Donald Trump was never going to go quietly, we knew that. But the lengths he will go to subvert American democracy seem to be becoming more and more worrying for the future of the nation.
After Georgia confirmed late last night that they were sending two Democrats to Congress – meaning that they will hold both chambers of Congress and the Presidency, Donald Trump urged his supporters to march on the nation’s Capitol to prevent Senators from certifying the result of the presidential election.
The Senate must certify election results in the United States with the vote set to be held today to certify the Electoral College victory for Biden that saw the incumbent Donald Trump defeated by 306-232. Yet proceedings had to be halted after protesters – clad with MAGA hats and unbridled rage at the democratic process going against their man – stormed the Capitol and forced Senators to flee.
Both Houses of Congress were suspended after the MAGA protesters broke through cordens outside of the US Capitol building, leading to fears that violence could erupt inside the heart of America’s democracy.
This comes just hours after Trump had attacked his own vice president on Twitter, after Mike Pence said that he did not have the power to unilaterally reject the democratic will of the people and overturn the certification of votes in a number of states that went against Trump.
In a letter to Congress, Pence said;
“The Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.”
Pence was unwilling to subvert American democracy at the wish of his boss, leading to Donald Trump’s Twitter outburst.
Throughout the day, Donald Trump has been holding a “Save America” rally, which has aimed to rile up his supporters to challenge the certification of a democratic outcome, highlighting his disdain for the will of the American people and his desperation to stay in office.
US media has reported that tear gas has been used inside the Capitol building, with a number of protesters successfully making it inside the Capitol, with many hundreds now on the steps of the building attempting to make their feelings about democracy known.
Mike Pence was evacuated from the building at around 2 pm, whilst the doors to the chambers of Congress have now been locked. A number of senior members of Congress have tweeted to say that they are safe, although still inside the building, including House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi.
A report from PBS News Hour has suggested that one person has been shot inside the Capitol building, although this is unconfirmed at this time.
The Washington DC Mayor, Muriel Bowser, has ordered a citywide curfew beginning at 1800 EST, around 11 pm UK time.
A number of Republicans, although not encouraging protesters to the extent of the President, have been assisting in efforts to prevent the certification of the legitimate election results.
A number of Republicans had been challenging the view that the results in Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania were legitimate, despite there being no evidence of fraud. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell condemned his colleagues and warned they could “damage our Republic forever”.
“If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral.”
“The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken,” he said, pointing out none of the allegations posed by lawmakers could change the result – Joe Biden’s victory.
“We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids.”
The election result is unlikely to be overturned, however, there are fears for the safety of members of Congress, as well as Capitol Hill staffers and police.
Emergency response police have since arrived at the Capitol as reports of an armed standoff between Capitol police and people being described as terrorists supporting the president attempt to intimidate representatives and subvert democracy.
Reports have been emerging that protesters are inside the Senate chamber, rummaging through the desks of elected representatives in an attempt to intimidate the democratically elected representatives of the United States.