UPDATE: (Dec. 7, 2020, 4:10 pm): Congress voted overnight to certify President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. After the Capitol was secured last night, elected officials gathered in the Capitol building and made it official. Despite the disaster that had erupted hours earlier, a number of senators — including Josh Hawley and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — still objected to the election results. But their objections meant little. The result was the same.
What’s not the same is the state of the Capitol. Windows were smashed, cabinets were broken. A bust of 12th President Zachary Taylor was stained with blood, per the New York Times. The office of the Senate Parliamentarian was ransacked, with papers strewn all over the office. And now, a bombshell report from the Associated Press reveals that the Capitol Police refused help offered by the Pentagon.
“Three days before the pro-President Donald Trump riot at the Capitol, the Pentagon asked the U.S. Capitol Police if it needed National Guard manpower. And as the mob descended on the building Wednesday, Justice Department leaders reached out to offer up FBI agents. The police turned them down both times, according to a defense official and two people familiar with the matter.
Capitol Police had planned for a free speech demonstration and didn’t need more help, those three told The Associated Press. The police weren’t expecting what actually happened — an insurrection. But the Capitol ended up being overrun, overwhelming a law enforcement agency sworn to protect the lawmakers inside.”
Five people died in the fracas yesterday. Additionally, at 5:44 pm today, CNN’s Kristin Wilson reported that a Capitol Police officer involved in the riot has died. At least 52 were arrested yesterday, and one of them had a sinister plan. NBC investigative reporter Scott McFarlane reports that the individual possessed several explosives:
In the wake of this dangerous and deadly act of terrorism — instigated by the President — many are calling on him to be removed from office. One of them is California Cong. Ted Lieu, who announced today that a total of 112 Congress members have co-sponsored the articles of impeachment he wrote, along with David Cicilline and Rep. Jamie Raskin. Another is Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger; another is current Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joined that call today. In remarks earlier this afternoon, she said: “In calling for this seditious act, the President has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and our people. I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the Vice President to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment. If the Vice President and Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment.”
UPDATE (Jan. 8): One of the insurrectionists — who had the audacity to enter Speaker Pelosi’s office and put his feet up on her desk — has been arrested. Richard Barnett, who identifies as a white nationalist, has been taken into custody, according to NBC reporter Pete Williams. Barnett has been arrested in Arkansas and charged with entering and remaining on restricting grounds, violent entry, and theft of public property.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are beginning to break away from the President. Even some Republicans are outraged. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) blamed the President for the riot and said Trump was “delighted” to watch the drama unfold. But Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was decidedly unamused. She urged the President to resign today. “I want him out,” she said.
UPDATE (Jan. 12, 2021): There is a new standoff occurring outside the Capitol. Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) is involved. Rep. Boebert set off the newly installed metal detectors outside the chamber doors. She refused to allow officers to check her bag and is now in a standoff with Capitol Police, according to reporter Ryan Nobles.
Boebert was eventually allowed into the chamber, Nobles said. It is unclear whether she did in fact agree to a search. But recent events indicate that Rep. Boebert may have set off the detectors with a firearm.
One of the newest members of Congress, Boebert kicked off the session with a controversial ad. Barely a day before the Capitol melee, Boebert released a viral digital ad proclaiming her right to carry a Glock on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and in the streets of Washington, D.C.
The Washington Post reported: “Boebert, the gun-toting owner of a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle, Colo., released the video Sunday amid efforts by some Democrats to ban members of Congress from carrying guns on the grounds of the Capitol. On Monday, those efforts appeared poised to fail.”
The Post quoted Boebert as saying she would continue to carry: “Even though I now work in one of the most liberal cities in America, I refused to give up my rights, especially my Second Amendment rights,” Boebert, who defeated Scott R. Tipton in the Republican primary, says in the ad. “I will carry my firearm in D.C. and in Congress.”
Meanwhile, there are other developments occurring in the nation’s capital. ABC News reported tonight that arrests related to the Capitol riot are climbing. CNN added that at least 20 people have been charged in federal court for their roles in the riot. And tonight, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) made a shocking announcement:
This is a developing story. Please stay tuned for more updates.