Biden Confirmation


Lila Nuttle, Staff Reporter

In a year full of the unprecedented, the certification of the 2020 presidential election results was no exception. 

What started as a normal ceremony, quickly turned into an attack on the Capital, and with it, democracy. 

Pro-Trump protestors gathered outside of the Capital building to protest Congress confirming the Electoral College votes, which had started around 1 pm ET. 

The process is largely ceremonial. Congress, both the House and Senate, meets, and the vice president reads each state’s votes alphabetically. Then, objections are presented. In order for an objection to a state’s results to be made, both a Senator and a Representative must back it and it has to be in writing. The VP reads the objection, and the House and Senate split and debate the objection for two hours. During those two hours, every person is given the chance to speak once for five minutes. The House and Senate then vote on the objection. Each part of Congress must have a majority in favor of the objection, otherwise it gets thrown out. 

The process was expected to take longer than normal this time, due to the large number of objections from GOP Congress members. But halfway through the debates over the objection to Arizona’s results, the crowd outside got out of hand.

The crowd turned from a protest to a riot, breaking through the barricades and into the building. Striking photos of people scaling the walls, smashing windows, and assaulting Capitol police captured the start of an unforgettable event.

An attack on our country’s Capital, while a joint session of Congress was meeting to preserve the democratic tradition of a peaceful transition of power, is undoubtedly frightening, but perhaps, not surprising. 

For years, President Trump has flouted political norms, causing people to raise questions of whether someone is truly above the law. And Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election has increased his false claims and desperate power grabs.

He has been touting unfounded accusations of voter fraud, crossing Constitutional lines in attempts to overturn the election. His actions have long since become a threat to democracy, and the events at the Capital were a culmination of his false statements and urgings. 

That morning, Trump had spoken to followers at a rally, telling them to “fight much harder,” backed by Rudy Gulliani encouraging “trial by combat” against the Congressmen and women planning to certify the Electoral votes. 

As Joe Biden said in a speech during the riot, “The words of a president matter.” That, “At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite.” Not even through the first objection of the hearing, Senators and Representatives started to be taken to safe, undisclosed locations. VP Pence and Speaker Pelosi were among the first to be escorted out. Pictures of Congressional lawmakers with gas masks, ducking on the senate floor is not the picture of American democracy. Capital police, holding off protesters with their guns drawn at the door to the chambers is not something they do during a peaceful transition of power. 

A woman was shot in the neck, and later died. Four other people were killed as well, including a Capitol Police officer. Many other officers were injured. A pipe bomb was found at the Republican National Committee building, and one person had a “military style automatic weapon” and 11 molotov cocktails. Rioters freely walked around the senate floor, searching through hallways; one person propped their feet on Speaker Pelosi’s desk. 

The mayor of D.C., Muriel Bowser said in a speech that the National Guard was being called in “to help regain control of the United States Capitol.” These are not things that happen when people exercise their first amendment right to peacefully protest. This is what happens during an insurrection.

There was also a profound difference in the presence of law enforcement here than at the BLM protests last year, something that has not gone unnoticed by most of the nation. While the National Guard was called in for the peaceful BLM protests, only the Capital Police were present at the riot.

The scene of chaos continued for hours. Breaking news reports were running over other programs.

And from their new locations, Congressional lawmakers called for Trump to speak out and tell the mob to stop and go home peacefully. He released a video much later, and it’s message was less than satisfactory. Instead of deriding the violence, he lauded them, saying “We love you. You’re very special”, which enraged many congressional lawmakers.

Many GOP members broke off from Trump, saying enough is enough. Recently, Rep. Liz Cheney (R) WY, said she would vote to impeach him, Sen. Lindsay Grahm said, “I’m out.”, and Sen. Mitt Romney angrily called out Trump for his role in the mob. Calls for Pence to take control under the 25th amendment were made, and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) Minnesota, joined a coalition of democrats drafting articles of impeachment. Many of the White House staff have since resigned, Elaine Choa being the first cabinet member to do so. 

Additionally, Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account. 

When the Capitol building was finally secured, hours later, the certification process continued. GOP members, including Josh Hawley, and Ted Cruz, raised objections to Arizona and Pensylvania’s results. As expected, they did not play out, and Biden’s victory of the 2020 presidential election was certified around 3:45 a.m. ET the morning of Jan. 7. 

Rep. Tony Cardenas (D) California said this will day be “a stain on our history forevermore.” That America, the oldest democracy in the world, suffered a coup attempt by followers of a president who was voted out of office by the democratic system we pride ourselves on. That our Capital was breached for the first time since 1814

Some of the extremists involved are being arrested, and prosecutors are examining Trump’s role in the events.