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Nancy Pelosi urges Mike Pence to remove Donald Trump


Mike Pence put Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on hold when they asked that Vice President remove Donald Trump from office with the 25th amendment.

House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that President Donald Trump had "instigated riot" against the United States – and called for the president to be ousted.

"Yesterday the President of the United States instigated an armed uprising against America," Pelosi said at a press conference at the Capitol the day after Trump supporters stormed the building after attending a rally where Trump spoke.

She spoke harsh language, beyond the harsh speech of impeachment last December and January, and accused him of crimes against the nation he leads.

"In calling for this seditious act, the president has committed an indescribable attack on our nation and people," said Pelosi.

She put pressure on Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over a joint meeting, to count the votes to win Joe Biden in a race for president. Trump falsely claims he won – and urged him to invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office.

"The joyful desecration of the US Capitol, which is the temple of our American democracy, and the violence against Congress are horrors that will forever tarnish our nation's history – instigated by the President of the United States." That's why it's such a stain, ”she intoned.

"By causing a riot like yesterday, he must be removed from office," she said of Trump. "While it's only 13 days left, any day can be a horror show for America," she said of Trump's remaining tenure.

I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the Vice-President to remove that President by immediately invoking the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and Cabinet fail to act, Congress may be ready to push the impeachment, ”she said.

She said it was an idea supported by her caucus. Senate minority chairman Charles Schumer made a similar threat in a brief statement Thursday.

She called Trump "a complete tool for Putin".

Putin's goal was to narrow the view of democracy in the world. That's what it was about him … the President gave Putin the largest of his many gifts to Putin, the largest yesterday, ”she said of the Russian President.

Pelosi tweeted shortly after their event: "Trump is deadly to our democracy and our people. He has to go now. & # 39;

House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that President Donald Trump had "instigated riot" against the United States – and called for the president to be ousted

Pelosi tweeted shortly after their event: "Trump is deadly to our democracy and our people. He has to go now & # 39;

Pelosi tweeted shortly after their event: "Trump is deadly to our democracy and our people. He has to go now. & # 39;

Pelosi put pressure on Vice President Mike Pence, telling him to invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office. Pence can be seen in the chamber of the house on Thursday

Pelosi put pressure on Vice President Mike Pence, telling him to invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office. Pence can be seen in the chamber of the house on Thursday

Charles Schumer, chairman of the Senate minority, calls on the President's Cabinet to use the 25th amendment to invalidate President Donald Trump and put Vice President Mike Pence in command – after Trump fueled a riot mob that started on Wednesday in Capitol ran wild.

The New York Senator will become majority leader once Joe Biden is sworn in.

He spoke amid growing concerns among Trump Cabinet officials, former top aide aides and his recently deceased Attorney General Bill Barr about the president's conduct and the ongoing risks the president could pose to the country.

But there was no indication of how Republicans will behave – and in the early afternoon, Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Transportation and wife of Mitch McConnell, resigned, preventing her from removing Trump from office.

"The quickest and most effective way to remove this president from office is for the vice-president to make the 25th amendment immediately," said Schumer.

"If the vice president and cabinet refuse to stand, Congress should meet again to indict the president," added Schumer.

His statement came shortly after Illinois Republican MP Adam Kinzinger became the first House Republican elected to call on the Trump Cabinet and Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump's power.

In a number of developments Thursday:

  • Another bomb fell shortly after 1 p.m. when Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary and wife of Mitch McConnell, resigned over the violence – the first member of Trump's cabinet to resign
  • Members of the Democratic House distributed draft impeachment proceedings accusing Trump of instigating violent incitement to hatred and of endangering national security
  • Facebook banned Trump from his account until at least his last day in office and possibly indefinitely
  • Joe Biden – without prompting – advocated the use of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution when he described the mobs as an "attack on democracy".
Senate minority chairman Charles Schumer, who will become majority leader after Joe Biden is sworn in, issued a statement calling for swift action on the 25th Amendment - while mitigating the risk of a second impeachment

Senate minority chairman Charles Schumer, who will become majority leader after Joe Biden is sworn in, issued a statement calling for swift action on the 25th Amendment – while mitigating the risk of a second impeachment

What happened in the US Capitol yesterday was an uprising against the United States, instigated by the President. This president shouldn't stay in office for another day, ”said Chuck Schumer

What happened in the US Capitol yesterday was an uprising against the United States, instigated by the President. This president shouldn't stay in office for another day, ”said Chuck Schumer

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger urged Mike Pence and the Cabinet to remove Donald Trump by immediately invoking the 25th amendment. He posted a video on Twitter saying he was calling for Donald Trump to be removed from office "for the sake of our democracy".

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger urged Mike Pence and the Cabinet to remove Donald Trump by immediately invoking the 25th amendment. He posted a video on Twitter saying he was calling for Donald Trump to be removed from office "for the sake of our democracy".

"It is with a heavy heart that I call in the interests of our democracy to make use of the 25th amendment," said Kinzinger in a statement he posted on Twitter.

AOC says cabinet should use the 25th amendment, and Congress should indict - and want Republican instigators to be expelled from the House and Senate

AOC says cabinet should use the 25th amendment, and Congress should indict – and want Republican instigators to be expelled from the House and Senate

Kinzinger said Trump created and ignited passions that only fueled the insurrection we were seeing.

His comment followed reporters that members of Trump's Cabinet discussed using the 25th amendment to the Constitution to declare him incapable

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) Has published impeachment proceedings drafted with Rep Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) And Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.).

The articles state that Trump "was involved in high crimes and misdemeanors" by "intentionally inciting violence against the United States government."

The articles cite Trump's Wednesday remarks to supporters just before they stormed the Capitol during the voting. "Shortly before the joint congressional session," Trump spoke to supporters, where he "repeated false claims," ​​We won this election and we won it by a landslide, "the articles read. Trump also" made deliberate statements, " which encouraged – and predictably led to – imminent lawless action in the Capitol.

The articles say a mob instigated by President Trump violated the Capitol and "disrupted the solemn constitutional duty of the Joint Session" to confirm the findings.

They say the measures "were in line with his previous efforts to undermine and hamper the certification of results". You mention his January 2 call with Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger asking the official to find 11,780 votes that would bring him victory.

Georgia confirmed the vote for Joe Biden.

Trump "seriously endangered the security" of the US and its government institutions, the articles say. IT calls his actions "grossly incompatible with self-government and the rule of law".

If Trump were indicted and convicted, he would not be able to hold any future office of "honor, trust or profit" under the US

Joe Biden said he would not ask questions about whether the 25th amendment should be used to remove President Trump from office.

Biden made the statement above in his announcement of his candidate for attorney general, stating that he wanted to focus on today's ideas instead.

“I know you will have a lot of questions, but today I want to focus on the idea, on the judiciary and the attorney general's office, so that from the 25th on I will have time to answer the questions you ask about everything want to amend, but I am not going to speak about that today. I want the topic to focus on that because I think it's so important, ”he told the reporters room in Wilmington, Del.

Biden described Wednesday's attack on the Capitol as "one of the darkest days in our nation's history."

He called the mob "domestic terrorists".

& # 39; They weren't protesters. Don't you dare to call them protesters. You were a riotous mob, insurgent. Domestic terrorists, ”he said.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) Has published impeachment proceedings drafted with Rep Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) And Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). The articles state that Trump "was involved in high crimes and misdemeanors" by "intentionally inciting violence against the United States government."

Former Attorney General Bill Barr, who resigned before Christmas, called on Trump to "orchestrate a mob".

Barr called it a "betrayal of his office and his followers".

He told the Associated Press that "orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable".

The talk of using the 25th Amendment comes amid fears about the damage Trump could possibly do even in the short two weeks of his tenure as a White House aide, and he continues to hit enemies – with military control and massive Executive power.

After the failed impeachment process in the Senate in January, several House Democrats are talking of rushing through impeachment proceedings.

The 25th amendment, which also governs a president who voluntarily temporarily relinquishes power, requires that the vice-president and "a majority of the chief officers of the executive departments or any other body that Congress may provide by law" allow Congress that the president "not is able to perform the powers and duties of his office ".

Former Attorney General Bill Barr said, "It is inexcusable to pressurize a mob to pressurize Congress."

Former Attorney General Bill Barr said, "It is inexcusable to pressurize a mob to pressurize Congress."

End of the game: Mike Pence finally sealed Joe Biden's election victory in the early hours of Thursday morning, declaring once and for all that Donald Trump had lost the election in the electoral college by a margin of 306-232

End of the game: Mike Pence finally sealed Joe Biden's election victory in the early hours of Thursday morning, declaring once and for all that Donald Trump had lost the election in the electoral college by a margin of 306-232

MP Andy Kim clears up debris and personal effects scattered on the floor of the rotunda in the early hours of Thursday

MP Andy Kim clears up debris and personal effects scattered on the floor of the rotunda in the early hours of Thursday

Senator Tim Scott stops early Thursday to look for damage after protesters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday

Senator Tim Scott stops early Thursday to look for damage after protesters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday

WHAT DOES THE 25TH AMENDMENT SAY? CAN TRUMPS CABINET REALLY POT HIM?

The The 25th amendment to the US Constitution deals with the authority of the president in the event of death or impeachment and was ratified in 1967 after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

What does the 25th amendment say?

It consists of four sections, all of which deal with the President leaving office during his elected term.

The first section says that if the president dies, or resigns or is removed, the vice president will take over the oval office, which was not clearly stated in the original constitution.

Presidents can of course be removed from office, a feature of the constitution from the start. They can also be removed by the 25th amendment – of which below.

Section II states that both the House and Senate must approve a new Vice President if the Vice President dies, or resigns, or is dismissed. Until 1967, the presidents could change vice-presidents themselves in the medium term if they asked the vice-president to resign – not something that actually happened, but was possible in principle.

Section III clarifies that a president can temporarily delegate his or her powers to the vice-president and later reclaim them when he or she is able to serve. This is most commonly invoked when a president is under the influence of a surgical anesthetic for a short period of time.

Section IV is the most controversial part of the amendment: it describes how the President can be removed from office if he is incapacitated and does not leave alone.

The vice president and "a majority of officers in the executive departments or any other body that Congress may provide" must write to both presidents per tempo of the Senate and the President of the House, saying, "The President is unable to perform the powers and duties of his office."

The term chief officers of the executive departments would normally mean the cabinet secretaries.

At least eight of the President's 15 highest cabinet members must therefore agree with the Vice-President that a President should be removed before a plan can be implemented.

Notification of the President of Parliament and the President of the Senate per tempo is the act that immediately elevates the Vice President to the role of "Acting President".

The deposed president can contest the claim and give the leaders of the bloodless coup four days to re-assert their claims against the House and Senate.

Congress then has two days to convene – if it is not already in session – and another 21 days to vote on whether the president is unable to serve. A two-thirds majority in both houses is required for this decision.

As soon as a two-thirds majority vote takes place, the President loses his powers and is removed. The vice president ceases to act and is sworn in as president.

However, if 21 days of debate and voting end without a two-thirds majority, the president regains his powers.

What could happen to trigger the 25th Amendment?

Vice President Mike Pence and eight of the 15 "key" cabinet members would have to agree to tell Congress that President Donald Trump is unable to run the country.

This group consists of the Foreign Secretary, Treasury Secretary, Defense Minister, Attorney General, Home Secretary, Agriculture Minister, Trade Minister, Labor Minister, Secretary for Health and Human Services, Transport Minister, Energy Minister, Education Minister, and Veterans Affairs Secretary and Homeland Security Minister .

Your formal notification would go to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and in the Senate to the "President pro Tempore", the highest member of the Senate. Once the letter is mailed, Pence becomes the "acting president".

Alternatively, Congress could set up its own mechanism to decide whether it is fit for office – possibly a commission or a joint committee. Pence would still have to agree with his conclusion and then formally write pro tempore to the spokesman and president.

Or another possibility is that the pool of "chief officers" is seen as larger than 15 and a majority of that group is calling Trump incompetent.

What if Trump disagrees?

If Trump claims he can hold office, he would write to the House Speaker and President of the Senate within four days and launch an intense three-week debate in both Houses of Congress.

Trump would be removed from office if both two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate were to agree with Pence and his cabal.

If either chamber failed to hit that mark, Trump would retain his powers and likely embark on a full house cleaning, firing pence and replacing disloyal cabinet members.

Are there any gaps?

The 25th amendment allows Congress to designate its own body to evaluate the president, rather than relying on the cabinet – the men and women who work most closely with Trump – to decide how to proceed.

It states that "another body as Congress requires" could play that role, but Pence would still have to agree to any finding that the president is incapable of performing his duties.

This commission could, hypothetically, include anyone from presidential historians to psychiatrists charged with assessing the president's aptitude for office.

Another loophole is that it does not state that the cabinet has to agree, but that the "chief officials" of the departments are needed. This term is not defined in the constitution. In some departments, the legislation appears to designate not only the secretary but also the MPs and even the under-secretaries of state as "chief officers" so that many more people could be used to assess Trump's fitness.

But Trump's cabinet has a lot of "acting" cabinet officials – and it is unclear if that is why they could participate in removing him.

Could Trump Fire Pence If He Rebels?

Yes, in principle. If Trump smelled a hint of anger – if pence and a cabal of cabinet members, or pence and a jury assembled by Congress seemed ready to judge him incapacitated – he could fire his vice president with the stroke of a pen to stop the process.

However, installing a more loyal vice president could be problematic as the 25th Amendment includes its own poison pill: both Houses of Congress must vote to approve a new vice president.

That means Trump would run against the same Congress that would vote on his eligibility for office, unless the process unfolded in the weeks leading up to a new Congress.

In theory, a democratically controlled Congress could make life dramatically more difficult for the president if he came to power in the middle of the constitutional crisis.

One scenario seems to surprise the President's historians, however: Firing pence before the trial begins, and then vacating the vice presidency would not provide Congress with a practical way forward. That would represent a constitutional crisis of its own.

Is there a precedent for this?

No. Only Section III, the voluntary surrender of powers of the President, was ever used, and very briefly.

In December 1978, President Jimmy Carter considered using Section III when considering surgery to remove hemorrhoids.

Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both voluntarily gave up their powers while under anesthesia.

Section IV was also never invoked, although it was alleged that Ronald Reagan's Chief of Staff Donald Regan had advised his successor, Howard Baker, in 1987 that he should be willing to invoke it because Reagan was inattentive and inept.

The PBS documentary & # 39; American Experience & # 39; tells how Baker and his team watched Reagan closely for signs of incompetence when they first met and found that he was in perfect control of himself.

In another blow to Trump, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Trump will be blocked from both the Facebook and Instagram platforms at least until the day of his inauguration because the risks are "too great".

Several Trump cabinet members serve on an "acting" basis and have not been ratified by the Senate, bringing the number of 16 department heads who would participate in a 25th Amendment scenario off the threshold. A post-election purge brought out Secretary of Defense and Attorney General Bill Barr.

Half of the cabinet would have to vote, and Pence would then pass information to Congress, thereby making him the incumbent president while other processes proceed.

A runaway at the GOP conference for years, Kinzinger has beaten Trump publicly and in cable television interviews whenever he believes Trump is misleading democratic norms. But his public statement, made from his Capitol office in front of a US flag, shows how quickly the possibility of action has jumped from fantasy to reality after Wednesday's breathtaking events at the Capitol.

The new speech of the 25th amendment came as Trump administration officials continued to step down and issue statements denouncing Trump's behavior.

Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney resigned from his diplomatic post in protest of efforts to "overtake the government".

"I can't do it," said Mulvaney, who called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, another former Republican in the House, to convey his views.

Mulvaney, a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives who left Congress to join Trump's team, spoke out on CNBC after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol after hearing about President Trump and his unsupported claims mass electoral fraud had been encouraged to march there.

“I called Mike Pompeo last night to let him know that I had resigned. I can't do it. I can't stay, ”he said, relinquishing his post as US special envoy to Northern Ireland in the last few weeks of the Trump administration.

He said he wouldn't be surprised to see more of my friends step down in the next 24 to 48 hours. Mulvaney served in the house with Pompeo.

"Those who choose to stay, and I've spoken to some of them, choose to stay because they fear the president might make someone worse," he said, making an argument that was widely used by high-profile Trump- Officials who lingered for months or more years, despite having doubts they later shared about Trump & # 39; I cannot stay here. Not after yesterday, ”he said, with a model of Air Force One and a presidential seal in the background during a video interview.

Donald Trump – pictured at Wednesday's rally near the White House where he frenzied his supporters by repeating his false claims of electoral fraud – finally accepted his fate Thursday morning and made a promise on January 20 as Joe Biden , an “orderly transition” will take office after he has been confirmed once and for all as the election winner

Trump's statement was made public by an aide

Scavino released the statement after Trump's account was suspended

Trump's reluctant confirmation that Joe Biden will take office on Jan. 20 was posted on Twitter by White House aide Dan Scavino after the president's own account was suspended on Wednesday for inciting violence

Thousands of Donald Trump's most ardent supporters came to Capitol Hill Wednesday to protest the presidential election results and to prevent Congress from confirming Joe Biden's victory

Thousands of Donald Trump's most ardent supporters came to Capitol Hill Wednesday to protest the presidential election results and to prevent Congress from confirming Joe Biden's victory

Acting Secretary of State for Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, called the actions of Trump supporters who raged through the Capitol as "sick" – and asked President Trump publicly to condemn the violence.

"What happened yesterday was tragic and disgusting," said Wolf in a statement on Thursday.

“While I have consistently condemned political violence on both sides of the aisle, especially violence against law enforcement, we now see some supporters of the President using violence as a means of achieving political ends. This is unacceptable. These violent actions are incomprehensible and I beg the President and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday, "said Wolf.

“The DHS takes the security of all Americans very seriously – it is at the core of our mission to defend our homeland. Any appearance of violence by an elected official contradicts who we are as Americans, ”Wolf continued.

He said he would remain in his post "to ensure the ministry continues to focus on the serious threats to our country and an orderly transition to President-elect Biden's DHS team."

Guns on the floor of the house: Capitol police aim their guns at a destroyed door during the hour-long carnage that broke out Wednesday after Trump urged supporters to protest the election result

Guns on the floor of the house: Capitol police aim their guns at a destroyed door during the hour-long carnage that broke out Wednesday after Trump urged supporters to protest the election result

Taunt: A Trump supporter puts his feet on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk after stormed into the Capitol during an unprecedented effort to undermine a Democratic election and keep Donald Trump in power

Taunt: A Trump supporter puts his feet on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk after stormed into the Capitol during an unprecedented effort to undermine a Democratic election and keep Donald Trump in power

Fire and Fury: A flash of police ammunition illuminates the steps of the Capitol during the invasion by a Trump-instigated mob

Fire and Fury: A flash of police ammunition illuminates the steps of the Capitol during the invasion by a Trump-instigated mob

A large crowd of Trump supporters had appeared at the President's insistence to protest the results of a fair democratic election

A large crowd of Trump supporters had appeared at the President's insistence to protest the results of a fair democratic election

Donald Trump finally accepted his fate shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday after Vice President Mike Pence ended his desperate campaign to topple the election – still not properly admitted and instead the "end of the greatest first term in history" rolled into one Tweet an aide to boast about cellphone.

The Vice President dropped the hammer on the Trump coup at 3:41 a.m. Thursday morning, confirming the victory of President-elect Joe Biden – despite attempts by numerous Republicans and a violent MAGA mob to overthrow him.

After Pence defied his boss to settle the 2020 election once and for all, Trump eventually said there would be an "orderly transition" – a hallmark of American democracy he has repeatedly challenged – but claimed falsely that the election was stolen in spite of everything 50 states, a number of judges and now the US Congress reject challenges to the result.

Banned from Twitter, the message was sent by Dan Scavino, his social media guru who became a golf caddy.

"Even if I disagree with the election result at all and the facts confirm me, there will still be an orderly transition on January 20," said Trump in a statement that aides posted on Twitter after the president's account for excitement violence had been blocked.

"I've always said we would continue our fight to make sure that only legal votes are counted," said Trump. "While this marks the end of the greatest first term in the president's history, it is only the beginning of our struggle to make America great again." Pence made the final announcement after a nearly 15-hour saga in which President Trump's supporters discovered – and left – pipe bombs, long guns and Molotov cocktails on the Capitol grounds on a day of slaughter and shame that killed four people America's image as a beacon of democracy is shaken.

The mob went straight through the halls of convention, ransacked offices and brazenly took photos

The mob went straight through the halls of convention, ransacked offices and brazenly took photos

Trump supporters try to ram their way through a police barricade as they rage over the president's election defeat

Trump supporters try to ram their way through a police barricade as they rage over the president's election defeat

Trump supporters marched through the Capitol rotunda after violating what appeared to be weak security - a stark contrast to the persistent raids Trump ordered against Black Lives Matter protesters last summer

Trump supporters marched through the Capitol rotunda after violating what appeared to be weak security – a stark contrast to the persistent raids Trump ordered against Black Lives Matter protesters last summer

Trash and Trump signs are piled next to the statue of Andrew Jackson - months after the president condemned the desecration of monuments to controversial figures in American history

Trash and Trump signs are piled next to the statue of Andrew Jackson – months after the president condemned the desecration of monuments to controversial figures in American history

A protester sits in the Senate Chamber amid an invasion that forced Congress to suspend its joint session to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's victory over Electoral College 306-232 against President Donald Trump

A protester sits in the Senate Chamber amid an invasion that forced Congress to suspend its joint session to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's victory over Electoral College 306-232 against President Donald Trump

The MAGA mob, which included white supremacists, Holocaust deniers and supporters of Q Anon, disrupted certification of the results when they pushed through police barriers, stormed the halls of the Capitol and even sat in the Senate Chamber.

Sie plünderten Büros, zerstörten Statuen und konfrontierten die Polizei, als sie in Stunden der Anarchie, die die Welt schockierte und die Biden als "Aufstand" bezeichnete, mit Flaggen der Konföderierten durch das Kapitol tobten.

Als die Welt ungläubig zusah, waren viele schockiert darüber, wie leicht die Invasoren die Gänge der amerikanischen Demokratie durchbrochen hatten – im Gegensatz zu den laxen Sicherheitsmaßnahmen, die Trump auf dem Höhepunkt der Proteste gegen Black Lives Matter im vergangenen Sommer angeordnet hatte.

Selbst als Eindringlinge das Kapitol entweihten, soll Trump die Nationalgarde nur ungern eingesetzt haben. Berichten zufolge lehnte er die Anfrage ab und widersetzte sich ihr, bevor Pence und andere sie schließlich in die Tat umsetzten.

Der Gesetzgeber wurde vom Boden des Hauses und des Senats gehetzt – und um 20 Uhr unter bewaffneter Bewachung zurückgebracht, während sich der Mob einer Ausgangssperre in DC widersetzte. Der Präsident, der sie in Wut versetzt hatte, twitterte: „Sie sind etwas Besonderes. Du wirst geliebt.'

Eine Frau – die 14-jährige Veteranin der Luftwaffe, Ashli ​​Babbit – wurde im Gebäude erschossen, drei weitere während des Gemetzels aufgrund nicht näher bezeichneter „medizinischer Notfälle“. Der Polizeichef von Washington, Robert Contee, sagte, 14 Beamte seien verletzt worden, einer von ihnen sei in eine Menschenmenge gezogen und angegriffen worden, während 52 Personen festgenommen worden seien.

Anhänger von Donald Trump stürmten am Mittwoch das Kapitol inmitten der Frage, wie sie so leicht gegen die Sicherheit verstoßen konnten

Anhänger von Donald Trump stürmten am Mittwoch das Kapitol inmitten der Frage, wie sie so leicht gegen die Sicherheit verstoßen konnten

Eine Frau wurde am Mittwochnachmittag in die Brust geschossen, nachdem chaotische Szenen ausgebrochen waren, als Dutzende von Trump-Anhängern im Kapitol die Sicherheitsgrenzen durchbrachen. Sie starb Stunden später in einem Krankenhaus

Eine Frau wurde am Mittwochnachmittag in die Brust geschossen, nachdem chaotische Szenen ausgebrochen waren, als Dutzende von Trump-Anhängern im Kapitol die Sicherheitsgrenzen durchbrachen. Sie starb Stunden später in einem Krankenhaus

Die Belagerung brachte ein stundenlanges Ende des normalerweise feierlichen demokratischen Rituals, das Wahlergebnis endgültig zu besiegeln. Als der Gesetzgeber schließlich in seine Kammern zurückkehrte, stellten die Republikaner, die versuchten, Bidens Sieg zu widerstehen, fest, dass ihre Zahl zurückgegangen war, und alle ihre Einwände wurden abgelehnt.

Das Spektakel einer gewalttätigen Bande, die durch die Legislative tobte und versuchte, ein Wahlergebnis zu stürzen, löste Empörung und Angst bei den anderen Demokratien Amerikas aus. Der Brite Boris Johnson verurteilte die "schändlichen Szenen" und die Deutsche Angela Merkel sagte, sie sei "wütend und traurig" über das Chaos .

Es wurde auch von den autoritären Rivalen Amerikas ergriffen, um den Zustand der US-Demokratie zu verspotten. Der Iran nannte ihn "fragil und verletzlich" und Russland sagte, dass das Wahlsystem "nicht den modernen demokratischen Standards entspricht".

Der frühere Präsident Barack Obama beschrieb den Aufstand als "Moment großer Schande und Schande für unsere Nation", während sein Vorgänger George W. Bush sagte, "so werden die Wahlergebnisse in einer Bananenrepublik bestritten".

Die überwältigende Ablehnung von Versuchen, die Abstimmung zu stürzen, durch den Kongress und Pences Rolle darin wird Trump sicherlich weiter verärgern, der wollte, dass sein Vizepräsident Bidens Sieg einseitig außer Kraft setzt – und er wurde durch den Rücktritt mehrerer Berater des Weißen Hauses, einschließlich der ehemaligen Pressesprecherin Stephanie, weiter isoliert Grisham.

Der stellvertretende nationale Sicherheitsberater Matt Pottinger, der Sozialsekretär Rickie Niceta und die stellvertretende Pressesprecherin Sarah Matthews kündigten ebenfalls, wobei weitere Rücktritte von Adjutanten erwartet wurden, die von Trumps Verhalten angewidert waren.

Der Präsident wurde am Mittwoch für 12 Stunden von Twitter verbannt, weil er gegen die Unternehmensregeln verstoßen hatte, was bedeutete, dass er sein Lieblingsmedium nicht nutzen konnte. Das Verbot sollte am Donnerstagmorgen um 5 Uhr morgens auslaufen, aber es gab kein unmittelbares Wort darüber, ob Trumps Zugang wiederhergestellt worden war.

Das republikanische Angebot, den Sieg des gewählten Präsidenten Joe Biden zu stürzen, endete am frühen Donnerstagmorgen, nachdem der Senat mit 92 zu 7 gestimmt hatte, um eine Anfechtung des Wahlkollegiums in Pennsylvania abzulehnen

Demonstranten brachen Fenster ein, um Zugang zum Kapitol zu erhalten, als der Gesetzgeber am Mittwochnachmittag in Sicherheit gebracht wurde

Demonstranten brachen Fenster ein, um Zugang zum Kapitol zu erhalten, als der Gesetzgeber am Mittwochnachmittag in Sicherheit gebracht wurde

Amerikas Rivalen freuen sich über das Chaos im Kapitol

America's authoritarian rivals have delighted in the chaos at the Capitol, with Iran reveling in the 'fragility of Western democracy' and Venezuela mimicking the kind of criticism it usually receives from Washington.

In a speech broadcast by state television, Rouhani said: 'What we saw in the United States yesterday evening and today shows above all how fragile and vulnerable Western democracy is.'

In China, state-run tabloid Global Times crowed that 'bubbles of democracy and freedom have burst' in America. It also compared the chaos to the Hong Kong protests in 2019, mocking US politicians who had praised the demonstrations there.

In Russia, foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the 'archaic' US system was to blame for the rampage.

'The electoral system in the United States is archaic, it does not meed modern democratic standards, creating opportunities for numerous violations, and the American media have become an instrument of political struggle,' Zakharova said.

And in Veneuzela, parodying the kind of statements that usually come from Washington, authorities expressed 'concern' about the violence while calling for the US follow a path of 'stability' and 'social justice'.

Although Trump still refuses to accept he lost the election, his early-morning statement was the first time he had fully acknowledged that he will be leaving the White House on January 20.

The president has spent the last two months refusing to concede and lobbing baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, even though his own Justice Department, federal courts and state governments have said repeatedly the vote was carried out freely and fairly.

With just 13 days left of his presidency, Trump is now at war with Mitch McConnell, facing whispers of his own cabinet trying to force him out and Democrats openly discussing impeaching him again – while just a handful of senators led by Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and the majority of the House GOP remain loyal.

It was Hawley who forced Congress to sit late into the night. Biden was at 244 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed when a final challenge of Pennsylvania's count pushed lawmakers back into their respective chambers.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell skipped the two hours of permitted debate and went straight to a vote.

The upper chamber voted 92-7 to overrule the Republicans' objection – with some Republicans changing sides to vote with the majority after the carnage of the preceding hours.

'We don't expect additional votes tonight,' McConnell said when things were done. McConnell had been against the GOP effort to challenge the Electoral College vote counts from the beginning.

The House proceeded with debate and then voted 282 to 138 to overrule the challenge of Pennsylvania, with 64 Republicans voting alongside Democrats to make up the majority.

Both houses have to vote in favor of a challenge for it to succeed.

Republicans in the House and Senate had earlier challenged the votes in Arizona – which prompted two hours of debate, interrupted by the MAGA riot – and that objection was overwhelmingly overruled.

House Republicans also tried to challenge the results in Georgia, Michigan and Nevada, but GOP senators would no longer sign on after the day's dramatic events.

'Mr. President prior to the actions and events of today we did but following the events of today it appears that some senators have withdrawn their objection,' admitted Georgia Rep. Jody Hice when challenging the results in his state.

Congressional staffers barricade themselves inside their offices as Trump supporters rampage through the Capitol Building

Congressional staffers barricade themselves inside their offices as Trump supporters rampage through the Capitol Building

Trump's supporters had gathered to demand that the will of the American people be overturned by the House and Senate

Trump's supporters had gathered to demand that the will of the American people be overturned by the House and Senate

The Confederate flag was flew in the hallways of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after a Trump supporter brought it inside

The Confederate flag was flew in the hallways of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after a Trump supporter brought it inside

People wearing gas masks take shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into America's lower chamber

People wearing gas masks take shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into America's lower chamber

Trump taken off social media after praising rioters

Twitter has suspended Donald Trump's account for 12 hours and for the first time deleted his tweets after he praised the mob who stormed Congress and said he 'loved' them.

YouTube and Facebook also followed suit in removing the posts, with Facebook and Instagram also blocking Trump from their platform for 24 hours.

Snapchat blocked him on Wednesday morning, before he filmed the video. The platform said their account suspension was perpetual.

In the deleted video, he poured more fuel on the fire, claimed the election was "stolen" and told the rioters that he "loved" it.

Twitter said it removed the tweets for violating the Civic Integrity Policy.

"Due to the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, DC, we had to remove three @ realDonaldTrump tweets that were released today for repeated and serious violations of our Civic Integrity Policy," the social media company said.

& # 39; This means that @realDonaldTrump's account will be suspended for 12 hours after removing these Tweets. If the tweets are not removed, the account will remain suspended. & # 39;

At nearly 4 a.m., Rep. Louie Gohmert tried to get one more challenge through – for the state of Wisconsin – but, again, a senator had withdrawn.

That spelled the end of the MAGA campaign to upend an election and Pence went on to read out the results of the Electoral College: Biden 306, Trump 232.

But he managed to avoid saying 'Joe Biden is the winner' or similar words – a minor softening of the blow to Trump by the deputy who had been until this week perhaps his most devoted follower.

'To those who wreaked havoc in our capitol today, you did not win,' Pence said after lawmakers returned to their seats. 'Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people's house.'

The vice president, who chaired the special joint session as provided under the Constitution, called it a 'dark day in the history of the United States Capitol.'

'But thanks to the swift efforts of the U.S. Capitol Police, federal, state and local law enforcement, the violence was quelled. The Capitol is secured and the people's work continues,' Pence said.

But astonishingly – and to the disgust of Republicans including Mitt Romney and every Democrat – some Republicans continued their doomed bid to overturn the election result.

The most senior was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who claimed that persisting was proof that Congress was not cowed by violence. And Josh Hawley, the Missouri senator who gave a clenched fist salute to the mob before it stormed the Capitol, also refused to back down even as other senators who had planned to object abandoned the campaign.

'Americans go to bed tonight their lasting memory should not be a congress overrun by rioters. It must be a resolute Congress, conducting healthy debate,' McCarthy said.

'We may not disagree on a lot in America but tonight, we must show the world that we will respectfully, but thoroughly carry out the most basic duties of democracy, we will continue with the task that we have been sent here to do.

'We will follow the Constitution and the law and the process for hearing valid concerns about election integrity. We'll do it with respect.'

A protester is pinned down by police outside the Capitol as demonstrators breached security and rampaged into the building

A protester is pinned down by police outside the Capitol as demonstrators breached security and rampaged into the building

The president's loyalists waved flags proclaiming a lost cause - the 2020 election, which was won by Joe Biden

The president's loyalists waved flags proclaiming a lost cause – the 2020 election, which was won by Joe Biden

Sen. Josh Hawley, who was the first senator who pledged to back a House GOP effort to object to certain states' Electoral College vote counts, refused to abandon the effort entirely

Sen. Josh Hawley, who was the first senator who pledged to back a House GOP effort to object to certain states' Electoral College vote counts, refused to abandon the effort entirely

Sen Ted Cruz looks on as the certification proceedings continue despite objections by him and other Republicans

Sen Ted Cruz looks on as the certification proceedings continue despite objections by him and other Republicans

Sen. Hawley, who was the first senator who pledged to back a House GOP effort to object to certain states' Electoral College vote counts, refused to abandon the effort entirely.

The Missouri Republican argued that the Senate floor was the appropriate place to address any election fraud concerns – as opposed to a violent riot.

Pence ordered National Guard to the Capitol after Trump 'resisted'

Mike Pence made the call to activate the National Guard after Trump supporters ran wild in the Capitol Building, it has been revealed.

Acting Pentagon chief Christopher Miller revealed that he spoke to Pence and not Trump, the Commander in Chief, before sending in the Guard to clear out rioters.

Maggie Haberman, the New York Times's White House correspondent, later revealed that Trump had 'rebuffed and resisted' attempts to call in the guard before 'White House advisers' intervened to get the move approved.

Meanwhile White House National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien praised Pence's courage for certifying the state election results – a typically routine task that was thrust under the spotlight after Trump falsely suggested that Pence had the power to reject the result and declare him the victor.

'I just spoke with Vice President Pence. He's a really good and decent man. He showed courage today as he did on September 11th in the Capitol as a congressman. I am proud to serve with him,' wrote O'Brien.

'Violence is not how you achieve change,' Hawley said. 'And that's why I submit to my colleagues that what we're doing here tonight is actually very important. Because of those who have concerns about the integrity of our elections … this is the appropriate means, this is the lawful place, where those objections and concerns should be heard.'

He said he hoped the Senate could address concerns 'peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets.'

Hawley also used the Arizona debate to complain about Pennsylvania, correctly foreseeing that there would be no full debate about that state's results.

'And so Mr. President let me just say now, that briefly, in lieu of speaking about it later, a word about Pennsylvania – this is a state that I have been focused on, objected to,' Hawley said.

He then went on to complain that the state set-up 'universal mail-in balloting.'

'And did it irregardless of what the Pennsylvania Constitution says,' Hawley said, using the improper word for regardless.

The senator then objected to how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made its decision, holding up the law that allowed for enhanced mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

Directly after Hawley spoke, Sen. Mitt Romney applauded those senators, like Loeffler and Lankford, who had abandoned Hawley and the 'dirty dozen's' effort.

'The best way we can show respect to the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth,' Romney implored.

And the truth, he said, was 'President-Elect Biden won the election. President Trump lost.'

'I've had that experience myself, it's no fun,' Romney said, a reference to losing the 2012 presidential election to Democratic President Barack Obama.

As he concluded, Romney was given a standing ovation by some senators – but not by Hawley, who was sitting directly in front of him.

McConnell, who earlier chastised members of his own party who planned to file objections to the Electoral College vote count, proclaimed, 'The United States Senate will not be intimidated.'

Pence's condemnation was followed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, with Schumer - a New York Democrat - placing the blame squarely on Trump

McConnell, who earlier chastised members of his own party who planned to file objections to the Electoral College vote count, proclaimed, 'The United States Senate will not be intimidated.' Pence's condemnation was followed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, with Schumer – a New York Democrat – placing the blame squarely on Trump

An armed security agent tries to maintain order in the Capitol during what Joe Biden described as an 'insurrection'

An armed security agent tries to maintain order in the Capitol during what Joe Biden described as an 'insurrection'

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6

As 2 am neared, Rep Conor Lamb, a Pennsylvania Democrat who represents the Pittsburgh area, unloaded on the Republicans who objected to the vote from his state.

Lamb first read from the speech he had planned to give pre-riot, including that Allegheny County's vote-counting operation had '31 video cameras!' he said, raising his voice.

'These objections don't deserve an ounce of respect. Not an ounce,' he then said.

'A woman died out there tonight and you're making these objections,' Lamb went on. 'Let's be clear about what happened in this chamber today: invaders came in for the first time since the War of 1812.'

Lamb nodded over in the direction of a group of his Republican colleagues.

'We know that that attack today, it didn't materialize out of nowhere. It was inspired by lies, the same lies you're hearing in this room tonight, and the members who are repeating those lies should be ashamed of themselves,' Lamb said. 'Their constituents should be ashamed of them.'

Rep. Morgan Griffith shouted to have Lamb's comments struck from the record.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveled his request down, later explaining that he wasn't quick enough, saying it needed to happen 'exactly when the words are spoken.'

Nearby, a scuffle among lawmakers nearly broke out involving Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican, and Rep. Colin Allred, a Texas Democrat, according to Capitol Hill reporters.

Allred is a former professional football player.

As 2 am neared, Rep Conor Lamb (pictured), a Pennsylvania Democrat who represents the Pittsburgh area, unloaded on the Republicans who objected to the vote from his state

As 2 am neared, Rep Conor Lamb (pictured), a Pennsylvania Democrat who represents the Pittsburgh area, unloaded on the Republicans who objected to the vote from his state

Speaker Nancy Pelosi reopened the House of Representatives Wednesday night with a vow to stay as long as it takes to certify the election and Joe Biden's victory.

'Congress has returned to the Capitol,' she said seven hours after the chamber was closed because rioters were trying to breach its doors. 'We always knew that this responsibility would take us into the night, and will stay as long as it takes. Our purpose will be accomplished. We must and we will show to the country.'

'We know that we're in difficult times, but little could we have imagined the assault, that was made on our democracy,' she said in reference to the pro-Trump insurgents who tried to stop the Joint Session.

She said it was the duty of lawmakers to show the world 'the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next.'

Shortly before all House members were evacuated around 2.30pm, Capitol Police approached Pelosi, who was presiding over the chamber from the speaker's rostrum, telling her she had to leave.

Pelosi didn't make a fuss and turned over her duties to House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern.

He told reporters on Capitol Hill that she whispered 'thank you' and handed him the gavel as she was led away.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., presides over the House Chamber after they reconvened

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., presides over the House Chamber after they reconvened

Some Republican senators backed down from the original plan to object after pro-Trump insurgents rushed the Capitol.

But House Republican Leader McCarthy said it was lawmakers' duty to conduct 'healthy debate' and to hear 'valid concerns about election integrity.'

WHO'S STILL IN TRUMP'S CAMP?

Josh Hawley

Kevin McCarthy

Ted Cruz

Matt Gaetz

Louie Gohmert

Paul Gosar

Jim Jordan

Ronny Jackson

Tommy Tuberville

Marjorie Taylor Greene

'When Americans go to bed tonight their lasting memory should not be a Congress overrun by rioters. It must be a resolute Congress, conducting healthy debate. We may not disagree on a lot in America but tonight, we must show the world that we will respectfully, but thoroughly carry out the most basic duties of democracy, we will continue with the task that we have been sent here to do. We will follow the Constitution and the law and the process for hearing valid concerns about election integrity. We'll do it with respect,' he said on the House floor after the chamber reopened.

But he also condemned the rioters.

'We saw the worst of America this afternoon,' he said.

McCarthy also warned lawmakers to think twice about what they post on social media. Posts by Republicans, including President Trump, falsely stating the election was rigged and fraudulent were believed to have contributed to inciting the mob that ran sacked the Capitol.

'We also should think for a moment about what do we put on social media,' he said. 'Just because you have a personal opinion different than mine, you have a right to say it, but nobody has a right to become a mob. And we all should stand united to condemning them all together.'

Pence's condemnation was followed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, with Schumer – a New York Democrat – placing the blame squarely on Trump.

'Today's events would certainly not have happened without him,' Schumer said.

McConnell, who earlier chastised members of his own party who planned to file objections to the Electoral College vote count, proclaimed, 'The United States Senate will not be intimidated.'

'Will not be kept out of its chamber by thugs, mobs or threats. We will not bend for lawlessness or intimidation,' the Kentucky Republican said.

He said senators would discharge their Constitutional duty – to certify the results of the presidential race.

'And we're going to do it tonight,' McConnell said.

The Kentucky Republican proclaimed, 'Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress.'

Schumer followed, admitting that he didn't quite have the words to describe what happened Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

'I have never lived through, or even imagined the experience like the one we have just witnessed in this Capitol,' he said. 'This temple to democracy was desecrated, its windows smashed, our offices vandalized.'

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., stops to look at damage in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., stops to look at damage in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday

Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., helps ATF police officers (special highly trained officers) clean up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours of Thursday after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., helps ATF police officers (special highly trained officers) clean up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours of Thursday after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC

Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC

Lawmakers cower in fear as protesters try to break down the doors of the House Chamber on Wednesday

Lawmakers cower in fear as protesters try to break down the doors of the House Chamber on Wednesday

He spoke of the woman who was shot during the riots, who has since died of her injuries.

'We mourn her and feel for her friends and family,' Schumer said.

'This will be a stain on our country not so easily washed away,' he added.

And the soon-to-be majority leader, after Democrats were successful in both Georgia Senate run-off races, pointed a finger at Trump, calling the day's events the 'final terrible indelible legacy of the 45th president of the United States.'

'Undoubtedly our worst,' Schumer argued.

'Today's events did not happen spontaneously, the president who promoted conspiracy theories, who motivated these thugs, a president who exhorted them to come to our United States capitol, egged them on, who hardly ever discourages violence. This president deals a great deal of the blame,' Schumer said.

He said that those responsible for overtaking the capitol could not be called 'protesters.'

'These were rioters and insurrectionist goons and thugs, domestic terrorists,' Schumer said. 'They do not represent America

Senate Majority Leader spoke immediately after Pence to declare that the chamber would not be intimidated by 'thugs.'

McConnell found himself denouncing Trump's bid to overturn the election for the second time in a day, after earlier delivering a strong speech blasting the effort by members of his own caucus seeking to throw out electors in states that went for Joe Biden.

Wednesday night, after Trump supporters breached hallways that McConnell has walked for decades on 'unhinged' invaders – without mentioning that it was President Trump who encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol.

Nevertheless, he eviscerated the Trump backers who ran wild inside the chamber.

'The United States Senate will not be intimidated. We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs or threats. We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation,' vowed McConnell.

'We are back at our post. We will discharge our duty under the Constitution and for our nation.

And we're going to do it tonight,' said McConnell.

The Kentucky Republican proclaimed, 'Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress.' Schumer followed, admitting that he didn't quite have the words to describe what happened Wednesday on Capitol Hill

The Kentucky Republican proclaimed, 'Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress.' Schumer followed, admitting that he didn't quite have the words to describe what happened Wednesday on Capitol Hill

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the president's top allies in the Senate, threw water on the objectors' efforts recalling how in 1876 three southern states - South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida - sent two slates of electors to Congress, in a bid to end Reconstruction after the Civil War

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the president's top allies in the Senate, threw water on the objectors' efforts recalling how in 1876 three southern states – South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida – sent two slates of electors to Congress, in a bid to end Reconstruction after the Civil War

His words were both strengthened and undercut by his close association with Trump's tenure: McConnell's wife Elaine Chao serves as Trump's Transportation secretary. McConnell spent weeks without denouncing Trump's unsubstantiated claims the election was rigged. And it was in partnership with Trump that he achieved his life's goal of stacking the judiciary with conservative jurists.

He spoke with contempt towards the mob who invaded the Capitol, saying the country had 'faced down much greater threats than the unhinged crowd we saw today.'

Among Republicans bailing on the plan to contest the results was Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, known as an institutionalist before he signed onto the effort by Sen. Ted Cruz

Among Republicans bailing on the plan to contest the results was Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, known as an institutionalist before he signed onto the effort by Sen. Ted Cruz

'We've never been deterred before and we'll be not deterred today. They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed,' he intoned.

He called it a 'failed insurrection' and said it 'only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our republic.'

'Now we're going to finish exactly what we started,' said McConnell. 'We'll complete the process in the right way: by the book.'

He said the Senate would follow its precedents and laws and Constitution 'to the letter.'

'And we will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election,' he said forcefully. 'Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress. This institution is resilient. Our democratic republic is strong. The American people deserve nothing less,' he said.

Among Republicans bailing on the plan to contest the results was Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, known as an institutionalist before he signed onto the effort by Sen. Ted Cruz.

'Why in god's name would someone think attacking law enforcement occupying United States Capitol is the best way to show that you're right? Why would you do that?' he asked.

'Rioters and thugs don't run the capitol we're the United States of America. We disagree on a lot of things and we have a lot of spirited debate in this room. But we talk it out and we honor each other.

Lankford had been on the Senate floor defending the opposition to votes in states Biden won when officials evacuated the chamber and locked down the Capitol.

'I was literally interrupted mid-sentence speaking here. Because we're all aware of what was happening right outside this room,' he said, praising law enforcement who protected the Capitol.

Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her race in the early hours Wednesday to Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock, announced that she would no longer be filing objections to Electoral College votes

Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her race in the early hours Wednesday to Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock, announced that she would no longer be filing objections to Electoral College votes

He quickly bowed to the new reality.

'Obviously the commission that we've asked for is not going to happen at this point and I understand that and we're headed towards tonight towards the certification of Joe Biden to be the president of the United States,' he said. Cruz and his compatriots wanted a special commission to investigate electoral fraud claims tossed out of courts over a ten-day period.

'And we will work together in this body to be able to send peaceful example in the days ahead,' he concluded.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the president's top allies in the Senate, threw water on the objectors' efforts recalling how in 1876 three southern states – South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida – sent two slates of electors to Congress, in a bid to end Reconstruction after the Civil War.

'It led to Jim Crow,' Graham said. 'If you're looking for historical guidance, this is not the one to pick.'

The South Carolina Republican also said that a forming a commission to look into fraud wouldn't change minds.

'Having a commission chosen by Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and John Roberts is not going to get you to where you want to go, it ain't going to work,' Graham said. 'It's not going to do any good, it's going to delay and it gives credibility to a dark chapter of our history.'

Graham maintained Trump was a 'consequential president.'

'But today … all I can say is count me out, enough is enough, I've tried to be helpful.'

Graham praised Pence, telling him: 'what they're asking you to do, you won't do, because you can't.'

Trump has pressured Pence to choose between Electoral College votes and 'alternate' slates of electors, which the vice president doesn't have the power to do.

Graham also mentioned how he had traveled the world with Biden, when they served together in the Senate.

'I prayed he would lose,' Graham said. 'He's the legitimate president of the United States.'

Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her race in the early hours Wednesday to Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock, announced that she would no longer be filing objections to Electoral College votes.

'When I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes,' she said. 'However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider and I cannot now, in good conscience, object.'

Sen. Steve Daines, a Montana Republican, also announced that he no longer supported senators filing objections.

The newly minted Sen. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, who had joined Sen. Ted Cruz's 'dirty dozen,' seemed to still back the effort in his debut floor speech.

'We must restore faith and confidence in one of our republic's most hallowed and patriotic duties: voting,' Marshall said.

Marshall said he backed the creation of an electoral commission to give states to constructive suggestions' going forward, due to the 'jarring irregularities' he claimed took place in the 2020 race.

It's unclear if Marshall would back additional challenges in states going forward, as the Senate's discussion was only focused on Electoral College votes in Arizona.

Police spray tear gas at a protester who picked up a police barricade in an effort to get closer to the Capitol

Police spray tear gas at a protester who picked up a police barricade in an effort to get closer to the Capitol

Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber

Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber

A protester walks through Congress with Nancy Pelosi's lectern after storming the Capitol

A protester walks through Congress with Nancy Pelosi's lectern after storming the Capitol

Republican Congressman Thomas Reed announced he is against the GOP objections to the certification, earning a round of applause from Democrats.

Reed walked to the Democratic side of the House to speak about his opposition, citing the day's violence in the Capitol as the reason.

'We settle our differences through elections,' he said, denouncing the 'mob rule' that took place earlier in the afternoon.

'What we see tonight in this body shall be what we do in America. And that is to transfer power in a peaceful way,' he said as Democrats gave him a standing ovation.

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill, pushed a conspiracy theory that some of the mob that raided the Capitol were members of Antifa, who are opposed to fascism and other forms of extreme right-wing ideology. President Trump has tried to label Antifa as a terrorist group but they a political philosophy. There is no evidence they were involved in Wednesday's insurrection.

Gaetz cited the conservative newspaper The Washington Times when he spoke on the House floor to defend Republican objections to the electoral college votes in some states won by Biden.

'The Washington Times has just reported, some pretty compelling evidence from a facial recognition company, showing that some of the people who breached the Capitol today, were not Trump supporters, they were masquerading as Trump supporters, and in fact, we're members of the violet terrorist group Antifa,' he said as Democrats loudly booed him.

Gaetz, a frequent guest at Trump's Florida residence Mar-a-Lago, also defended the president, who was criticized by many, including members of the Republican Party, for his lackluster response to the riots.

'Another important point for the country is that this morning President Trump explicitly called for demonstrations and protests to be peaceful,' Gaetz said.

Trump, in tweets, did say the protesters should be peaceful but he didn't call for them to stand down and leave the Capitol.

Democrats booed Gaetz as he spoke, which he acknowledged: 'You can moan and groan but he was far more explicit about his calls for peace than some of the BLM and left wing writers were this summer, when we saw violence sweep across this nation.'

Gaetz also got in a dig at liberal Democrats, who have called to defund the police.

'I'm sure glad that at least for one day, I didn't hear my Democratic colleagues calling to defund the police,' he said as his Republican colleagues cheered.

Members of Congress are pictured rushing to evacuate the House Chamber as protesters attempted to enter

Members of Congress are pictured rushing to evacuate the House Chamber as protesters attempted to enter

National Guard members line up on the Capitol grounds as protesters continue occupying the area after curfew

National Guard members line up on the Capitol grounds as protesters continue occupying the area after curfew

The mostly maskless crowd flooded the Capitol halls with little resistance from the Capitol Police

The mostly maskless crowd flooded the Capitol halls with little resistance from the Capitol Police

The DC National Guard was dispatched to the streets to enforce a 6 p.m. curfew

The DC National Guard was dispatched to the streets to enforce a 6 p.m. curfew

Trump – after being silent for most of the afternoon – posted a video telling his "very special" supporters at the Capitol that he loved them and understood their pain, but asked them to "go home."

He had initially encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol after a rally earlier in the afternoon before asking them only to remain peaceful when violence broke out.

The Capitol was briefly secured before it was re-locked on an "internal security threat" at around 6.45pm after an official was reportedly found unconscious. Anyone inside any building in the Capitol complex was instructed to hide in an office with locked doors.

But shortly before 8 p.m., the legislators, who had been brought to safety at the beginning of the siege, returned to the Capitol to resume the joint session and approve the count of the electoral college for the presidential election.

The lawmakers were seen flanked by armed guards as they entered the Capitol. A spokesman for Vice President Mike Pence, who is staying during the joint session, said he was already in the building because he never left.

As the protesters broke down police barricades and stormed into the Capitol, lawmakers cowering inside the House Chamber were told to put on gas masks as tear gas was fired in the Rotunda. Officers at the front door of the chamber had their guns drawn at a protester trying to break down the door.

The Capitol was placed on lockdown again at around 6.45pm due to an 'internal security threat' after an officers was reportedly found unconscious. Anyone inside a building at the Capitol complex was instructed to take cover in an office with doors locked

The Capitol was placed on lockdown again at around 6.45pm due to an 'internal security threat' after an officers was reportedly found unconscious. Anyone inside a building at the Capitol complex was instructed to take cover in an office with doors locked

For those fleeing, it was a race against time: Protesters were getting in as quickly as members of Congress could get out.

One protester occupied the Senate dais and yelled: 'Trump won that election'. Some protesters even occupied Pelosi's office, sitting mockingly at a desk.

The chaotic scenes unfolded soon after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters and urged them to march to the Capitol. The protesters organized via far-right social media sites, including Gab and Parler, telling each other the best routes to avoid police on their way to the Capitol.

After protesters started clashing with law enforcement, Trump tweeted to his supporters to 'stay peaceful'.

'Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!' the president wrote.

As the violence escalated, Trump tweeted: 'I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you! & # 39;

He did not initially tell the protesters to leave.

Biden on Wednesday evening called for the restoration of 'simple decency' after the mob delayed Congress from certifying the results of November's election.

'At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we've seen in modern times,' Biden said. He called it 'an assault on the rule of law like few times we have ever seen it.'

'I call on this mob to pull back and allow democracy to go forward.

In an address that took less than 10 minutes and was televised against a split screen of the still-occupied Capitol building, Biden attempted to project calm and to say that a deeply divided country can still come together – while also expressing outrage.

He stopped short of accusing Trump of treason but said the events 'bordered on sedition'.

'At their best, the words of a president can inspire,' Biden added. 'At their worst they can incite.'

Minutes after Biden's address, Trump posted his own video telling his mob of supporters that he 'loves' them, but to 'go home'. In the same breath he also continued to peddle his baseless claims that the 'election was stolen'.

'There's never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us – from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can't play into the hands of these people,' he said.

'We have to have peace. So, go home. We love you. You are something special. You saw what happened. You see how others are treated who are so bad and so angry. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.'

The video was later removed by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because it violated their policies.

The president then posted another tweet reiterating his false claim that the election was stolen and encouraging supporters to 'remember this day'. The tweet was perceived by some as an attempt to rile up the Capitol crowds.

'These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,' he tweeted. 'Go home with love & in peace. Remember that day forever! & # 39;

Twitter removed the tweet for violating its rules.

Mob smashes through police barriers and wall of tear gas to stop Biden's victory being certified: How Trump protesters turned Congress into a battlefield

Capitol Police used tear gas as hundreds of people were seen climbing the marble steps outside the building. They banged on the locked doors of the Capitol and smashed the glass in the doors.

Demonstrators fought with police and then forced their way into the building.

Asked how so many people were able to get in, officials said they were focusing their attention on keeping lawmakers inside safe.

& # 39; We love you. You are special.' Trump finally addresses Capitol mob HE unleashed and says 'Go home now. We have to have peace'

Donald Trump told his mob of supporters that he 'loves' them, but to 'go home' after they rampaged past police barriers to storm the U.S. Capitol.

But despite calling for his supporters to stand down, he continued to peddle the baseless claims that the 'election was stolen' in a video posted to Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

'There's never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us – from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can't play into the hands of these people.

'We have to have peace. So, go home. We love you. You are something special. You saw what happened. You see how others are treated who are so bad and so angry. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace,' Trump said.

It came hours after Trump stirred them into a frenzy at his 'Stop the Steal' rally, telling them to march on the U.S. Capitol.

The president has still not conceded the election and raised a lot about the Ellipse the previous Wednesday that broached conspiracy theories that he still had a way to win – if Vice President Mike Pence had bid and if GOP lawmakers outraged would have.

Pence didn't do that.

The chaotic scenes unfolded soon after Trump addressed thousands of protesters and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. After protesters started clashing with law enforcement following the Capitol breach, Trump tweeted to his supporters to 'stay peaceful'

The chaotic scenes unfolded soon after Trump addressed thousands of protesters and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. After protesters started clashing with law enforcement following the Capitol breach, Trump tweeted to his supporters to 'stay peaceful'

One video posted on TikTok appeared to show a group of about four officers standing by as protesters pushed past a barricade near the Capitol building.

The officers did not appear to try to block the stampede, instead walking with it toward the building.

One protester jumped up on the dais, where the president of the Senate presides, and yelled: 'Trump won that election.'

Several dozen protesters roamed the halls of the Capitol, yelling: 'Where are they?'

Tear gas was being used by Capitol Police as protesters filled both the House and Senate side of the Capitol.

Another protester in the Senate yelled: 'Where's Pence, show yourself!'

The chaos caused the Capitol to go on lockdown and disrupted the certification of the electoral college vote that would cement Biden's victory.

Mayor Bowser declared a 6pm curfew for the city and said multiple law enforcement agencies would be patrolling the streets. Just before the curfew went into effect she was asked multiple by times by CNN if curfew violators would be arrested, but she refused to give a clear answer.

Bowser said 'many' arrests had already been made but did not have a specific number.

As footage started coming out of Capitol Hill being breached by angry Trump supporters, Donald Trump Jr  tried to quell the outburst with a tweet – that was critical of Democrats and liberals.

'This is wrong and not who we are. Be peaceful and use your 1st Amendment rights, but don't start acting like the other side,' Trump Jr. wrote. 'We have a country to save and this doesn't help anyone.'

Meanwhile, the president continued to direct his rage at Pence, who earlier announced he would not single-handedly overturn the election results from his position of the chair.

'Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!' the president tweeted.

The extraordinary breech was a departure from security mishaps of the past. Protesters have routinely disrupted televised hearings while in progress and even events inside the House chamber. But trained Capitol Police are usually able to arrest disruptors and remove them immediately. Often formal charges are never filed.

But in Wednesday's storming of the building, dozens of people made it by armed police officers and entered the building without going through any security set up to keep out those with weapons or dangerous items.

There were occasions after September 11th when the building was placed on lockdown and people were ordered to leave, but this usually happened when suspicious packages were discovered.

When the building is open, as it was before the pandemic, members of the general public are not allowed to walk unescorted on the second floor where lawmakers enter and exit the legislative chambers.

The protesters were aided by scaffolding constructed for the upcoming inauguration.

In another tense piece of video from inside, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) tweeted video of protesters repeatedly rushing Capitol Police officers in the crypt, in the ground floor part of the building under the rotunda.

'I like many people voted for President Trump in the 2020 election and hoped for a different result,' McCaul wrote. 'But violence and destruction is not the way to express your grievances. This is disgraceful and has to end.'

Trump supporters stand in the Capitol before storming the House Chamber on Wednesday afternoon

Trump supporters stand in the Capitol before storming the House Chamber on Wednesday afternoon

Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather

Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather

A wall of Trump supporters are seen outside the Capitol before crowds breached barriers and stormed inside

A wall of Trump supporters are seen outside the Capitol before crowds breached barriers and stormed inside

Several windows inside the Capitol were shattered during Wednesday's chaos at the Capitol

Several windows inside the Capitol were shattered during Wednesday's chaos at the Capitol

Police deploy a stream of tear gas a protesters occupying the Capitol grounds on Wednesday

Police deploy a stream of tear gas a protesters occupying the Capitol grounds on Wednesday

A woman is pushed into an ambulance near the Capitol on Wednesday evening

A woman is pushed into an ambulance near the Capitol on Wednesday evening

Trump's mob causes chaos nationwide: MAGA fans take to the streets in California, Oregon, New Mexico and Kansas and surround Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's office

As the US Capitol was stormed, Trump supporters staged smaller rallies outside statehouses in several cities, including Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

Protesters swarmed into the Kansas statehouse in Topeka and gathered inside the first floor of the Capitol Rotunda, though the rally remained orderly, television station KSNT reported.

There were no immediate reports of violence, despite the flurry of demonstrations by pro-Trump demonstrators echoing his baseless claims that he was robbed of a re-election victory due to voter fraud.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said on Twitter that he had instructed city agencies to close municipal offices early in Colorado's state capital 'out of an abundance of caution' after about 700 demonstrators gathered at the statehouse downtown.

'My hope is that this situation will be resolved quickly. Pray for our nation,' he tweeted.

A major courthouse complex and two other government buildings in Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, were also ordered closed due to protests near the statehouse.

Among those whose daily routines were altered were aides to Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, the Republican election official pressured by Trump in a weekend telephone call to 'find' enough additional votes for the president to overturn the November victory of President-elect Joe Biden, due to take office in two weeks.

Raffensperger's spokesman, Walter Jones, said staff left their offices after lunch out of an abundance of caution because of protests. He said Raffensperger was not in the office at the time.

In Salt Lake City, Dana Jones, director of the state Capitol Preservation Board, said she had asked building staff to work from home on Wednesday afternoon on the advice of the Utah Highway Patrol and public safety commissioner, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The precaution was taken, the newspaper said, in response to a crowd of about 250 pro-Trump demonstrators who posted signs on the Capitol building that read: 'Stop the steal!' and 'Trump won!'

A Utah state police spokesman said security had been beefed up at the Capitol, though he said protesters there were 'very peaceful,' the Tribune reported. It said one of its photographers was pepper-sprayed by individuals upset that he was documenting their protest.

Several hundred Trump supporters also staged a 'Stop the Steal' rally at the Arizona state Capitol in Phoenix, cheering and jeering while exhibiting a guillotine.

MISSOURI: Armed men stand on the steps at the State Capitol after a rally in support of President Donald Trump

MISSOURI: Armed men stand on the steps at the State Capitol after a rally in support of President Donald Trump

ATLANTA: The crowd consisted of about 25 people, some of whom carried assault rifles

ATLANTA: The crowd consisted of about 25 people, some of whom carried assault rifles

LA: Christian Angelo Hill, 19, a supporter of Black Lives Matter, reacts after being sprayed with an unknown substance during a rally by supporters of US President Donald Trump

LA: Christian Angelo Hill, 19, a supporter of Black Lives Matter, reacts after being sprayed with an unknown substance during a rally by supporters of US President Donald Trump

OREGON: Protesters hold a rally in support of US President Donald Trump at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem

OREGON: Protesters hold a rally in support of US President Donald Trump at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem

TEXAS: Jack Finger, of San Antonio, protests the election with supporters of President Donald Trump Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Austin

TEXAS: Jack Finger, of San Antonio, protests the election with supporters of President Donald Trump Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Austin

ATLANTA: The Georgia Capitol Police led Georgian Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger (above) and his staff out of the building shortly before 3 p.m.

ATLANTA: The Georgia Capitol Police led Georgian Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger (above) and his staff out of the building shortly before 3 p.m.

'I won't betray my oath': Pence publicly defies Trump's demand to block Biden's confirmation

Trump told thousands of supporters just outside the White House that he wanted Pence to 'come through' for us and demanded that he reject electoral votes out of hand over that the president claims is 'fraud.'

He threatened Pence saying 'I'm not hearing good stories' and telling him to have 'courage' to strike down swing states' votes – a move which would defy the constitution.

But minutes before arriving on Capitol Hill to preside over the joint session of Congress to certify the election's outcome, Pence bluntly told lawmakers that he would refuse to obey Trump's orders.

Pence sent a letter to the 535 senators and representatives on Capitol Hill ahead of his presiding over the Joint Session that will certify Joe Biden's victory.

In it, he outlined his belief in his role in the proceedings, which he notes is 'ceremonial' and adds that it doesn't include the authority to 'determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.'

Trump has tried to put the blame on Pence for his expected loss on Wednesday but the president also lacks support among the majority of senators in his own party, which dooms his efforts for a congressional overthrow of the results.

Pence acknowledged Trump's allegations the election was rigged, of which there has been no proof and no court has upheld, in a likely peace offering to the president.

'I share the concerns of millions of Americans about the integrity of this election,' he wrote.

In a letter Wednesday, Pence said, 'It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution contains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not'

In a letter Wednesday, Pence said, 'It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution contains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not'

But he noted as vice president he does not have the power from the constitution to decide which electoral votes are counted and which are not.

'As a student of history who loves the constitution and reveres its Framers, I do not believe that the Founds of our country intended to invest the vice president with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted during the Joint Session of Congress and no Vice President in American history has ever asserted such authority,' Pence noted.

He added vice presidents in the past have conducted 'the proceedings in an orderly manner even where the count resulted in the defeat of their party or their own candidacy'.

'It is my considered judgement that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,' he said.

He concluded his letter with a prayer to God: 'When the Joint Session of Congress convenes today, I will do my duty to see to it that we open the certificates of electors of the several states, we hear objections raised by Senators and Representatives, and we count the votes of the Electoral College for President and Vice President in a manner consistent with our Constitution, laws and history. So Help Me God.'

Pelosi reminded lawmakers that only 11 members from each party were allowed on the House floor at a time due to social distancing. She called out Republicans for having too many lawmakers on the floor

Pelosi reminded lawmakers that only 11 members from each party were allowed on the House floor at a time due to social distancing. She called out Republicans for having too many lawmakers on the floor

'The law says voter registration ends on October 5. Democrats said we don't care what the law says they went to a court got an Obama appointed judge to extend in 18 days,' Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill, complained of Arizona

'The law says voter registration ends on October 5. Democrats said we don't care what the law says they went to a court got an Obama appointed judge to extend in 18 days,' Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill, complained of Arizona

Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the debate. She sanitized the gavel before she used it. Pence had used it when he presided over the Joint Session

Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the debate. She sanitized the gavel before she used it. Pence had used it when he presided over the Joint Session

REPUBLICANS OBJECT TO ARIZONA'S VOTES

When the certification process got underway shortly after 1pm Wednesday, lawmakers got through Alabama and Alaska, two states that went for Trump, before the first objection was filed for Arizona.

Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican, objected to his state's Electoral College votes going to Biden and Harris. He confirmed that his objection had been signed on to by a US senator.

Democrats in the chamber audibly groaned while droves of Republicans in the chamber stood up and clapped.

The move forced Pence to order the houses out of Joint Session. The senators in the House chamber started moving back toward their side of the US Capitol.

On the House side, during their debate on the Arizona objection, Republican lawmakers used their time to complain about the treatment of the president, particularly the impeachment process and special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

They did not offer any proof of voter fraud but complained that voter laws were changed ahead of the November contest, which is not illegal.

'The law says voter registration ends on October 5. Democrats said we don't care what the law says they went to a court got an Obama appointed judge to extend in 18 days,' Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill, complained of Arizona.

Many states had their voter registration deadlines extended because of the coronavirus pandemic – the extension applied to voters of both parties. Other states extended the time period allowing mail-in voting, again because of the pandemic and it applied to all voters.

Democrats argued the election was legally conducted.

'Under some of the most trying circumstances in our history, our fellow citizens conducted a free and fair election vindicating our founders belief once again that we were capable of self government, and a peaceful transition of power,' Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff said.

Speaker Pelosi presided over the debate. She sanitized the gavel before she used it. Pence had used it when he presided over the Joint Session.

Pelosi also reminded lawmakers that only 11 members from each party were allowed on the House floor at a time due to social distancing. She called out Republicans for having too many lawmakers on the floor.

MITCH MCCONNELL SLAMS ELECTION 'CONSPIRACY THEORIES'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shamed Trump and his own Republican colleagues for mounting challenges to the Electoral College vote count, saying their doing so could lead to a 'death spiral' of American democracy – and pointing out there's no real evidence of widespread voter fraud.

'We're debating a step that has never been taken in American history, whether Congress should overrule the voters and overturn a presidential election,' he said on the Senate floor, after Rep Gosar and a batch of GOP senators, including Sen Ted Cruz, objected to Arizona's Electoral College vote count.

McConnell ridiculed Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud in a five-minute speech, which will be one of his last as majority leader, and which he said was about the most important vote of his career.

'The assertions range from specific, local allegations to Constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories,' McConnell said.

He reminded senators that he was supportive of Trump using the country's legal system, which handed the president and his team loss after loss. And pointed out that these cases were heard by some of the 'all-star judges whom the president himself nominated' – including on the U.S. Supreme Court.

McConnell said that every election is plagued by some instances of vote irregularity. 'And of course that's unacceptable,' he said.

McConnell ridiculed President Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud in a five-minute speech which will be one of his last as majority leader – and which he said was about the most important vote of his career

McConnell ridiculed President Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud in a five-minute speech which will be one of his last as majority leader – and which he said was about the most important vote of his career

The top Senate Republican also said he supported 'strong state-led voting reforms,' adding that he didn't wan tto see 'last year's bizarre pandemic procedures' – like mail-in ballots that gave Democrats an edge – 'become the new norm.'

'But my colleagues nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale, the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election,' McConnell argued. 'Nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break, when the doubt itself was incited without any evidence.'

He pointed out that the Constitution gives Congress a 'limited role.'

'We simply can't declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids,' McConnell said.

Twisting the knife into Trump, McConnell also pointed out that the race between Biden and Trump 'was not unusually close.'

'The Electoral College margin was almost identical to what it was in 2016,' McConnell pointed out.

'If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side our democracy would enter a death spiral,' McConnell warned. 'We'd never see a whole nation accept an election again.'

'Every four years there would be a scramble for power at any cost,' he added.

TRUMP'S STOP THE STEAL RALLY

This came after Trump excoriated 'weak' Republicans and demanded fealty from Pence to a rally crowd near the White House on Wednesday, where he demanded Pence and Congress overturn the election results that lead to his defeat.

In an extraordinary speech, Trump once again called his election 'rigged' just minutes before a joint meeting of Congress was to begin counting the certified electoral votes that have him losing to Joe Biden.

Trump referred to votes that came in after 10pm election night – which consisted of in-person and mail-in ballots and denied him the lead he said he and his pollsters anticipated – as 'these explosions of bullsh*t.'

Members of the crowd immediately sang "Bullshit!" In answer.

'Our election was over at 10 in the evening,' Trump said.

Trump mocked his party's 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Now-Sen. Mitt Romney, who had won his own race at the time.

& # 39; We will never admit. That doesn't happen, ”he said – although the loss of candidates has been admitted for generations. “There has never been anything like it. It is pure theft. & # 39;

Trump's comments represented a declaration of war on elements of his party after his attorney Rudy Giuliani called for "trial by battle" against opponents of his electoral fraud claims.

Trump spoke to several thousand people – but referred to them as "hundreds of thousands" of followers conceived on a lawn south of the White House where not so many people live.

He said his election was stolen by the fake news media. They did and they do. & # 39;

Speaking to thousands of supporters near the White House at his "Save America" ​​rally on Wednesday, Trump declared war on his own party by calling Republicans who opposed him "weak".

Speaking to thousands of supporters near the White House at his "Save America" ​​rally on Wednesday, Trump declared war on his own party by calling Republicans who opposed him "weak".

Hours after a humiliating defeat in one race in the Georgia Senate and the prospect of losing another, Team Trump showed no sign of conceding

Hours after a humiliating defeat in one race in the Georgia Senate and the prospect of losing another, Team Trump showed no sign of conceding

A booth has been set up at the base of the U.S. Capitol with a pro-Trump supporter holding a flag hours before Congress meets to confirm the election of the electoral college for Biden

A crowd of Trump supporters started gathering outside of the White House for a rally on Wednesday

A crowd of Trump supporters started gathering outside of the White House for a rally on Wednesday

He urged his followers to march to Congress, which should start the counting at 1 p.m.

"We'll go down to the Capitol and cheer for our brave senators and congressmen," he said, speaking from behind a pane of bulletproof material.

He turned up Pence, a potential 2024 contender who will lead the count. Its role is laid down in the Constitution and the Election Census Act and is largely ceremonial.

"Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn't it will be a sad day for our country because you vowed to uphold our constitution," he said.

Trump admitted that he tried to pressure Pence to reject votes from states he lost, quoting from a conversation he has denied.

"All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states for recertification and we will become President and you are the happiest people," he told his fans, who cheered, "Stop the steal!" sometimes.

& # 39; I told Mike it doesn't take courage. What takes courage is nothing to be done. It takes courage. And then we're stuck with a president who lost the election a lot and we have to live with that, ”he said of Biden.

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