Tiffany joins over 150 Republicans in failed effort to block electoral votes from Arizona, Pennsylvania
Biden victory certified after pro-Trump mob storms Capitol
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) joined 152 other Republicans in an unprecedented effort to invalidate the Nov. 3, 2020 election results by objecting to the counting of the Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania when Congress met to count and certify the votes on Wednesday, Jan. 6.
While Congress was in the process of certifying the votes, a mob of supporters of President Donald J. Trump stormed the Capitol building, temporarily halting the process. The Capitol was secured hours later, and Congress was eventually able to officially certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Six people were dead in the aftermath of the riot, including two Capitol Police officers. Nearly 60 cases had been filed in local and federal court, with more charges expected to be filed.
The hours and days following the chaos saw social media platforms restrict or ban Trump, calls for his removal from office via the 25th Amendment, Articles of Impeachment introduced, and a slew of resignations from cabinet members and other officials.
Tiffany, other Republicans object to certification
Tiffany, who represents Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District, announced in a statement on Tuesday, Jan. 5 that he would object to the certification process, citing unfounded claims of voter fraud.
“While most Wisconsin clerks complied with the law and administered free and fair elections in November, officials in Dane County and Milwaukee County took active steps to undermine and circumvent those laws,” he stated. “By allowing hundreds of thousands of illegal votes to be cast and counted, these unscrupulous officials have disenfranchised the great majority of Wisconsin voters who followed the law.”
Tiffany provided no proof to support his claims.
Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wis.) was the only other member of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation who objected to the states’ electoral votes.
Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) had been among GOP members of Congress who said they would object to the certification of certain states’ electoral votes. Johnson reversed course on the issue twice in recent weeks, first saying in mid-December he would not object before joining other 10 other Senators and Senators-elect on Jan. 2 in saying that he would do so. Ultimately, Johnson did not object to the certification on Jan. 6.
The attempt to challenge the certification based on unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud failed by a considerable margin. The Senate rejected Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Tex.) and Rep. Paul Gosar’s (R-Ariz.) objection to Arizona’s electoral votes by a 93 to 7 margin, and the House of Representatives followed suit with a 303 to 121 vote.
A challenge to Pennsylvania’s results, brought by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), was rejected in the Senate by a 92 to 7 vote. The House also rejected the objection.
Even if either objection attempt had received a majority, the results of the election would not have changed.
Mob of Trump supporters storm Capitol
Biden’s victory over Trump was certified by Congress hours after a pro-Trump mob broke through metal barricades and police lines before storming the Capitol building.
Rioters broke through barricades on the east side of the Capitol and entered the building before making their way from the Rotunda toward the Senate and House chambers. The Senate temporarily halted its certification proceedings, and the doors of the House chambers were blocked with a temporary barricade while security officials aimed guns at the door.
Members of Congress were forced to take shelter and the building was put on lockdown as the rioters roamed the building.
About an hour later, the mob broke police lines on the west side of the Capitol and scaled walls to reach the building, where they smashed windows and forced doors open to enter.
Roughly two hours after the mob first entered the Capitol, a woman was shot by a United States Capitol Police officer while attempting to enter the Speaker’s Lobby just outside the House chambers. The woman, Ashli E. Babbitt, 35, of San Diego, Calif., later died, according to Capitol Police. Babbitt was an Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard veteran. According to her social media posts, Babbitt was a libertarian, supported President Trump, and was a follower of QAnon, described by the Anti-Defamation League as a “wide-reaching conspiracy theory popular among a range of right-wing extremists” that “follow[s] the anonymous Q, and believe[s] world governments are being controlled by a shadowy cabal of pedophiles (who will eventually be brought to justice by President Trump).”
Rioters were able to enter the Senate chambers and the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
The National Guard, with assistance from the Secret Service and FBI, eventually secured the building, and Congress resumed session six hours after the riot began to certify Biden’s 306 to 232 Electoral College vote victory over Trump.
As of press time on Monday, Jan. 11, at least 57 cases had been filed in local and federal court, relating to gun crimes, curfew violations, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, assaulting a federal law enforcement officer, and threatening Speaker Pelosi. Authorities said late last week additional cases were under seal, and dozens of people were being sought by federal agents in connection to the riot.
A release from the office of Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) said Army secretary Ryan D. McCarthy told Crow in a phone call on Sunday, Jan. 10 that at least 25 domestic terrorism cases had been opened. Long guns, Molotov cocktails, explosive devices and zipties were recovered by authorities, according to Crow, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, a 42-year-old military veteran, was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher during the riot and died after being taken off life support at an area hospital. A federal murder investigation into Sicknick’s death will be opened, according to prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood, 51, who responded to the Capitol riot, died by suicide on Saturday, Jan. 9. Former Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer described Liebengood’s death as a “line of duty casualty,” saying it did not differ from the death of Officer Sicknick.
A total of six people, including Babbitt, Sicknick, and Liebengood, were dead following the riot. Benjamin Phillips, 50, of Ringtown, Penn.; Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, Ala.; and Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Ga., died as a result of “medical emergencies.”
Trump at rally before riot: ‘We will never concede’
Hours before the mayhem started, Trump gave a speech to supporters at a “Save America” rally outside the White House, in which he falsely claimed he had won the election and said “we will never concede.”
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, at the same rally said the election results were “fraudulent” and called for a “trial by combat,” a method of early Northern European law in which two parties settle a dispute in a duel, with the winner being declared right.
Trump and Giuliani both later condemned the Capitol riot.
Tech companies, social media platforms restrict, ban Trump
Following the assault on the Capitol, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, in an unprecedented reprimand from social media platforms, temporarily locked Trump’s accounts after he had posted multiple messages in which he made baseless claims of election fraud and called the rioters “very special people.”
“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,” Trump said in a Tweet later removed by Twitter. “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
Trump also recorded a video message and posted it on Twitter.
“This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people,” he said. “We have to have peace. So go home, we love you, you’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You’ve seen the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel, but go home and go home in peace.”
Twitter later blocked users from engaging with the post and flagged it with a message that read, “This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence” before eventually removing the video.
Twitter, Instagram, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Apple, Snapchat, TikTok, Spotify, Pinterest, Twitch, Reddit and other companies in the days following the riot restricted or banned Trump’s accounts, as well as those associated with pro-Trump violence and conspiracies, like QAnon and #StoptheSteal.
Calls for invocation of 25th Amendment, impeachment
In the hours and days after the chaos at the Capitol, dozens of members of Congress, including Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows Pence and a majority of cabinet members to vote to remove Trump from office and install Pence as President for the remainder of Trump’s term.
As of press time, 208 House Democrats, one House Republican (Adam Kinzinger of Illinois) and 38 Democratic Senators had called for Trump to be removed from office through either the 25th Amendment or impeachment. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Reps. Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore were the members of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation who joined the calls.
On Monday, Jan. 11, Representatives David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) introduced an impeachment resolution that charged Trump with “incitement of insurrection.” As of Sunday evening, the resolution had more than 200 co-sponsors.
If impeached, Trump would be the first president to be impeached twice.
Slew of resignations follow riot
Numerous members from Trump’s cabinet, as well as various other officials and people connected to Trump, tendered their resignations in the aftermath of the chaos at the Capitol.
On Thursday, Jan. 7, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush and wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), announced her resignation, effective Monday, Jan. 11, in response to the riots at the Capitol. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was the second cabinet member to step down from their post.
Hope Hicks, President Trump’s press aide and senior advisor, announced that she would be leaving the White House this week, but stated her departure had already been planned before the Capitol riot.
At the request of Pelosi, House sergeant-at-arms Paul D. Irving, the chief law enforcement and protocol officer of the House, submitted his resignation on Thursday, Jan. 7. That same evening, McConnell announced that he had accepted the resignation Senate sergeant-at-arms Michael C. Stenger. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund also resigned on Thursday, Jan. 7.
As of press time, over a dozen administration and national security officials had resigned.
Trump promises peaceful transition; says he won’t attend inauguration
In a video posted on Twitter on Thursday, Jan. 7, Trump said his focus had turned to “ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power.” According to a New York Times report, Trump later privately expressed regret about releasing the video and said he would not resign.
The following day, Trump Tweeted that he would not attend Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. If Trump is absent from the ceremony, he will be the fourth president – after John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Johnson – and the first since 1869 to boycott their successor’s inauguration.