Wednesday, January 06, 2021
Shots in the US Congress
Trump supporters storm Washington Capitol
In a speech, the outgoing US President Trump once again raved about alleged electoral fraud. Then he calls on his supporters to storm parliament in the capital Washington. Hundreds of them willingly and armed. The police are overrun. Then shots are fired.
After hundreds of supporters from US President Donald Trump rushed to the Capitol in Washington, the parliamentary seat was cordoned off. Inside, the members of the Senate and House of Representatives had gathered to confirm the result of the November 3rd presidential election. Pictures from several TV channels showed how Trump supporters march on the parliamentary seat and get fistfights with emergency services. A little later the NBC broadcaster showed pictures from inside the building as the mob ran towards the boardroom. Accordingly, the members of the Senate, Vice President Mike Pence and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have been brought to safety in secret locations. According to a reporter, they may have left the building through one of the numerous tunnels. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a curfew in the face of the protests.
All developments for the showdown in the US Congress can be found in our live ticker.
According to a report by CNN, there was a confrontation between the parliamentary police and armed men outside the Chamber of Representatives. It is said that weapons were drawn. A Reuters reporter reported that Trump supporters pounded on the doors of the hall to gain entry. Some MPs are said to have been in the room at the time. The use of tear gas could be seen on pictures from the station C-Span. According to NBC, Capitol police called on MPs to have gas masks ready.
Republican minority leader in the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy called the violent protests “un-American” on Fox News. You’d have to stop immediately. According to him, shots were fired. NBC reports that parliamentary police shot a Trump supporter. According to CNN, she was critically injured in the chest. According to a member of the rescue team, there were “other casualties”. According to the White House, the National Guard and other federal units have since been sent to the Capitol.
Further images from NBC show Trump supporters entering MPs offices. A man is said to have sat in the chair of the democratic majority leader Nancy Pelosi. Other intruders appear to have started ransacking the Capitol.
Calling Trump personally
The call for the attack may have come from Trump personally. In a speech to his supporters, he had again spoken of alleged electoral fraud and declared that he would never acknowledge his defeat. Then he called on people to move to the Capitol. It houses the US Senate and the US House of Representatives. After his followers invaded the Capitol, Trump used Twitter to call on them to stay peaceful. “Don’t forget, we are the party of law and order.”
Thousands of Trump supporters had come to the US capital because they are convinced that Trump’s election victory was stolen on November 3rd. Journalist Elijah Schaffer said that they had overcome four security rings in their storm before they fought with the police at the entrance to the Capitol. According to him, the police have been overrun.
Pence opposes Trump
The US House of Representatives and the Senate met in Washington to officially confirm the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the US presidential election. This is usually a formality in the United States’ post-election process. Several Republicans from both chambers of congressional announced, however, to appeal against the results from several US states – driven by Trump’s unsubstantiated fraud allegations.
The political disruptive action has no prospect of success. Both chambers of congress would have to agree to an objection, which is considered impossible in view of the majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives.
Shortly before the start of the meeting, Vice President Mike Pence had also stood against Trump. Contrary to what Trump called, he announced that he would ratify the result. The constitution prevents him from “unilaterally” deciding “which votes should be counted and which should not,” he said. Trump then accused his deputy of “lacking courage”. The Vice President of the United States is also President of the Senate.
The Republican majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, also issued an urgent warning at the beginning of the session against attempts by his own party not to recognize the election result. The voters, the states and the courts had spoken – “if we overrule them, it could damage our republic forever,” he said.