. curfew in Washington, D.C., Trump continued to press baseless claims of election fraud, repeating the false claim that the election was stolen from him. Trump opened his video by saying, “I know your pain. I know your hurt. But you have to go home now.” He also went on to call his supporters “very special,” and said, “We can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special.”

Full Article: Trump’s false claims about Michigan election followed by violence

North Carolina: ‘The President bears responsibility’ for Capitol riot, GOP Senator Burr says | Lucille Sherman and Brian Murphy/Raleigh News & Observer

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina said President Donald Trump “bears responsibility” for Wednesday’s Capitol riots by “promoting the unfounded conspiracy theories that have led to this point.” Burr issued a statement about 7 p.m. Wednesday, hours after the U.S. House and Senate were evacuated as rioters who support Trump broke into the Capitol, interrupting the planned certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory. One woman was fatally shot, but details about who shot her have not been released, The New York Times reports. Burr, a Republican, called the day’s events an “attack” on our democracy. “Let me be clear: these actions are not a defense of this country, but an attack on it,” Burr said in a statement. “It is past time to accept the will of American voters and to allow our nation to move forward.” Burr and Sen. Thom Tillis voted not to accept the objection to Arizona’s electoral votes on Wednesday night. The objection was defeated 93-6 in the Senate and 303-121 in the House, meaning the votes from the state will be counted. Both chambers were debating the certification of Arizona’s election results when the Capitol building was breached by rioters who smashed glass and broke through locked doors. At least one reached the Senate floor and sat in the same seat occupied minutes earlier by Vice President Mike Pence. The House and Senate resumed the certification process Wednesday night after the Capitol was cleared and bomb-sniffing dogs had inspected it.

Full Article: NC Congress members react to Capitol riot, Burr blames Trump | Raleigh News & Observer

Pennsylvania: This Is What Regime Change Feels Like | Richard Primus/Politico

One day before a political mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, a less violent breach of norms dominated the day in a different capitol building, a hundred miles away. In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, during the ceremonial swearing-in of recently elected state senators, the chamber’s Republican majority refused to seat a Democratic colleague because his Republican opponent was still trying to challenge his certified election win in court. When the chamber’s presiding officer—Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, also a Democrat—declared that motion out of order, the Republicans voted to remove him and hand parliamentary control to the Senate’s senior Republican, essentially taking control of the chamber. Commentators described the events as ominous: a legislative majority using its brute power to deny the choice of the actual voters of Pennsylvania’s 45th District—who, as of today, still have no state senator. The Harrisburg power play lacked the dramatic violence of the assault on the U.S. Capitol one day later, but it was shocking in its own way, not least because the people breaking the norms were elected legislators and not a mob of outsiders. As unusual as it seemed, however, it wasn’t entirely unprecedented. The Pennsylvania Statehouse had seen something like it before, more than 200 years ago. And although the eighteenth-century incident that this week’s Harrisburg antics evoke might seem like a humorous historical anecdote now, it also shows why conduct of the kind that occurred in the Pennsylvania Senate this week is genuine cause for worry—and more related than it might seem to the mob scene in Washington one day later. The year was 1787, and the issue was whether to ratify the new U.S. Constitution. Congress had sent the proposed new Constitution to the state legislatures and asked them to hold ratifying conventions. In Pennsylvania, a small majority in the Legislature favored the new Constitution. But the sizable minority opposed to it was determined to prevent the state from ratifying. Lacking the votes to defeat a resolution calling a ratifying convention, the minority members decided simply to prevent any legislative business at all. Rather than accept a loss, they refused to show up to the chamber, denying the majority the quorum necessary to do business.

Full Article: This Is What Regime Change Feels Like – POLITICO

Pennsylvania Governor Wolf calls Republicans’ election claims ‘shameful’ lies for political gain | Charles Thompson/PennLive

Gov. Tom Wolf put Pennsylvania’s Republican Congressmen who plan to support objections to the 2020 presidential election results on full blast Wednesday, accusing them of being willing participants in perpetuating what he called a “shameful” lie for personal political gain. Eight of the state’s U.S. House members have affirmed their intent to support objections to the final certification of electoral votes in Congress today. Wolf, noting all of the objecting Pennsylvanians were elected to new terms in the very same election, called their actions shameful. “They could not have taken their own seats in in Congress in good conscience if they truly believed the election results were inaccurate, which just leaves one possibility: That they are purposely spreading disinformation about our elections for personal political gain,” Wolf said. “That’s shameful, and that’s destructive, and I cannot let it stand unchallenged. “The problem is these folks are not telling the truth, because it’s a fact. Pennsylvania had a fair and free election. It’s a fact that there was no fraud or illegal activity in Pennsylvania. It’s a fact, that (President-elect) Joe Biden won the presidency, and to be clear, it wasn’t even close.” The Democratic governor’s comments came during a mid-day press conference in which he, his Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and Philadelphia commissioner Al Schmidt offered full-throated defenses of Pennsylvania’s balloting and counting.

Full Article: Gov. Wolf calls Republicans’ Pa. election claims ‘shameful’ lies for political gain – pennlive.com

Tennessee: ‘A dark day for America’: State lawmakers condemn rioters storming US Capitol | Yue Stella Yu and Natalie Allison/Nashville Tennessean

Tennessee’s congressional delegation condemned the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, bringing a joint session of Congress to a halt and forcing lawmakers and staff into lockdown. Most of Tennessee’s Republican delegation began the day vowing to support President Donald Trump’s futile efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, saying they would not certify several states’ Electoral College votes. U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn on Wednesday morning tweeted that “lots of Tennesseans” had traveled to the nation’s Capitol to support Trump. But after rioters breached the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday afternoon, the lawmaker’s tenor changed. After years of encouraging Trump supporters and repeating his false statements, Tennessee’s two U.S. Senators used social media to say they disapproved of the rioting. “You are disrupting the democratic process,” Blackburn tweeted after rioters breached the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday afternoon. “You should be ashamed of yourself. This is violence. This is a crime. It must stop.” Newly sworn-in U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty, who replaced former U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, also condemned the violence on Wednesday. “What is happening at the U.S. Capitol right now is not peaceful, this is violence,” Hagerty said on Twitter. “I condemn it in the strongest terms. We are a nation of laws and this must stop.”

Full Article: Protest at U.S. Capitol: Tennessee delegates on lockdown, riots

Texas: How Ted Cruz, Louie Gohmert, other GOPers undermined election confidence | Kate McGee/The Texas Tribune

When a federal court tossed U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert’s far-fetched lawsuit asking Vice President Mike Pence to challenge Joe Biden’s legitimacy as president-elect, the Texas Republican appeared to propose violence in response. “Basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you got to go to the streets and be as violent as Antifa and [Black…

Utah: Protesters outside the Capitol in Salt Lake City prompt the building to be evacuated | Taylor Stevens , Bryan Schott , Bethany Rodgers and Sara Tabin/Salt Lake Tribune

About 400 pro-Trump demonstrators turned up on Utah’s Capitol Hill on Wednesday to show their continued loyalty to the White House occupant who so far as refused to accept his reelection defeat. The protest in Salt Lake City was one of more than a dozen at state Capitols around the nation, according to news reports. But…

National: After years of fealty, Pence prepares for a final performance likely to anger Trump | Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey/The Washington Post

Vice President Pence and his team have huddled for hours with the Senate parliamentarian. They have studied historical examples of other vice presidents who have presided over election results. And they have begun anticipating the ire of President Trump — likely to come in the form of angry tweets — in the aftermath of Wednesday’s certification of the electoral college vote count before a joint session of Congress. The role of Pence, who will preside over the certification, is largely ceremonial, one of the few official duties of the vice president in his capacity as president of the Senate. But Trump’s continued and baseless insistence that he won the 2020 presidential election has thrust Pence into a vise between the Constitution he swore to uphold and the president he has promised his fealty. Pence’s performance Wednesday in the Senate chamber will serve as a fitting coda for a vice president who — through a combination of deference, obsequiousness and studied self-effacement — has made navigating the whims and loyalty requirements of his mercurial boss a full-time pursuit. Pence’s team views the vice president’s role as procedural and limited, not unlike an umpire calling balls and strikes but ultimately hemmed in by the rules of the game. Trump, meanwhile, has expressed a desire for Pence to use Wednesday’s session to overturn the election results and snatch victory from President-elect Joe Biden — a stunning subversion of democracy that Pence has no authority to carry out, even if he so desired.

Full Article: After years of fealty, Pence prepares for a final performance likely to anger Trump – The Washington Post

Editorial: Never Forget the Names of These Republicans Attempting a Coup | Thomas L. Friedman/The New York Times

The New Testament asks us in Mark 8:36: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” Senators Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and all their fellow G.O.P. coup plotters clearly have forgotten that verse — if they ever knew it — for they are ready to sacrifice their souls, the soul of their party and the soul of America — our tradition of free and fair elections as the means for peacefully transferring power — so that Donald Trump can remain president and one of these sleazebags can eventually replace him. The governing “philosophy” of these unprincipled Trump-cult Republicans is unmistakably clear: “Democracy is fine for us as long as it is a mechanism for us to be in control. If we can’t hold power, then to hell with rules and to hell with the system. Power doesn’t flow from the will of the people — it flows from our will and our leader’s will.” For America to be healthy again, decent Republicans — in office and in business — need to break away from this unprincipled Trump-cult G.O.P. and start their own principled conservative party. It is urgent. Even if only a small group of principled, center-right lawmakers — and the business leaders who fund them — broke away and formed their own conservative coalition, they would become hugely influential in today’s closely divided Senate. They could be a critical swing faction helping to decide which Biden legislation passes, is moderated or fails.

Full Article: Opinion | Never Forget the Names of These Republicans Attempting a Coup – The New York Times

National: Trump Says Pence Can Overturn His Loss in Congress. That’s Not How It Works. | Michael S. Schmidt/The New York Times

President Trump on Tuesday escalated his efforts to force Vice President Mike Pence to overturn President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, falsely asserting that Mr. Pence had the power to unilaterally throw out electoral votes on Wednesday when Congress meets to certify the election results. But there is nothing in the Constitution or the law that explicitly gives a vice president that power, and aides close to Mr. Pence, who concede that he is facing a politically perilous moment, are convinced he will follow the normal procedures and confirm Mr. Biden’s election. Still, most agree that Wednesday promises to be a long and confusing day on Capitol Hill — and a potentially agonizing one for Mr. Pence — as Mr. Trump’s Republican allies move to challenge Mr. Biden’s victory and force at least three votes on the matter, all expected to fail. The proceeding will test what had long been considered little more than a paperwork exercise in American democracy: the official count by Congress of electoral votes. The vice president’s role is to be the master of ceremonies rather than arbiter of the outcome, declaring the winner based on who has the most electoral votes. But despite Mr. Trump’s clear loss to Mr. Biden, the president and a group of loyalist House and Senate Republicans are plotting to upend the process by objecting to the certification of several states. Lacking the votes to prevail, Mr. Trump is now pressuring Mr. Pence to take matters into his own hands to delay the vote tabulation or alter it in Mr. Trump’s favor.

Full Article: Trump Pressures Pence to Reject Electoral Votes – The New York Times

National: Trump leans harder on Pence to flip election results, even though he lacks that power | Shannon Pettypiece, Monica Alba, Alex Moe and Kristen Welker/NBC

President Donald Trump turned up the pressure Tuesday to enlist Vice President Mike Pence in a futile effort to reverse the presidential election and keep them in office for four more years. With a president who has excelled at remaining the focus of Washington, Pence has largely played the role of quiet support character, never publicly rebuking his boss and sticking to his script with unwavering consistency. But Trump’s effort to keep from being evicted from the White House on Jan. 20 has pushed Pence into the limelight and left him in a position that a person close to Trump said he is “dreading.” Pence has a constitutional role in officially making President-elect Joe Biden the commander-in-chief. On Wednesday, he will be responsible for overseeing Congress’ count of the Electoral College votes submitted by the states. A group of Republican lawmakers have announced that they plan to object, although they are unlikely to succeed in throwing out the Biden votes.

Full Article: Trump leans harder on Pence to flip election results, even though he lacks that power

National: Pence Said to Have Told Trump He Lacks Power to Change Election Result | Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni/The New York Times

Vice President Mike Pence told President Trump on Tuesday that he did not believe he had the power to block congressional certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the presidential election despite Mr. Trump’s baseless insistence that he did, people briefed on the conversation said. Mr. Pence’s message, delivered during his weekly lunch with…