The Capitol in Chaos: An Assault on Our Democracy

Mob Disrupts Congress Certification of Election Results

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

(ema-updated Jan. 7, 2021) Wednesday on Capitol Hill got off to an interesting start as politicos considered the ramifications of  U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia which both Democratic candidates won, giving the party the majority in the upper chamber.  In town were tens of thousands of Trump supporters, who gathered on the Ellipse for final protest, the Save America March.  At the Capitol, Congress was preparing to meet in the special joint session to certify the results of the presidential election.  Vice President Mike Pence, set to preside, had been under pressure from President Trump to show "extreme courage" and reject some electoral votes.  He issued a letter, stating, "It is my considered judgment 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" [PDF].  At about noon President Trump spoke at his rally, again claiming falsely that "we won this election and we won it by a landslide (>)." 

In the Capitol, the special session commenced around 1 o'clock; and the tallying of the electoral votes began starting with Alabama.  Upon reaching Arizona, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) joined by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) lodged an objection.  Members separated to their respective chambers to consider the objection. 
In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke against the objection, declaring, "This will be the most important vote I have ever cast."  Sen. Ted Cruz followed and the debate proceeded.  This was the first of what was expected to be a series of objections that might go on for hours.

Meanwhile, marchers had arrived at the Capitol, and the situation deteriorated as the mob forced Congress to recess and the Capitol was put under lockdown. There were unbelievable scenes of protesters battling
with Capitol Police, breaking windows, walking through Statuary Hall and the Rotunda, invading lawmakers' office, and even on the floor of the Senate (CNN, C-SPAN).  It might have been a scene from some Third World dictatorship, and will be remembered as one of low moments for the American Republic.  The insurrection didn't just happen.  Trump supporters were primed for violence after two months of incessant disinformation and conspiracy theories from the president and his allies

As networks showed dramatic images of Trump supporters at the Capitol, President-elect Biden in Wilmington, DE made a strong statement
, calling "on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward."  From the White House, President Trump issued a one-minute video calling on his supporters to go home. 

After several hours, the National Guard restored order.  Finally, shortly after 8 p.m. the Senate reconvened.  Vice President Mike Pence declared, "Violence never wins; freedom wins and this is still the people's House."  Sen. McConnell said, "They tried to disrupt our democracy.  They failed.  They failed."  Minority Leader Chuck Schumer compared the events of the day to the attack on Pearl Harbor as a day that will live in infamy and said, "Democracy will triumph as it has for centuries."  The House likewise resumed its debate.  After members of both chambers voted to reject the Arizona objection, the joint session reconvened, and the tally continued.  House members raised objections to several other states, but no Senator signed on, for the mood had changed following the events of earlier in the day.  At Pennsylvania, Rep. Scott Perry (PA) joined by Sen. Josh Hawley (MO) raised an objection, forcing members back to their respective chambers.  Members defeated the Pennsylvania objection, the joint session resumed, the tally continued and finally at 3:41 a.m. the certification was made official.


January 6, 2021

Dear Colleague:

Today, for the 59th time in our Nation's history, Congress will convene in Joint Session to count the electoral votes for President of the United States. Under our Constitution, it will be my duty as Vice President and as President of the Senate to serve as the presiding officer.

After an election with significant allegations of voting irregularities and numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law, I share the concerns of millions of Americans· about the integrity of this election. The American people choose the American President, and have every right under the law to demand free and fair elections and a full investigation of electoral misconduct. As presiding officer, I will do my duty to ensure that these concerns receive a fair and open hearing in the Congress of the United States. Objections will be heard, evidence will be presented, and the elected representatives of the American people will make their decision.

Our Founders created the Electoral College in 1787, and it first convened in 1789. With the advent of political parties, the Electoral College was amended in 1804 to provide that Electors vote separately for President and Vice President. Following a contentious election in 1876, with widespread allegations of fraud and malfeasance, Congress spent a decade establishing rules and procedures to govern the counting of electoral votes and the resolution of any objections.

During the 130 years since the Electoral Count Act was passed, Congress has, without exception, used these formal procedures to count the electoral votes every four years.

Given the controversy surrounding this year's election, some approach this year's quadrennial tradition with great expectation, and others with dismissive disdain. Some believe that as Vice President, I should be able to accept or reject electoral votes unilaterally. Others believe that electoral votes should never be challenged in a Joint Session of Congress.

After a careful study of our Constitution, our laws, and our history, I believe neither view is correct.
The President is the chief executive officer of the Federal Government under our Constitution, possessing immense power to impact the lives of the American people. The Presidency belongs to the American people, and to them alone. When disputes concerning a presidential election arise, under Federal law, it is the people's representatives who review the evidence and resolve disputes through a democratic process.

Our Founders were deeply skeptical of concentrations of power and created a Republic based on separation of powers and checks and balances under the Constitution of the United States.

Vesting the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide presidential contests would be entirely antithetical to that design. As a student of history who loves the Constitution and reveres its Framers, I do not believe that the Founders 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. Instead, Vice Presidents presiding over Joint Sessions have uniformly followed the Electoral Count Act, conducting the proceedings in an orderly manner even where the count resulted in the defeat of their party or their own candidacy.

As Supreme Court Justice Joseph Bradley wrote following the contentious election of 1876, "the powers of the President of the Senate are merely ministerial. .. He is not invested with any authority for making any investigation outside of the Joint Meeting of the two Houses ... [I]f any examination at all is to be gone into, or any judgment exercised in relation to the votes received, it must be performed and exercised by the two Houses." More recently, as the former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig observed, "[t]he only responsibility and power of the Vice President under the Constitution is to faithfully count the Electoral College votes as they have been cast," adding "[t]he Constitution does not empower the Vice President to alter in any way the votes that have been cast, either by rejecting certain votes or otherwise."

It is my considered judgment 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.

While my role as presiding officer is largely ceremonial, the role of the Congress is much different, and the Electoral Count Act of 1887 establishes a clear procedure to address election controversies when they arise during the count of the vote of the Electoral College. Given the voting irregularities that took place in our November elections and the disregard of state election statutes by some officials, I welcome the efforts of Senate and House members who have stepped forward to use their authority under the law to raise objections and present evidence.

As presiding officer, I will ensure that any objections that are sponsored by both a Representative and a Senator are given proper consideration, and that all facts supporting those objections are brought before the Congress and the American people. Those who suggest that raising objections under the Electoral Count Act is improper or undemocratic ignore more than 130 years of history, and fail to acknowledge that Democrats raised objections in Congress each of the last three times that a Republican candidate for President prevailed.

Today it will be my duty to preside when the Congress convenes in Joint Session to count the votes of the Electoral College, and I will do so to the best of my ability. I ask only that Representatives and Senators who will assemble before me approach this moment with the same sense of duty and an open mind, setting politics and personal interests aside, and do our part to faithfully discharge our duties under the Constitution. I also pray that we will do so with humility and faith, remembering the words of John Quincy Adams, who said, "Duty is ours; results are God's."

Four years ago, surrounded by my family, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, which ended with the words, "So help me God." Today I want to assure the American people that I will keep the oath I made to them and I will keep the oath I made to Almighty God. When the Joint Session of Congress convenes today, I will do my duty to see to it that we open the certificates of the 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.

Michael R. Pence
Vice President of the United States

Joint Session: C-SPAN
  |   Congressional Record [PDF]


We, a Member of the House of Representatives and a United States Senator, object to the counting of the electoral votes of the State of Arizona on the ground that they were not, under all of the known circumstances, regularly given.
PAUL GOSAR, Representative, State of Arizona.
TED CRUZ, Senator, State of Texas.

SENATORS Mike Braun, John Kennedy, Ron Johnson, Steve Daines, James Lankford, Bill Hagerty, Marsha Blackburn.
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS Mo Brooks AL–5, Andy Biggs AZ–5, Jim Jordan OH–4, Madison Cawthorn NC–11, Scott Perry PA–10, Mike Kelly PA–16, Clay Higgins LA–3, John W. Rose TN–6, Bill Posey FL–8, Jeff Duncan SC–3, Brian Babin TX–36, Louie Gohmert TX–1, Brian J. Mast FL–18, Warren Davidson OH–8, Andy Harris MD–1, Steven Palazzo MS–4, Doug Lamborn CO–5, Kat Cammack FL–3. Tracey Mann KS–1, Bob Good VA–5, Adrian Smith NE–3, Billy Long MO–7, Jack Bergman MI–1, Michael Cloud TX–27, Rick Crawford AR–1, Roger Williams TX–25, Bob Gibbs OH– 7, Russ Fulcher ID–1, Ted Budd NC–13, Barry Moore AL–2, Lee Zeldin NY–1, Jake LaTurner KS–2, David Rouzer NC–7, Jason Smith MO–8, Lauren Boebert CO–3, Chuck Fleischmann TN–3, Tim Burchett TN–2, Chris Jacobs NY–27. Andrew S. Clyde GA–9, Lance Gooden TX– 5, Diana Harshbarger TN–1, Mary E. Miller IL–15, Mark E. Green TN–7, Ron Estes KS–4, Neal Dunn FL–2, Ronny Jackson TX–13, Ralph Norman SC–5, Joe Wilson SC–2, Vicky Hartzler MO–4, Scott DesJarlais TN–4, Marjorie Taylor Greene GA–14, Doug LaMalfa CA–1, Jeff Van Drew NJ–2, Ben Cline VA–6, Michael D. Rogers AL–3, Markwayne Mullin OK–2, Pat Fallon TX–4, Randy K. Weber TX– 14.


ed. note - Members then separated to their respective chambers for up to two hours of scheduled debate.  In the House, Minority Whip Steve Scalise opened the debate and in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led off.  McConnell's remarks attracted widespread attention.  Debate on the Arizona objection proceeded in both chambers until the mob forced recesses.


Mr. Scalise: Madam Speaker, I rise today to object to a number of States that did not follow the constitutional requirement for selecting electors.

Madam Speaker, this is something that is clear that our Founding Fathers debated about as a fundamental decision of how we choose our President. There was a lot of back and forth, if anyone reads the founding documents of our country, about the different versions they went through to ultimately come up with a process where each State has elections; each State has a process for selecting their electors and sending them to Washington.

Madam Speaker, in a number of those States, that constitutional process was not followed, and that is why we are here to object.

If you look at what the requirement says, nowhere in Article II, Section 1 does it give the secretary of state of a State that ability; nowhere does it give the Governor that ability; nowhere does it give a court that ability. It exclusively gives that ability to the legislatures. In fact, in most States, that is the process that was followed. But for those States, this wasn’t followed.

Unfortunately, this is not new. We have seen over and over again more States where the Democratic Party has gone in and selectively gone around this process. That has to end, Madam Speaker. We have to follow the constitutional process.

Now, there might be reasons why some people don’t like the process laid out by a legislative body.

Madam Speaker, I served on one of those legislative bodies when I was in the State legislature for 12 years. I served on the House and Governmental Affairs Committee, where we wrote the laws for our State’s elections. And I can tell you, when we had to make changes, those were extensively negotiated. We would have people on both sides come.

Republicans and Democrats, Madam Speaker, would get together to work through those changes, any minute change to how a precinct would function, to how a change would be made in the time of an election, signature requirements, all the many things that involve a clerk carrying out the duties in each parish, in our case.

You would see people come and give testimony, Madam Speaker. Both sides could come. Clerks of court were there in the hearing rooms.

It was an open process, by the way, not behind closed doors in a smoke-filled room where somebody might want to bully a secretary of state to get a different version that might benefit them or their party or their candidate. That is not what our Founding Fathers said is the process. Maybe it is how some people wanted to carry it out. But they laid out that process.

So when we would have to make those changes, they were in public view; they were heavily debated; and then, ultimately, those laws were changed in advance of the election so everybody knew what the rules were. People on both sides knew how to play by the rules before the game started, not getting somewhere in the process and saying, well, you don’t think it is going to benefit you, so you try to go around the Constitution.

That is not how our system works. It has gotten out of hand. So President Trump has called this out, and President Trump has stood up to it. So many of us have stood up to it. In fact, over 100 of my colleagues, Madam Speaker, asked the Supreme Court to address this problem just a few weeks ago, and, unfortunately, the Court chose to punt. They didn’t answer it one way or the other. They didn’t want to get in the middle of this discussion.

We don’t have that luxury today. We have to discuss this. We have to fix this.

In fact, on our first full day of this Congress, many of us brought legislation onto the House floor to start fixing the problems with our elections, to restore integrity to the election process, which has been lost by so many millions of Americans. And we had a vote. Every single Republican voted to reform the process. Every single Democrat voted against it. They don’t want to fix this problem.

But the Constitution is our guide, and it is time we start following the Constitution. It is time we get back to what our Founding Fathers said is the process for selecting electors: that is the legislatures in public view, not behind closed doors, not smoke-filled rooms, not bullying somebody that might give you a better ruling.

Let’s get back to rule of law and follow the Constitution, Madam Speaker.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
January 6, 2020

McConnell Remarks on Electoral College Count

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today regarding the Electoral College challenge:

“We are debating a step that has never been taken in American history: Whether Congress should overrule voters and overturn a presidential election.

“I have served 36 years in the Senate. This will be the most important vote I have ever cast.

“President Trump claims this election was stolen. The assertions range from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories.

“I supported the President’s right to use the legal system.

“Dozens of lawsuits received hearings in courtrooms across the country.

“But over and over, the courts rejected these claims — including all-star judges whom the President himself nominated.

“Every election features some illegality and irregularity and it's unacceptable.

“I support strong state-led voting reforms. Last year's bizarre pandemic procedures must not become the new norm.

“But nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale that would have tipped this entire election.

“Nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break when that doubt was incited without evidence.

“The Constitution gives Congress a limited role. We cannot simply declare ourselves a national Board of Elections on steroids.


“The voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken.

“If we overrule them all, it would damage our republic forever.

“This election was not unusually close. Just in recent history, 1976, 2000, and 2004 were all closer.

“This Electoral College margin is almost identical to 2016.

“If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral.

“We’d never see the whole nation accept an election again.

“Every four years would bring a scramble for power at any cost.

“The Electoral College would soon cease to exist, leaving the citizens of entire states with no real say in choosing presidents.

“The effects would go even beyond elections themselves.

“Self-government requires a shared commitment to truth and shared respect for the ground rules of our system.

“We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes; with separate facts, and separate realities; with nothing in common except hostility toward each another and mistrust for the few national institutions that we still share.

“Every time in the last 30 years that Democrats have lost a presidential race, they’ve tried a challenge like this one — after 2000, 2004, and 2016.

“After 2004, a Senator joined and forced this same debate. Democrats like Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and Hillary Clinton praised and applauded the stunt.

“Republicans condemned those baseless efforts. And we just spent four years condemning Democrats’ shameful attacks on the validity of President Trump’s own election.

“There can be no double standard. The media that is outraged today spent four years aiding and abetting Democrats’ attacks on institutions after they lost.

“But we must not imitate and escalate what we repudiate.

“Our duty is to govern for the public good.

“The United States Senate has a higher calling than an endless spiral of partisan vengeance.


“Congress will either overrule the voters, the states, and the courts for the first time ever… or honor the people’s decision.

“We will either guarantee Democrats’ delegitimizing efforts after 2016 become a permanent new routine for both sides... or declare that our nation deserves better.

“We will either hasten down a poisonous path where only the winners of elections accept them... or show we can still muster the patriotic courage that our forebears showed, both in victory and in defeat.

“The framers built the Senate to stop short-term passions from boiling over and melting the foundations of our Republic.

“I believe protecting our constitutional order requires respecting limits on our own power.

“It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise American voters and overrule the courts and the states on this thin basis.

“And I will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing.

“I will vote to respect the people’s decision and defend our system of government as we know it.”

Americans for Limited Government
January 6, 2020 3:07 p.m.

Protesters in Washington D.C. should cease and desist from violence

Jan. 6, 2021, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement echoing President Donald Trump’s call for protesters in Washington, D.C. to “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”:

"Americans for Limited Government calls upon all attendees at the Save America rally to cease and desist from provocative actions which inevitably will lead to violence. We share the frustration about the blatant theft of the presidency. However, violence begets violence and any aggressive actions will be utilized by the radical left which will soon control the White House as an excuse to engage in draconian measures and to curtail liberties. Once again, the immense frustration created by the collapse of a legal means to fight fraud, when cases are simply dismissed without hearing evidence, is understandable and shared. But the truth is that the very same people who control the media, corporations, the legal system and soon the White House and the Capitol who ignored violence against Trump supporters for more than four years will use any rioting at the Capitol as a proof point to prosecute anyone of supporting Donald Trump for President. I share everyone's concern that basic individual freedoms in America will never be restored in the wake of the blatant abuse of power in this election and lack of any response by institutions charged with protecting individual liberties and freedom, however, violence at this juncture guarantees that the bright shining hope of America will not be restored either."

about 4:05 p.m.

President-Elect Joe Biden

Wilmington, DE


Sorry. Not just an inconvenience, but I'm sorry for the reason. we delayed, I delayed coming out to speak to you. I initially was going to talk about the economy. But all of you, all of you've been watching what I've been watching

At this hour our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we've seen in modern times.

An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself. An assault on the people's representatives, the Capitol Hill police sworn to protect them, on the public servants who work at the heart of our republic.

An assault on the rule of law like few times we've ever seen it.

An assault on the most sacred of American undertakings, the doing of the people's business.

Let me be very clear. The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect the true America, do not represent who we are.

What we're seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent; it's disorder it's chaos, it borders on sedition. And it must end now.

I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward.

You've heard me say before in different contexts, the words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that President is. A their best the words of a president can inspire; at their worst they can incite.

Therefore, I call on President Trump to go on national television now, to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution.

To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, the floor of the United States Senate rummaging through desks. On the Capitol, on the House of Representatives, threatening the safety of duly elected officials. It's not protest, it's insurrection.

The world's watching. Like so many other Americans, I'm genuinely shocked and saddened that our nation, so long a beacon of light and hope for democracy, has come to such a dark moment.

Through war and strife. America has endured much, and we will endure here and we will prevail again and will prevail now.

The work of the moment, and the work of the next four years must be the restoration of democracy, of decency, honor, respect, the rule of law. Just plain, simple decency. The renewal of politics. It's about solving problems, looking out for one another, not stoking the flames of hate and chaos.

As I said, America's about honor, decency, respect, tolerance—that's who we are; that's who we've always been.

The certification of the electoral college, the electoral college vote, is supposed to be a sacred ritual, to reaffirm...  The purpose is to affirm the majesty of American democracy.

Today's reminder, a painful one. Democracy is fragile. To preserve it requires people of goodwill, leaders with the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to the pursuit of power, or the personal interest pursuits of their own selfish interests at any cost, but of the common good.

Think what our children watching television are thinking. Think what the rest of the world is looking at.

For nearly two and a half centuries we the people in search of a perfect union have kept our eyes on that common good.

America so much better that what we're seeing today.

Watching the scenes from the Capitol, I was reminded as I've prepared other speeches in the past, I was reminded of the words of Abraham Lincoln, in his annual message to Congress, who work has today been interrupted by chaos.

Here's what Lincoln said.  He said:

“We shall nobly save or meanly lose, the last best hope on earth….

He went on to say:

"The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just — a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.”

The way is plain here, too. That's who we are. It's the way of democracy, of respect, of decency, of honor, our commitment as patriots to this nation.

Notwithstanding what I saw today, what we're seeing today, I remain optimistic about the incredible opportunities.

There has never been anything we can't do when we do it together. In this God-awful display today its bringing home to every Republican, Democrat and Independent in the nation that we must step up. 

This is the United States of America. There's never, ever, ever, ever, ever been a thing we've tried to do—where we've done it together and not been able to do it.

So President Trump, step up.

May God bless America. May God protect our troops and all those folks in the Capitol who are trying to preserve order.

Thank you and I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.



Remarks to the Nation as Prepared for Delivery by President-elect Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware

At this hour, our democracy is under an unprecedented assault. 

An assault on the Capitol itself.

An assault on the people’s representatives, on the police officers sworn to protect them, and the public servants who work at the heart of our Republic.

An assault on the rule of law.

An assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: The doing of the people’s business.

Let me be very clear: The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect the true America. 

This is not who we are. 

What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. 

This is not dissent. It is disorder. It is chaos. It borders on sedition.

And it must end. Now.

I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward.

You’ve heard me say this in different contexts: the words of a President matter, no matter how good or bad that president is.

At their best, the words of a president can inspire.

At their worst, they can incite.

Therefore, I call on President Trump to go on national television, now, to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege. 

To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, and to threaten the safety of duly elected officials is not protest. 

It is insurrection. 

The world is watching — and like so many other Americans, I am shocked and saddened that our nation, so long a beacon of light, hope, and democracy has come to such a dark moment.

Through war and strife, America has endured much. And we will endure here and prevail now. 

The work of the moment and the work of the next four years must be the restoration of democracy and the recovery of respect for the rule of law, and the renewal of a politics that’s about solving problems — not stoking the flames of hate and chaos. 

America is about honor, decency, respect, and tolerance.

That’s who we are. That’s who we’ve always been.

The certification of the Electoral College votes is supposed to be a sacred ritual in which we affirm the majesty of American democracy. 

Today is a reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile. 

To preserve it requires people of good will, leaders with the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to pursuit of power and personal interest at any cost, but to the common good.

Think of what our children who are watching are thinking. Think of what the rest of the world is looking at.

For nearly two and a half centuries, we the people, in search of a more perfect union, have kept our eyes on that common good. 

America is so much better than what we’re seeing today. 

Watching the scenes from the Capitol, I was reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s words in an annual message to the Congress whose work has today been interrupted by chaos.

President Lincoln said: “We shall nobly save or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth….The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just — a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.”

Our way is plain here, too. It is the way of democracy, of lawfulness, and of honor — respect for each other, and for our nation.

Notwithstanding what we’ve seen today, I remain optimistic about the incredible opportunities. 

There has never been anything we can’t do when we do it together. And this God-awful display today is bringing home to every Republican, Democrat, and Independent in the nation that we must step up.

This is the United States of America. 

President Trump, step up.

May God Bless America.

May God protect our troops and everyone at the Capitol who is trying to protect the order.


4:17 p.m.

I know your pain. I know your hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don't want anybody hurt. It's a very tough period of time. 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're very special. You've seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.

Protect the Results
January 6, 2020 

What we’re seeing is an attack on our country, on our people, brought on by a president who refuses to accept that millions of us turned out to stand with and for each other and elect Joe Biden by overwhelming margins. This is what terrorism looks like: an angry mob of armed white people inside of our Capitol, threatening our government, including the very Republican leaders complicit in this attack. This is happening because of the encouragement of some Republicans and the silence of others who fed lies about this election in order to undermine the will of the people and desperately attempt to hold onto power they clearly do not deserve.

National Association of Manufacturers
January 6, 2021

Manufacturers Call on Armed Thugs to Cease Violence at Capitol

Timmons: “This is not the vision of America that manufacturers believe in and work so hard to defend.”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement in response to large groups of armed Trump adherents who have violently stormed the U.S. Capitol building as members of Congress meet to count the electoral votes:

“Armed violent protestors who support the baseless claim by outgoing president Trump that he somehow won an election that he overwhelmingly lost have stormed the U.S. Capitol today, attacking police officers and first responders, because Trump refused to accept defeat in a free and fair election. Throughout this whole disgusting episode, Trump has been cheered on by members of his own party, adding fuel to the distrust that has enflamed violent anger. This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and should be treated as such. The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy. Anyone indulging conspiracy theories to raise campaign dollars is complicit. Vice President Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.

“This is not the vision of America that manufacturers believe in and work so hard to defend. Across America today, millions of manufacturing workers are helping our nation fight the deadly pandemic that has already taken hundreds of thousands of lives. We are trying to rebuild an economy and save and rebuild lives. But none of that will matter if our leaders refuse to fend off this attack on America and our democracy—because our very system of government, which underpins our very way of life, will crumble.”


The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.1 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Former President Barack Obama
January 6, 2021

Statement from President Obama

History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation. But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise.
For two months now, a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth — that this was not a particularly close election and that President-Elect Biden will be inaugurated on January 20. Their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo.
Right now, Republican leaders have a choice made clear in the desecrated chambers of democracy. They can continue down this road and keep stoking the raging fires. Or they can choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames. They can choose America.
I’ve been heartened to see many members of the President’s party speak up forcefully today. Their voices add to the examples of Republican state and local election officials in states like Georgia who’ve refused to be intimidated and have discharged their duties honorably. We need more leaders like these — right now and in the days, weeks, and months ahead as President-Elect Biden works to restore a common purpose to our politics. It’s up to all of us as Americans, regardless of party, to support him in that goal.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
January 6, 2021

Dear Colleague to All Members on Continuation of the Joint Session of Congress

Dear Colleague,

Today, a shameful assault was made on our democracy.  It was anointed at the highest level of government.  It cannot, however, deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden.

To that end, in consultation with Leader Hoyer and Whip Clyburn and after calls to the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the Vice President, we have decided we should proceed tonight at the Capitol once it is cleared for use.  Leader Hoyer will be sending out more guidance later today.

We always knew this responsibility would take us into the night. The night may still be long but we are hopeful for a shorter agenda, but our purpose will be accomplished.

We also knew that we would be a part of history in a positive way, today, despite ill-founded objections to the Electoral College vote.  We now will be part of history, as such a shameful picture of our country was put out to the world, instigated at the highest level.

Today, January 6 – the Feast of Epiphany – let us pray that this instigation to violence will provide an epiphany for our country to heal.

Members and staff should remain on the Capitol complex until they are notified by the United States Capitol Police.

I look forward to seeing you later this evening, during this time of great sadness.

ed. note - At about 8 p.m. the Senate and House reconvened. After the seige the mood was sober...

Vice President Mike Pence
January 6, 2021

Vice President Mike Pence Statement Upon Reconvening of the Senate

Today was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol. But thanks to the swift efforts of U.S. Capitol Police, federal, state and local law enforcement, the violence was quelled. The Capitol is secured, and the people's work continues.

We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms. We grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls, as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our Capitol today. And we will always be grateful to the men and women who stayed at their posts to defend this historic place.

To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people's house. And as we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy, for even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism at this Capitol, the elected representatives of the people of the United States have assembled again on the very same day to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

So may God bless the lost, the injured and the heroes forged on this day. May God bless all who serve here and those who protect this place. And may god bless the United States of America.

Let's get back to work.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
January 6, 2021

“We Will Discharge Our Duty Under the Constitution for Our Nation”

‘We will complete this process the right way, by the book. We will follow our precedents, our laws, and our Constitution to the letter. And we will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress. This institution is resilient. Our democratic republic is strong. The American people deserve nothing less.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today regarding the Electoral College certification:

“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.

“We are back at our posts. We will discharge our duty under the Constitution for our nation.

“And we are going to do it tonight.

“This afternoon, Congress began the process of honoring the will of the American people and counting the Electoral College votes.

“We have fulfilled this solemn duty every four years for more than two centuries.

“Whether our nation has been at war or at peace, under all manner of threats, even during an ongoing armed rebellion and Civil War, the clockwork of our democracy has carried on.

“The United States and the United States Congress have faced down much greater threats than the unhinged crowd we saw today.  We have never been deterred before and we will not be deterred today.

“They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed.


“This failed attempt to obstruct the Congress, this failed insurrection, only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our Republic.

“Our nation was founded precisely so that the free choice of the American people is what shapes our self-government and determines the destiny of our nation.

“Not fear. Not force.

“But the peaceful expression of the popular will.

“We assembled this afternoon to count our citizens’ votes and formalize their choice of the next president.

“Now we are going to finish what we started.

“We will complete this process the right way, by the book. We will follow our precedents, our laws, and our Constitution to the letter.

“And we will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

“Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress. 

“This institution is resilient.

“Our democratic republic is strong.

“The American people deserve nothing less.”

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
January 6, 2021

Schumer Floor Remarks Upon The Reconvening Of The United States Senate After Failed Insurrection By Violent Pro-Trump Mob

Washington, D.C. — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor upon the Senate’s reconvening and after a failed insurrection by a violent pro-Trump mob. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

It is very, very difficult to put into words what has transpired today. I have never lived through or even imagined an experience like the one we have just witnessed in this Capitol.  President Franklin Roosevelt set aside December 7th, 1941 as a date that will live in “infamy.” Unfortunately, we can now add January 6th, 2021 to that very short list of dates in American history that will live, forever, in infamy.

This temple to democracy was desecrated. Its windows smashed, our offices vandalized. The world saw America’s elected officials hurriedly ushered out because they were in harm’s way. The House and Senate floors were places of shelter, until the evacuation was ordered, leaving rioters to stalk these hallowed halls. Lawmakers and our staffs, average citizens who love their country, serve it every day, feared for their lives. I understand that one woman was shot and tragically lost her life. We mourn her and feel for her friends and family.

These images were projected to the world. Foreign embassies cabled their home capitals to report the harrowing scenes at the very heart of American democracy. This will be a stain on our country not so easily washed away—the final, terrible, indelible legacy of the 45th President of the United States and undoubtedly our worst.

I want to be very clear: those who performed these reprehensible acts cannot be called protesters—no—these were rioters and insurrectionists, goons and thugs, domestic terrorists. They do not represent America. They were a few thousand violent extremists who tried to take over the Capitol building and attack our democracy. They must and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law—hopefully by this administration, if not, certainly by the next. They should be provided no leniency.

I want to thank many of the Capitol Police and Secret Service and local police who kept us safe today, and worked to clear the Capitol and return it to its rightful owners and its rightful purpose.

I want to thank the leaders, Democratic and Republican, House and Senate. It was Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy and myself who came together and decided that these thugs would not succeed, that we would finish the work that our Constitution requires us to complete, in the very legislative chambers of the House and Senate that were desecrated but we know always belong to the People— and do again tonight.

Make no mistake, today’s events did not happen spontaneously.

The president who promoted conspiracy theories that motivated these thugs; the president who exhorted them to come to our nation’s capital, egged them on, the president who hardly ever discourages violence (and more often encourages it)—this president bears a great deal of the blame. This mob was, in good part, President Trump’s doing, incited by his words and his lies. This violence, in good part, his responsibility, his everlasting shame. Today’s events certainly, certainly, wouldn’t have happened without him.

Now, January 6th will go down as one of the darkest days in recent American history. A final warning to our nation about the consequences of a demagogic president, the people who enable him, the captive media that parrots his lies, and the people who follow him as he attempts to push America to the brink of ruin.

As we reconvene tonight, let us remember that, in the end, all this mob has really accomplished is to delay our work by a few hours. We will resume our responsibilities now and we will finish our task tonight. The House and Senate chambers will be restored good as new and ready for legislating, in short order. The counting of the electoral votes is our sacred duty. Democracy’s roots in this nation are deep. They’re strong, and will not be undone—ever—by a group of thugs. Democracy will triumph, as it has for centuries.

So to my fellow Americans who were shocked and appalled by the images on their televisions today, and who are worried about the future of this country: let me speak to you directly. The divisions in our country clearly run deep, but we are a resilient, forward-looking, and optimistic people. And, we will begin the hard work of repairing this nation tonight because here in America, we do hard things. In America, we always overcome our challenges.


Speaker Nancy Pelosi
January 6, 2021

Pelosi Remarks Upon Reconvening of the House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks upon the reconvening of the House of Representatives.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Today, a shameful assault was made on our democracy.  It cannot, however, deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

For that reason, the Congress has returned to the Capitol.  We always knew that this responsibility would take us into the night.  And we will stay as long as it takes.  Our purpose will be accomplished.

We must – and we will – show to the country, and indeed, to the world, that we will not be diverted from our duty; that we will respect our responsibility to the Constitution and to the American people.

On Sunday, it was a great – my great honor to be sworn in as Speaker and to preside over a sacred ritual of renewal, as we gathered under this dome of this temple of democracy to open the 117th Congress.

I said that – as we were sworn in then – we accept a responsibility as daunting and demanding as any previous generations of leadership has ever faced.  We know that we are in difficult times, but little could we have imagined the assault made on our democracy today.

To those who strove to deter us from our responsibility, you have failed.  To those who engaged in the gleeful desecration of this, our temple of democracy – American democracy – justice will be done.

Today, January 6, is the Feast of the Epiphany.  On this day of revelation, let us pray that this instigation to violence will provide an epiphany for our country to heal.

In that spirit of healing, I invoke the Song of St. Francis – I usually do – St. Francis is the patron saint of my city of San Francisco and he is – his song is our anthem:

‘Lord, make me a channel of thy peace.  Where there is darkness, let me bring light. Where there is hatred, let me bring love.  Where there is despair, let me bring hope.’

We knew that we would be a part of history in a positive way, today, every four years when we demonstrate, again, the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next.  And despite the shameful actions of today, we still will do so.

We will be part of a history that shows the world what America is made of.  That these – that this assault – this assault is just that: it shows the weakness of those who’ve had to show through violence what their message was.  My colleagues: it is time to move on.

I wear this pin quite frequently.  Actually, I gave it to our beloved John Lewis just the weekend before he – the weekend or so before he left us.  And it is the flag of our country, a flag of the United States of America.  On it, it says, ‘One country, one destiny.’  ‘One country, one destiny,’ written on the flag.  That was also what was embroidered in Abraham Lincoln’s coat that he had on that fateful night.  Lincoln’s party, Lincoln’s message: ‘One country, one destiny.’ 

So, on this holy day of Epiphany, let us pray.  I’m a big believer in prayer.  Let us pray that there will be peace on earth and that it will begin with us.  Let us pray that God will continue to bless America.

And, with that, let us proceed with our responsibilities to the Constitution to which we have, just within 72 hours, taken the oath to uphold.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy
January 6, 2021

Mobs Don’t Rule America, Laws Rule America

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) delivered a speech on the House Floor condemning the violence and destruction that broke out in the Capitol earlier today, and praising the heroic efforts of the law enforcement agents and members of Congress who selflessly helped prevent further chaos. Leader McCarthy added that, despite today’s events, Republicans will continue to follow the Constitution and the process for hearing valid concerns about election integrity to ensure Americans’ voices continue to be heard.

“Madam Speaker — I rise for a point of personal privilege. I rise to address the chamber about what happened today and where we go from here.

“The violence, destruction, and chaos we saw earlier was unacceptable, undemocratic, and un-American. It was the saddest day I’ve ever had serving as a Member in this Institution. The Capitol was in chaos. Police officers were attacked. Guns were drawn on this very floor. A woman tragically lost her life.

“No one wins when this building and what it stands for are destroyed. America is better than that.

“We saw the worst of America this afternoon. Yet in the midst of violence and fear, we also saw the best of America.

“It starts with our law enforcement — the capitol police, national guard, FBI, and Secret Service who faced the most difficult challenges but did their duty with confidence and strength.

“It extends to this chamber — where both Democrats and Republicans showed courage, calm, and resolve.

“I’d like to recognize the members now who helped to hold the line: Markwayne Mullins. Tony Gonzalez. Jason Crow. Pat Fallon. And Troy Nehls. Working with Capitol Police, they ensured the floor of this chamber was never breached. These are heroes among us.

“And in my hand, is a symbol of their actions — a part of a hand sanitizer station that Rep. Mullin used to help defend the chamber. Markwayne, I’d like to give this to you now to commemorate your heroism today.

“Looking back on the past few hours, it is clear this Congress will not be the same after today — and I hope it will be for the better.

“We solve the problems before our nation not through destruction, but through debate. That is the heart of democracy.

“Now, it is time for this chamber to continue to show the best of America.

“By returning here to complete the work we were sent to do, we are proving that our democracy cannot be disrupted by criminal behavior. We will not falter. We will not bend. We will not shrink from our duty.

“Mobs don’t rule America — laws rule America. It was true when our cities were burning this summer, and it’s true now.

“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 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 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 will ensure Americans’ voices continue to be heard.”

National Task Force on Election Crises
January 6, 2020

National Task Force on Election Crises Calls for Lawful Removal of President Trump from Office

Washington, DC – January 6, 2021 – This evening, the National Task Force on Election Crises released the following statement, calling for the lawful removal of President Trump from office in response to the events of January 6th, 2021:

“As required by the Constitution and federal law, Congress has reconvened in a joint session to declare that President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris have been duly elected as President and Vice President. They have done this in the face of actions by President Trump that violated the foundational covenant of democracy. By inciting a violent attack on the Capitol as part of a sustained and coordinated attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election, the president has threatened our republican form of government and has demonstrated himself unfit to serve the remainder of his term and an imminent danger to our country. Based on these actions, Republican leaders should call on President Trump to resign and allow the vice president to serve out the remainder of his term. But this is not sufficient to the moment. Failing his resignation, President Trump should be removed from office forthwith according to the means provided by federal laws and the U.S. Constitution, including impeachment and/or potential invocation of the 25th Amendment. In any case, regardless of any future actions by the president or his supporters, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will be inaugurated on January 20th in accordance with the Constitution. The Task Force urges all Americans to respect that the voters have decided the outcome of this election and to refrain from further violence.”


Microsoft Word - Document9
President Donald J. Trump via @DanScavino
January 7, 2021 3:49 a.m.

Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Electoral Certification

“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. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”