US Congress session resumes, as Pence condemns Capitol assailants
Washington, Jan 6 (efe-epa).- United States Vice President Mike Pence condemned the violence that took place Wednesday on Capitol Hill when followers of President Donald Trump led a deadly insurrection to stop a congressional session, which resumed hours later.
Pence and the leader of the Republican majority in Congress, Mitch McConnell, gave speeches condemning the assault, which left one fatality, when the session resumed after being interrupted by the attack before the result of the November elections could be validated.
“To those who unleashed chaos on our Capitol today: You have not won. Violence never wins. Freedom always wins. And this is still the people’s house,” said Pence, who has ruled for four years as Trump’s right-hand man and has been one of his most loyal figures.
“We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms. We mourn the loss of life at this holy site, and the wounds suffered by those who defended our Capitol today,” he added.
The vice president returned to Congress to preside over the session to ratify the results of the elections, hours after challenging Trump. The president had asked him to arrogate a power that the constitution does not grant him and prevent the certification of what was voted by millions of Americans in key states.
Pence said the constitution did not allow him to do that, and shortly after the president’s supporters headed to Capitol Hill and forced their way into the building.
“Let’s get back to work,” Pence asked after the session resumed shortly after 20.00 (01.00 GMT Thursday).
Right after, McConnell, the most powerful Republican in Congress, said the Senate would not be “intimidated” and would fulfill “this very night” its task of validating the results of the elections, established in the country’s constitution.
“This failed insurrection only underscores how crucial the task that brings us together here is to our republic,” the Republican senator said.
“We will complete the process in the right way. We will follow our precedents, our laws and our Constitution to the letter, and we will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election,” Joe Biden added.
McConnell had opposed the attempt by dozens of Trump-allied lawmakers to raise objections to the result in several key states where Biden prevailed over the outgoing president.
The leader of the Democratic minority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, described as “domestic terrorists” those responsible for the assault and asked that they be prosecuted for their crimes “without any leniency.”
“This president deserves a great deal of the blame. This mob was largely a result of the actions of President Trump,” Schumer said.
“This will be a stain on our country, which will not be easily erased. The last (sample) of the terrible and indelible legacy of the 45th president of the United States, without a doubt the worst we have had,” he added.
Other important Republican figures also voiced their displeasure with Trump’s actions.
“This is how election results are contested in a banana republic, not in our democratic republic,” wrote George W. Bush (2001-2009), who was the last Republican president of the United States before Donald Trump.
The outgoing president had encouraged his followers since last weekend and urged them to participate in the protest.
“Be there, it will be wild!” He wrote on Twitter.
Even as protesters stormed Congress and disrupted the session, Trump continued to tweet to justify such actions.
“These are things and events that happen when a landslide electoral victory is so abruptly and vitiated from the great patriots who have been treated so unfairly and badly for so long. Go home and in peace remember this day forever! “Trump wrote in a tweet that was deleted and led to the temporary suspension of his account.