Before the inauguration, claims of a ‘rigged’ election spur attack on the U.S. Capitol and a second impeachment
On Nov. 3, the United States anxiously waited as results rolled in for who might be the next President of the United States. Millions of votes were counted over the course of that week, but it wasn’t until Saturday, Nov. 7 that Joe Biden was announced as the 46th President, with 306 electoral college votes. The voter turnout for this election was higher than any election in over a century, despite the pandemic. Though there was much speculation, the members of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and The Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees released a statement saying that “The Nov. 3 election was the most secure in American history.”
U.S. Capitol riot
The great amount of controversy surrounding this election didn’t stop after Biden was elected. Many protests and riots have emerged, including the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. An event that will go down in history.
President Donald Trump did not acknowledge Biden’s victory as valid, claiming he had won in a “landslide.” After a rally held by Trump on Jan. 6, large crowds of Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. They pushed past police and breached the Capitol building. Members of Congress who were assembled to ceremonially count and certify the electoral votes were forced to evacuate. Mobs of people stormed through the Capitol, rioting and vandalizing as they went. During the riot, 4 died including 1 police officer, more than 100 were arrested, and over 50 police officers were injured.
Many officials condemned the violence of this riot, including Vice President Mike Pence.
“To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win,” said Pence. “Violence never wins. Freedom wins, and this is still the people’s house.” Statements like this one caused a lot of backlash from Trump supporters. Pence was even reported to have received death threats following his statement.
On Thursday, Jan. 7, Congress officially confirmed Joe Biden’s victory. Shortly after, Trump released a statement saying that “there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.” However, the next day he tweeted that “I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” This will make him the first president since Andrew Johnson to not attend his successor’s inauguration. In response, Biden said that he was totally okay with this.
“It’s a good thing, him not showing up,” said Biden. “He has exceeded even my worst notions about him. He has been an embarrassment to the country, embarrassed us around the world. Not worthy, not worthy to hold that office.”
To keep the Capitol secure for Inauguration Day, State officials sent 12 national guard troops and shut down Capitol grounds.
After the events of January 6th, the House voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday, Jan. 13 for committing “high crimes and misdemeanors”. The final vote was 232-197, all Democrats along with 10 Republicans. This will make him the first president to ever be impeached twice. If he is convicted by the Senate, Trump will lose his 200k lifetime pension, 1 million dollar yearly travel allowance, lifetime secret service detail, and the ability to run for office again.
The presidential election wasn’t the only important election that week. Voters were also choosing 35 members of the U.S. Senate and all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. These state elected officials make a big impact on how citizens live their day to day lives. For most states, these elections went as per usual, but this was not the case for Georgia. This year, Georgia went into a runoff election, held on Jan. 5. Two senators were elected, one regular and one to fill the seat of a retired senator. These spots were filled by Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, both democratic candidates. This runoff election turned the legislative branch of the government blue, meaning that now, all three branches are democratic.
During the weeks leading up to Nov. 3, Trump had made many claims that if he were to lose, then the election was rigged. After Biden gained the popular vote, Trump continued to tell his supporters that the election was rigged and unfair. This eventually led to his supporters storming the Capitol.
Many members of the Trump administration have resigned following the events of Jan. 6. This includes Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, who submitted her resignation on Thursday evening, Jan. 7, directly criticizing the president.
“We should be highlighting and celebrating your Administration’s many accomplishments on behalf of the American people,” said DeVos. “Instead we are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protesters overrunning the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people’s business. That behavior was unconscionable for our country. There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”
According to data taken by The Washington Post, “More than 200 Republicans have declined to take a stand on Joe Biden’s election as the 46th president as President Trump perpetuates falsehoods about widespread voter fraud and a rigged election.” Every Republican member in the House and the Senate were surveyed on who they believed won the election. 34 said that Biden won, 2 said that Trump won and 211 gave no answer.
Results in Minnesota
Minnesota continued its running streak, voting for the Democratic candidate for the 12th time in a row. Democratic Senator Tina Smith was re-elected, beating out Republican candidate Jason Lewis. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Minnesota’s eight seats are now divided, four and four between the two parties. In the Minnesota legislature, Democrats control the governorship and state House and Republicans control the state Senate.