The process ended in tragedy. What was to be a mere formality in the United States Congress that ratified the results of the November 3 elections became an exhibition of violence and violation of the law such as that country had not seen in its almost two centuries and means of existence.
Thousands of supporters of the outgoing president, Donald Trump, who refuses to abide by the result of the polls, stormed Congress and forced the evacuation of the legislators and the vice president, Mike Pence, who was presiding over the session. The rooms and offices of the Legislative were attacked. Four people have died, a woman who was fatally shot by the police and three other people who died due to medical emergencies, said local authorities, who had only reported one death at first. Likewise, the authorities have reported 14 injured police officers and 52 arrests.
This is how elections are contested in a banana republic, declared George W. Bush, the only living president of the Republican Party, the same one to which Donald Trump belongs, in a statement issued last night in which he described the event as an insurrection. Assault on Congress that, he said, has been carried out by people whose passions have been kindled by falsehoods and false hopes.
FOUR DEAD, ONE OF THEM A WOMAN SHOT BY THE POLICE, 52 DETAINEES 14 POLICE OFFICERS INJURED.
And, for more than two hours, Trump was silent. The Executive, which he controls, did nothing to prevent the jump to the building. While his followers replaced the United States flags with others bearing the name of the head of state and government, the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security refrained from intervening.
Only when the assault took more than three hours, Trump posted a message on the social network Twitter in which he asked his followers to “go home. Even so, the Head of State and Government continued to insist on the accusation of fraud. We had an election and it was stolen from us. It was an election in which I swept. And everyone knows it, especially those on the other side, said the president.
It all started shortly after noon, when to the beat of the song ‘Macho Man’ by the 1970s ‘disco’ group ‘Village People’, Donald Trump arrived on the stage of the rally that was held in the Mall, the park that occupies the center of Washington. There, Trump again called Joe Biden illegitimate president and reiterated that he does not accept the results of the elections even though, of the more than 80 legal recourses filed alleging electoral fraud presented by his team, Justice has not given him the reason in any.
Perhaps fired by the president’s words, some of those attending the event broke through the four security barriers that surrounded the Capitol and entered it. It was the repetition of a series of actions that the president’s supporters have carried out in the Congresses of various states around the country – such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – since last summer, only this time in Washington. There was another difference. The governors of those states sent security forces to prevent the assailants from entering all the buildings.
The Department of Defense refused to comply with the Capitol Police request to send reinforcements. The Department of Homeland Security, which is the US equivalent of the Home Office, did nothing either. Only when the assault had already been underway for two hours, the Executive announced that it was going to send both soldiers and police to the Capitol.
By then it was too late. The agents who are in charge of the security of the congressmen had been overwhelmed. The assailants stormed the House of Representatives and photos were taken in the office of its president, Democrat Nancy Pelosi. According to the first reports, they smashed doors, windows, and glass. The city of Washington declared a curfew starting at 6 p.m. local time while the entire country attended the assault on the Legislative Power live by a crowd that some estimated at 10,000 people. Finally, the last assailants left the building at around 6:30 in the afternoon.
The 534 legislators present were evacuated to the basement of the building. The police had ordered them to wear maximum protection gas masks. The Capital is an immense building, which, also, is connected to other government centers through tunnels and even a special ‘metro’ for the use of legislators, so it is to be expected that they were not in danger. The vice president, Mike Pence, who according to the law, presided over the joint session of Congress in which the results of the elections were to be ratified, was also evacuated.
Indeed, Pence had been transformed into a kind of ‘savior’ of the Trump presidency. The president had invented a legal theory according to which his ‘number two’ could declare invalid the results in the 6 states that he needs to win and thus suspend the ratification of Biden’s victory.
At his rally on the Mall, Trump again insisted that the vice president could annul the election result. Pence, who is chairing the session, declined to do so, primarily because it is illegal. Next, 13 senators from the Republican Party questioned the results, in line with what Trump demanded. It was a decision that broke with the line adopted by the party itself, and which received harsh criticism from the head of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, who has been one of Trump’s greatest allies throughout his presidency. . McConnell called the movement initiative aimed at changing the outcome of an election, and carried out by the losers, and declared that the actions of his co-religionists, threaten to take our democracy into a death spiral.