PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s supporters on Wednesday unleashed mayhem at the Capitol Hill as US legislators prepared to certify Joe Biden as president.
The violence happened after weeks of incitement by Trump who lost to Biden at the presidential election in November 2020.
The protesters engaged the US police in fisticuffs with a view to stopping Vice President Mike Pence and legislators from certifying Biden as president.
In the US tradition, the vice-president has the ceremonial responsibility to open the presidential election results’ envelopes and certify whoever won at the Electoral College stage.
The Electoral College met on December 14 to certify Biden as winner of the presidential election after he had won popular votes and battle states in November.
Weeks after losing the US presidential election to Biden, Trump has made unfounded claims about winning the election, inciting his band of supporters into rejecting the election result that did not favour him and encouraging them to fight for him. Trump has repeatedly claimed that he was rigged out by the Democratic Party even after Biden’s win was certified by the Electoral College in line with the US constitution.
He has also asked for recounts in several key states, including the hitherto Republican-dominated Georgia, but Republican election officials in the state have rejected Trump’s absurd claims.
Several courts have thrown out Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud, including the Supreme Court where he has some of his appointees.
Trump has called for violence since he lost the election. On Tuesday, one Will Chamberlain tweeted, “Republican confirmed Justice Barrett, which they had the clear, lawful right to do, and in response Chuck Schumer said ‘Everything is on the table now.’ If that’s the case, why shouldn’t Republican legislators go to the wall for the president.” In response, Trump replied, Get smart Republicans. Fight.”
Trump severally encouraged his supporters to demonstrate on January 6 in Washington DC— the day the joint House and Senate would certify Biden as president.
On January 1 this year, Trump had tweeted, “The Big Protest Rally in Washington D.C, will take place at 11.00 AM on January 6th. Locational details to follow. StopTheSteal.”
Trump supporters did not observe the curfew imposed at 6pm in Washington D.C.
Trump, in response to the protest, tweeted, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly& unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever.”
The outgoing US president also criticised his vice president for failing to do his bidding, which was to overturn the presidential election. Pence has no constitutional right to do so, according to experts.
“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution, giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth,” Trump further tweeted,
The 2020 US election has polarised the world’s biggest democracy as Trump refuses to accept the reality of his failure.