“Insurrection.” “Coup attempt”. ” The unthinkable has happened.” With these and other similar expressions, the United States attended yesterday astonished and fearful to the assault on the Capitol by dozens of extremistsmarchingged by President Donald Trump. The takeover of Congress forced the evacuation of Vice President Mike Pence and the members of the Electoral College who were supposed to certify the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the last November elections.. The revolt can cause serious problems for the Republican leader. Several lawmakers last night asked Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to start the impeachment process for Trump.
Shortly before the riots broke out, the outgoing president held a rally around the White House where he repeated for the umpteenth time his denunciation of electoral fraud. The spirits, hot from the day before when hundreds of their supporters began to gather in the streets of Washington, were translated into a march to the Capitol where, violently and armed, the protesters broke through the barricades surrounding the building and made their way inside. Previously, the Republican leader had incited the masses to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the House to “give our Republicans – the weak because the strong don’t need our help – the kind of pride and boldness our country needs back.” .
Trump, who was following the assault by his supporters via Twitter, stopped inciting his followers and called for restraint after the first clashes with security police took place. The agents tried to block the entrance doors to the assailants’ bicycle, but without success. In a few minutes chaos reigned in the chambers of the National Congress. The armed assailants toured the different rooms while the Police tried to evacuate the legislators and the building personnel.
The Vice President, Mike Pence, along with the Speaker of the Congress, Nancy Pelosi, and the leaders of the House were evacuated to security zones. The Capitol has an interior exit via a small subway train that connects with the legislators’ office buildings in the vicinity, as well as high security ‘shelters’ for an emergency situation.
One of the assailants, well armed, took the stand while declaring that Donald Trump won the presidential election. Shots were fired, smoke canisters were thrown, and there were clashes with Capitol agents, many with weapons in hand, to contain the thrust of the protesters, who outnumbered them.. There were also unusual scenes of attackers who roamed the rooms taking photos, hanging from the balconies and posing in the smoke of the boats fired between paintings and historical pieces of art. A woman was seriously injured when she was shot in the chest on the outskirts of the Capitol, although the circumstances in which the attack occurred is unknown. The victim had died at press time. Also, a policeman was evacuated to the hospital with various injuries.
Senator Mitt Romney, in the middle of the evacuation, pointed to Trump as the cause of the assault while calling for peace to be restored. Nancy Pelosi called in contingents from the National Guard to stop the riots, which were initially denied by the current acting Pentagon chief. Finally, the District of Columbia National Guard was mobilized to address the violent situation on Capitol Hill, and its spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, noted that Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller was in contact with congressional leaders.
Charles Ramsey, a former Washington police chief, told CNN that the assault was “the closest thing to a coup attempt this country has ever seen.” Ramsey also said that Donald Trump should “shut up and get out of the way” to allow Police to secure the Capitol. It so happens that, a couple of hours after the altercations began, Trump asked his followers to “go home,” but not before praising them as “very special” in a pre-recorded video.
In the recording, the outgoing president explains to the protesters that he takes charge of “his pain” for the “election that was stolen from them”, elections in which he had an “overwhelming” victory, as “is known by all, especially the other side. He then urged them again to go home to “maintain peace and public order,” although he had time to blame his opponents for the day of violence. He told his people that you can’t «Follow the game» of others and said goodbye with «I love you, you are very special».
Trump’s message further increased the astonishment of millions of Americans, but especially of the congressmen and senators who were still refugees in safe areas around the legislative headquarters. Many of them were transferred to Fort McNair, a military base less than a kilometer away. The disturbances began to suffocate around ten at night (Spanish time) after the intervention of the National Guard. Mayor Muriel Bowser enforced a Washington curfew. At that time, the Capitol had been closed and security forces were guarding the compound.
Newly elected progressive congresswoman from Missouri Cori Bush said last night that she will introduce a resolution calling for the removal of Republican members who incited the “domestic terrorist attack” in their attempt to overturn the election that gave Joe Biden the victory.
“When it is safe we will return to fulfill our constitutional responsibilities. We are in the united states. We are not going to allow a mob to impose itself on the rule of law ”, declared one of the members of the Table, Representative Hakeem Jeffries, to the media. Before the violent disruption, the session could only certify the votes of two states, Alabama and Alaska. Paradoxically, both add twelve votes of the Electoral College and all of them were favorable to Trump, who at that timemarchingged to march on the Capitol to denounce the “electoral fraud”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.