DC: All is Quiet: Today
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Jan 07, 2021
The U.S. Capitol and surrounding area is quiet this morning (Jan. 7); this coming after a late afternoon attack on the very fabric of the U.S. government, and supposed peaceful transfer of power in a presidency. The horrific attacks on congressional leaders yesterday disrupted the Electoral College. Four people have died, and 52 people have been arrested.
One woman, 35-year-old, Ashli Babbitt of San Diego was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer. The other three deaths were not a direct result of the chaos, but other personal health issues. At least 14 Capitol Police were injured and taken to a nearby hospital.
The unconscionable violent at the Capitol yesterday leaves security experts and law enforcement to wonder why security staffing was left at a minimum, especially since President Trump had called for an uprising a couple weeks before, and that very morning at a rally, called on protestors to take violence and mayhem to the U.S. Capitol where both houses of the Congress were conducting election business in preparation to the transfer of presidential power.
What happens next is anyone’s guess but security should be, better be, top of mind.
On Jan. 20, President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as president, and though Trump only a few hours ago stated that the transfer of power would be a peaceful event. As a best guess, security will be on high alert. Trump’s social media message was sent out via another person’s Twitter account because Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts belonging to Trump have been suspended.
Trump has used social media to incite MAGA supporters to rally in violent activities, including and especially last night’s takeover of the congressional building and surrounding area.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said he believes that Trump “intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.” As a result, Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts have been blocked for at least the next two weeks.
Apparently still on the defense, Trump has withdrawn the formal nomination of Chad Wolf as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Wolf called for Trump to denounce the violence that swamped the U.S. Capitol yesterday, saying, “I implore the President and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that place yesterday.” Apparently that didn’t sit well with Trump, who withdrew the nomination an hour after Wolf made his plea.
Comments and concerns over yesterday’s horrific events came from every quarter of the world. Leaders from other nations were horrified as events unfolded, and leaders from Russia, Iran and others decried the U.S. democracy.
Former president George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, stated they had been watching the mayhem unfolding, and commented, “…this is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic.”
The former president also said, “Insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation. In the United States of America, it is the fundamental responsibility of every patriotic citizen to support the rule of law. To those who are disappointed in the results of the election: Our country is more important than the politics of the moment.”
As Congress finished their work of validating each state’s election results, some lawmakers have called for implementation of the 25th Amendment, removing a president from office.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reached out to Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, and if he does not act, Congress should impeach the president.
What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president," Schumer said in a statement. "This president should not hold office one day longer. If the vice president and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) also have called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked, despite the fact that Trump has two weeks left in office. The congressman said he had been pondering the question of the 25th Amendment last night and when he woke up this morning, he said, “It’s with a heavy heart I am calling for the sake of our Democracy that the 25th Amendment be invoked.”
Kinzinger is an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who continue to serve in the Air Force. He lays blame for this insurrection at the foot of Trump, who has urged his supporters to march on the Capitol. He stated, “Here’s the truth. The president caused this. The president is unfit and the president is unwell. And the president now must relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily.
Section 4 of the 25th Amendment would allow Pence and a majority of cabinet members to vote Pence as president for the remaining two weeks. Some administration officials have begun this discussion.