Current Events Update: The Siege of the U.S. Capito
Dear Rich Lifer,
On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the world watched in terror as a mob convened in Washington, D.C. and stormed the U.S. Capitol Building where members of Congress were gathered for a joint session to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential Election.
Today we will attempt to walk through the madness that ensued.
“We’re Going To Walk Down to the Capitol”
Wednesday morning, President Trump addressed supporters near the White House at his “Save America Rally,” urging them to march on Washington, down to the Capitol, and proclaiming he would march with them — which he did not end up doing. He went on to say:
We’re going to walk down to the Capitol. And we’re gonna cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong.
Other allies such as Rudy Gulliani and Donald Trump Jr. also spoke at the rally, Gulliani urging the mob to engage in “trial by combat.”
In the midst of the rally, Vice President Mike Pence publicly broke with Donald Trump in a letter to lawmakers explaining why he would not submit to the demands of the President to overthrow the results of the election.
Pence wrote, “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.”
As you can imagine, this was a statement President Trump did not like…
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Around 1pm the joint session to certify the election began with other top Republicans voicing their own objection to attempts to reject the results of the election, like Mitch McConnel saying any attempt to do so “will damage our republic forever.”
Around the same time, rioters began grappling with police on the steps of the Capitol. The mob pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol.
About 90 minutes later, police reported that rioters had broken into the Capitol through windows and the main door of the building containing the House chamber.
“It’s Not a Protest — It’s an Insurrection”
The doors to the House and Senate were locked and lawmakers were given gas masks and told to take cover on the House floor. The floor was then evacuated and lawmakers sheltered for safety as the rioters mobbed the second floor lobby and eventually entered the Senate floor.
Inside the Capitol violence ensued, as the mob roamed the Capitol rotunda vandalizing statues. An armed standoff followed as officers attempted to protect the House Chamber from the mob. Shots were fired and it was reported that one woman was shot, and sadly died in the altercation. Another woman and two men died during the events due to medical emergencies.
Some members of the mob were detained outside the House chamber. Police seized five guns and arrested at least 13 people. Later Wednesday night, D.C. police reported 52 people had been arrested in total after a citywide curfew went into effect at 6 p.m. Eastern.
Meanwhile, in the Senate Chamber, a mob member carried a confederate flag freely through the halls and others made themselves at home inside the chamber. Rioters breached Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and one man was pictured sitting with his feet up at a desk in her office.
Outside the Capitol, rioters were seen scaling the walls, erecting a gallows, and vandalizing police cars. The DC National Guard was finally called in — by Vice President Pence, according to Defense Department officials — around 4pm to help get the insurrection under control. All the while, rioters cheered, “That’s our house” and “Push forward.”
During all this, Trump responded by tweeting: “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!”
Republican and Democratic officials alike condemned the violence and called on President Trump to formally renounce the riot and tell his mob to go home. Few felt his singular tweet was strong enough to curb the violence that many believe his actions that day and in the months leading up to it were the cause of it all.
Vice President-Elect Joe Biden made live remarks from Delaware urging the President to “fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.” He went on to proclaim, “It’s not a protest – it’s insurrection … The world’s watching. I am genuinely shocked and sad that our nation, so long the beacon of light and hope for democracy, has come to such a dark moment.”
Shortly after Biden’s speech, Trump released a prerecorded video via a tweet where his calls for rioters to “go home” were wrapped in further inflammatory speech, as he continued to say the election was “stolen from us” and told the rioters, “you’re very special… we love you.”
“The Power of Life and Death Is in the Tongue”
The Capitol was finally cleared just before 6pm, and around 8pm Congress was able to reconvene to resume counting electoral votes.
Before the riots forced the abrupt halt of vote counting, there was one objection to Arizona’s vote lodged by Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, but it failed overwhelmingly in the Senate, 93 to 6, the House also ultimately rejected it 303 to 121.
When the counting resumed at night, many Republicans who had planned to join the effort to overturn Biden’s victory agreed to drop their challenges.
However, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri pressed forward with his challenge to the Pennsylvania vote, keeping both chambers in session well past midnight. Ultimately, senators voted to reject the challenge 92 to 7. The House also voted 282 to 138 to do the same.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ victory was made official just before 4am Thursday morning and it was declared that Mr. Biden had received 306 electoral votes to Mr. Trump’s 232 and would be inaugurated the 46th president on January 20, 2021.
Trump officially conceded in a statement saying, “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”
The utter chaos of the day was concluded with the words of Barry C. Black, the Senate chaplain who prayed:
These tragedies have reminded us that words matter and that the power of life and death is in the tongue. We deplore the desecration of the United States Capitol building, the shedding of innocent blood, the loss of life, and the quagmire of dysfunction that threaten our democracy.
Some government officials are calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would allow him and his cabinet to remove power from Trump.
Additionally many of Trump’s official have resigned including:
- Tyler Goodspeed – acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers
- Mick Mulvaney – resigned his post as special envoy to Northern Ireland
- Matt Pottinger – Trump’s deputy national security adviser,
- Stephanie Grisham – the former White House press secretary who served as the chief of staff to Melania Trump.
- Rickie Niceta, the White House social secretary and
- Sarah Matthews, a deputy White House press secretary
Here at the Rich Life Roadmap we attempt to bring the facts to you as straightforward as possible. We hope we have presented this day’s events as such.
We hope we can all agree: America should and can be better than this.
Here’s to peace and prosperity in 2021 and beyond!
To a Richer Life,
The Rich Life Roadmap Team