Rampage on the Capitol – The New York Occasions
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Good Morning. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol. Members of Congress – having fled for security reasons – voted to confirm Biden’s victory.
Donald Trump attacked American democracy for much of his time as president.
He has repeatedly told lies about electoral fraud and undermined people’s confidence in elections. He opposed parts of the constitution. He has spent his final weeks in office pressuring other government officials to overturn the result of an election he lost. He has occasionally encouraged his followers to use violence.
Yesterday hundreds of these supporters decided to take Trump literally.
They fought their way through armed police, smashed windows and stormed the U.S. Capitol to prevent Congress from confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. They then spent several hours in the building, destroying offices and the floor of the house. They injured at least 14 police officers. Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress and others fled on security grounds.
In the end, the rioters – and Trump – will fail their efforts to keep him in power. At around 3:45 am, Congress confirmed Biden’s victory. In thirteen days he will take the oath of office and become President of the United States.
But a physical attack on the nation’s seat of government is no small matter. And it wasn’t a one-time event. It was a logical extension of the message Trump has long told his supporters – that American democracy is a fraud, that its opponents are traitors, and that its allies must fight back.
“We are seeing more and more citizens expressing their openness to violence,” political scientist Lee Drutman told me almost three months ago. “
Speaking to protesters at a rally hours before they broke into the Capitol, Trump called his political opponents “bad people” and “the enemy of the people”. He described his allies as “warriors” and encouraged them to “stop fighting like a boxer with their hands tied behind their backs”. He added: “We’re going to have to fight a lot harder.”
At the same rally, Rudy Giuliani said Trump’s opponents should go to jail, adding, “Let’s go to court by fighting.” And Donald Trump Jr., who reached out to Republicans in Congress who were planning to part ways with his father, said, “We’re going to pick you up and we’ll have a good time.”
After the violence, Trump himself wrote on social media: “These are the things and events that happen when a holy landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously withdrawn from great patriots who have been treated badly and unfairly for so long.”
Trump’s efforts fail in large part because a significant number of Republicans have refused to follow him. But many other senior Republicans have vindicated and encouraged him. Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and dozens of other members of Congress fueled voter anger by promoting Trump’s lies about the election. (Here is a list of the members of Congress who did this yesterday.) They joined in his attempts to undermine the American system of government.
“You got this, guys,” yelled Senator Mitt Romney, the Republican from Utah, when the rioters broke through the Capitol yesterday. He addressed his colleagues who supported Trump’s efforts to reverse the election results.
Shortly thereafter, uniformed police evacuated senators and reporters from the chamber to the basement before taking them through underground tunnels to a safe location in a Senate office building. There Romney saw Jonathan Martin, a reporter for the Times, and asked Jonathan to come over and talk. In 15 years reporting on him, Jonathan said he had never seen Romney so alarmed.
“That is what the President caused this uprising today,” said Romney with anger in his voice.
THE SCENE IN PHOTOS
How did the media in other countries report on the events?
“Trump supporters attack the heart of American democracy,” Correa de Manhã reported in Portugal. Italy’s La Repubblica wrote: “Trump supporters in the attack: weapons in the chamber, Congress in lockdown.” India’s Dainik Bhaskar: “Oldest democracy in crisis.” And France’s Le Figaro: “Conquering the Capitol: The day America Democracy broke. ”
OTHER GREAT STORIES
Jon Ossoff won his Senate campaign in Georgia and gave the Democrats control in both houses of Congress.
Biden plans to appoint Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general. The Republicans blocked the Garland Supreme Court nomination in 2016.
With more than 3,900 deaths and 255,000 new cases, it was the deadliest day of the pandemic in the US to date. (Late reporting from the vacation may have played a role.)
The federal government will roll out a program to deliver coronavirus vaccines to high-risk groups, including the elderly and frontline workers, in pharmacies this week.
A court in Lahore, Pakistan, has abolished virginity tests for women in cases of sexual assault. The practice is humiliating and suspects the victims, not the accused.
Animal Planet: Najin and Fatu are the last two northern white rhinos on earth. What will we lose when they die?
From the opinion: Ezra Klein’s debut pillar for The Times: “Trump has always been a wolf in wolf’s clothes.”
Lived life: Albert Roux and his brother Michel took fine dining to a new level with the opening of Le Gavroche in London in 1967. It was the first restaurant in the UK to be awarded one, two and then three Michelin stars. Albert Roux died at the age of 85.
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PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
Meatballs are the ultimate comfort food. Try this one, scented with cumin and coriander.
The Times annual feature – “52 Places to Go” – tried something different this year. Instead of reaching out to reporters and photographers, readers were asked to talk about their favorite places – near or far – and share photos. You can find it all here.
The nightly hosts got serious last night after what happened at the Capitol.
Now is the time to play
The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was easy. Today’s puzzle is up – or you can play online if you have a game subscription.