What did Trump supporters really expect
A chronology of the day : Angry Trump supporters penetrate the heart of US democracy
The scenes that take place in Washington on Wednesday are unbelievable. After tens of thousands of supporters of the elected President Donald Trump demonstrated early this morning against Congress officially confirming the election victory of Democrat Joe Biden, the situation escalated in the afternoon.
Hundreds of demonstrators break into the Capitol, where the two chambers of Congress meet at the same time. They make it to the doors of the room in which the MPs and senators are gathered, gain access to other rooms. The entire Capitol will be placed under lockdown. Reports indicate that tear gas is being used not only outside, where hundreds of people waving flags on the steps, but also inside. Glass doors burst, security forces draw their weapons. Apparently there are also shots, a person is said to be injured.
Vice President Mike Pence, who chaired the meeting, was brought out of the Capitol to safety, followed by most of the other top politicians. When it will continue is open.
Only one person is silent for a long time: Donald Trump. By 11 a.m., the Republican had really got his supporters in front of the White House going. At a rally scheduled at short notice, he again claimed that the election had been stolen from him. On Wednesday night, his defeat of November 3 was further cemented when it became apparent in the state of Georgia that the two Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff could win the two remaining Senate seats in their runoff elections.
Pence opposes Trump
Warnock's triumph was announced by US broadcasters that night, and Ossoff's victory was certain on Wednesday afternoon. After the House of Representatives in 2018, the Democrats will now also take over the Senate. Because the thus achieved tie vote (50 to 50) could turn the designated Vice President Kamala Harris with her vote in favor of the Democrats. This gives Joe Biden a better chance of pushing through ambitious bills and filling posts in his government.
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But Trump claimed on Wednesday that the Republicans were betrayed in this election too. He had previously urged his vice Pence not to award the victory to Biden. Otherwise it would do him a lot of harm, Trump had said. But the pence, who was actually so loyal to him, declared that he would not grant him this last wish. He just doesn't have the power to do it. The role of the Vice President in the traditional meeting is purely ceremonial. The constitution, Pence tries to explain, gives him no power to “unilaterally” decide “which votes should be counted and which should not”. Trump cannot change that either.
Trump incites his supporters
Instead, the president is fueling the anger of his supporters. On Wednesday you can hear time and time again in the streets that the Democrats stole their victory. They will not allow that, they say. "Stop the steal" is written on banners and T-shirts, it can be heard from thousands of throats.
Even during the Trump rally, the angry protesters move along the mall to the Capitol. Counter-protest is nowhere to be seen, which initially has a relaxing effect. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser had urged residents to avoid the center of the capital that day.
The joint meeting in the House of Representatives begins there at 1 p.m. What will be remembered above all is how visibly shocked the Republican majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, was at the messy situation in which the president brought not only his party but the entire country.
After a short time, the count is interrupted because some Republican MPs, with the support of senators - which is mandatory for this - question individual results in particularly competitive states. That starts with Arizona and was expected. The senators and deputies should discuss this separately and each for a maximum of two hours.
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It doesn't come to that anymore. When protesters break into the building, the meetings are ended and the politicians are evacuated - after being asked to have gas masks ready. Hours later, the security forces still failed to bring the situation under control.
Mayor Bowser imposes a curfew from 6 p.m. and calls on the National Guard for support. Why the security forces let themselves be taken by surprise will be one of the many questions that must be clarified in the coming days and weeks.
The protests had been announced that there would also be many violent right-wing extremists among the demonstrators, it was known. And yet they could penetrate into the heart of American democracy - and embarrass the United States to the core in front of the world. In front of the cameras, they climb up the facade, in front of which the construction work for the grandstand for Biden's inauguration has just been completed.
At some point, Trump must have seen enough of those crazy scenes on his televisions in the White House, which he retired to after his rally - despite promising his supporters to march with them to the Capitol.
In a first dry tweet at 2:43 p.m., he calls on them to remain peaceful and support the security forces. Because they are on their side. Half an hour later he tweeted again: "No violence". The Republicans are the party of "Law and Order". The rioting Trump fans in front of and in Congress, who previously roamed the streets with riot cries like "Fucking Antifa", could not refute this statement more clearly. But it takes time for Trump to show himself.
Joe Biden is faster and decidedly clearer. The President-elect calls on the demonstrators to end the "riot" immediately. "At this hour our democracy is being attacked in an unprecedented manner", says Biden and that he is "really shocked and sad" that our nation - so long beacon and hope for democracy - has arrived at such a dark moment ". But he also says the American people are better than this. "The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect the real America, do not represent who we are."
The unrest continued, and in the late afternoon a White House spokeswoman announced that Trump was sending the National Guard to Washington. It later emerges that it was Vice President Pence who ordered the National Guard to be deployed. At 4 p.m., all demonstrators are asked to vacate the area around the Capitol immediately. They take their time with it at first. But since most of them do not come directly from Washington, at least in the capital the situation could calm down during the night. The state of the nation, on the other hand, remains tense.
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