However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cautioned his colleagues against overturning the election results submitted by each state based on “mere allegation.” The senator from Kentucky went on to express that if the results were overturned, the repercussions would be detrimental:
Every four years would be a scramble for power. At any cost. The electoral college, which most of us on this side have been defending for years would cease to exist. Leaving many of our states with no real say at all in choosing the President. The effects would go even beyond the elections themselves. Self government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to the truth and a shared respect for the ground rules of our system.
Washington D.C. Had Prepared for Unrest
After listening to the speakers at the rally, participants marched toward the Capitol building, which is when things took a violent turn.
Not long after the joint session commenced, protestors outside the Capitol breached the police barrier intended to keep people away from the building and the representatives inside protected. Protestors associated with the Trump rally scaled the steps to the Capitol building, and clashed with police inside, prompting the police to lock the area down. Reporters with NPR and CNN say police fired tear gas at the oncoming protestors. Lawmakers inside the House had to be evacuated from the House floor.
The mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser, told NPR prior to the rally that every available police officer was on duty and that 300 members of the National Guard were also brought in in anticipation of the protests. Bowser later set a 6 pm curfew for the city after protestors breached the police barricades.
After multiple calls asking the President to condemn the actions of some of his supporters, Trump tweeted the following:
Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Many found this response from the President to be lackluster at best and complicit of the violence at worst.
Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear expressed his concern over the situation at the Capitol and called on Trump to explicitly condemn the actions of some of his supporters:
Peaceable transitions of power have marked our Republic since the beginning. It is part of honoring and submitting to God’s ordained leaders whether they were our choice or not. We need you, @POTUS to condemn this mob. Let’s move forward together. Praying for safety.
— J.D. Greear (@jdgreear) January 6, 2021
After about an hour, the President released a video in which he asked those pushing to get into the Capitol building to go home. The President said, “I know your pain; I know your hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us…you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order….We don’t want anyone hurt.”
Unfortunately, people did get hurt. The Washington D.C. police department confirmed that one citizen sustained a gunshot wound and remains in critical condition at a nearby hospital. Other injuries were sustained as well, including a police officer who was pepper sprayed.
The situation at the Capitol building had not been resolved by the publishing of this article.