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UPDATED: Maine leaders respond to attack on U.S. Capitol

President-Elect Biden calls for peace; Trump statement claims election was stolen
By Stephen Betts | Jan 07, 2021
Photo by: Kenny Holston, The New York Times Troops are being sent to the D.C. Armory and will be deployed to the Capitol and to other points around Washington, an Army official said.

Washington, D.C. — More than 1,000 National Guard members were mobilized Wednesday, Jan. 6, as supporters of President Donald Trump engaged in a massive protest that escalated to a breach of the U.S. Capitol, according to reports from the Associated Press and other major national news outlets.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, who is from North Haven, said late Wednesday afternoon in a tweet that "I am very fortunate to be sheltering in a safe location on the hill."

"Office buildings in the Capitol complex have been evacuated. This unprecedented lawlessness was incited by our outgoing President because he is determined to undermine the peaceful transfer of power," the veteran Democratic Congresswoman said.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, also issued a statement concerning the attack on the Capitol building.

“The 2020 election is over. All challenges through recounts and appeals have been exhausted. At this point, further attempts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential election are contrary to the clearly expressed will of the American people and only serve to undermine Americans’ confidence in the already determined election results. The voters have spoken, and Congress must now fulfill its responsibility to certify the election results. In two weeks, we will begin working with our colleagues and the new Administration on bipartisan, common sense solutions to the enormous challenges facing our country. It is time to move forward.”

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, issued a statement shortly after 6 p.m.

"The lawlessness and violence on Capitol Hill today was a dangerous, shameful, and outrageous attack on our democracy. But this attack will not deter Congress from performing our constitutional duty. We will affirm the certified results of the presidential election," Collins said in a tweet.

U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) released the following statement:

“Today’s violent insurrection at the Capitol is an unspeakably sad moment for our nation – one I never thought I would see in our country. In the face of this unprecedented, despicable display, Congress will now reconvene and complete the people’s business, count the properly certified and authenticated electoral votes, and affirm the undeniable fact that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election fair and square. But the work to address today’s riots, and their threat to our democracy, has just begun.

“My colleagues who have remained silent during the past several months, or who have actively abetted the President’s unremitting campaign to delegitimize the election, must now speak the clear and honest facts: this election was fair, as has been confirmed by the President’s hand-picked Attorney General, the nation’s top election security agency, and Secretaries of State in each of our country’s 50 states and the District of Columbia. By continuing to sow disproven seeds of doubt, they are fanning the flames of division and hatred that engulfed our body today; to protect our nation’s democratic values, we must all fight to defend faith in our nation’s elections.

“President Trump cannot be verbally or silently enabled any longer by my good faith colleagues – whomever does not speak out is complicit. It is crystal clear that his current agenda is not to serve the nation in the slightest, but to serve and elevate himself. In doing so, he poisons the political debate and incites violence by continuing to repeat baseless accusations which undermine the elections that are the heart of our democratic system.

“Sadly, the tragic events of this day were entirely predictable. When people are fed a consistent and increasingly inflammatory diet of manifestly untrue statements and baseless conspiracy theories, it is no surprise that they would eventually turn to violence. The responsibility for what happened at the Capitol rests squarely on the shoulders of Donald Trump.

“As the Prophet Hosea said long ago, ‘they who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind,’ and that is exactly what happened today.

“The violent, anarchist criminals who defiled the Capitol Building and threatened both public officials and law enforcement officers need to be arrested, prosecuted, and held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. No person should feel empowered to engage in these violent acts without facing grave consequences.

“Today is one of the darkest days our democratic system has faced. Tomorrow, and every day after, must be better, because the freedoms enshrined by our founders are not self-perpetuating; their vision, and our Constitution requires each of us to put the long-term health of our nation above short-term political interests. If we are to ensure that government of the people, by the people, and for the people does not perish from the Earth, we need to protect it in word and deed. We must move forward together – not as warring factions, but as one nation.”

Congressman Jared Golden, D-Maine, issued a statement, saying, “I have been present on the Capitol grounds throughout the duration of today’s chaos, and I will remain here until Congress completes its duty to certify the results of the presidential election. My colleagues and I agree that we will do this tonight to demonstrate that today’s lawlessness will not stop us from fulfilling our oaths to uphold the Constitution.

“This is a sad day for our country. Donald Trump called for these rallies, and he helped incite them to riot with his speech today. While we should not be surprised by the president's actions — he has been signaling his intentions for months — he should be held accountable for today's violence. But regardless of whether or not Congress can agree to act to hold the president accountable, make no mistake: he will be removed from office on January 20, and Joe Biden will assume the presidency.

“Today’s events, while tragic, also present us with opportunities. The opportunity to stare into the ugly depths of what could lie ahead if we continue down this partisan and angry path. The opportunity to choose a different path and to recommit ourselves to our democracy, to our country, and to our fellow Americans. I hope that we choose to come together to seize these opportunities.

“What happened at the Capitol today should make clear to all Americans that our democracy is fragile and should not be taken for granted. We are a nation of laws that govern our daily lives, including how we organize our elections. But we are also a nation of free men and women who can choose to obey those laws or not. No laws can govern our peaceful existence and the safety of our democracy unless we also deliberately choose to preserve both ideals for ourselves and for future generations.”

One person was shot at the U.S. Capitol as supporters “stormed the building and violently clashed with police,” according to the Associated Press. That person has died.

“President-elect Joseph Biden said Trump supporters’ breach of the Capitol building was ‘an assault on the rule of law like few times we’ve ever seen it’ and called on President Trump to immediately denounce the mob that had overrun the building, vandalized offices and forced lawmakers to evacuate,” the New York Times reports.

“At this hour, our democracy’s under an unprecedented assault, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,” Biden said at a news conference in Delaware. “An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself.”

The President-elect demanded that Trump, who in recent days had encouraged his supporters to rally in Washington, “step up” and publicly “demand an end to this siege.”

Biden said the chaotic scenes “do not represent who we are,” calling the people who had wreaked havoc on the Capitol “a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness,” according to the New York Times report.

“It borders on sedition. And it must end, now,” he said.

Trump issued a statement saying he understood the frustration of the protesters, making reference to the election he claims was stolen from him. He said he loved the protesters and that they were special, but that they should go home peacefully.

He later said there would be an orderly transition of power, according to the New York Times.

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” he said in a statement.

The events unfolded as lawmakers had convened for a joint session to confirm the Electoral College results finding that Biden had won the election.

During the midst of the debate about about 2:15 p.m., Secret Service rushed Vice President Mike Pence out of the chamber, according to the New York Times. Senators and members of the House were locked inside the building for a time. The woman who was shot is reported to have suffered an injury to the neck and later died.

“This is what you’ve gotten, guys,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, yelled in the chaos was unfolding in the Senate chamber, addressing his colleagues who were leading the charge to press the President's false claims of a stolen election, The New York Times reported.

“This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection,” Romney said later.

After police and National Guard cleared the Capitol, Congress returned and in the early hours of the morning Thursday ratified Biden's win as 46th president of the United States.

The House rejected the objections raised to this action by 147 Republicans. A complete list can be viewed here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/01/07/us/elections/electoral-college-biden-objectors.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

Locals are responding. Elizabeth Dickerson, a former City Councilor and State Rep. sent out notice Thursday: "I will be holding an emergency online meeting tonight for folks who have questions about how to add our voices to a nationwide call for President Trump to be removed immediately as a result of his actions which incited yesterday's violence. I have written to Governor Mills asking her to join other governors calling for resignation or removal. People can contact me at lizzie.dickerson@gmail.com for more information."

James Cook of Midcoast Maine Indivisible responded, saying, "The use of brutality incited by one branch of government to damage and impede another branch of government is anti-American insurrection. We who believe in democracy must find peaceful ways to stand together against the violent ways of the worst president in history."

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Comments (11)
Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jan 08, 2021 10:42

Liz,

I believe that invoking the 25th Amendment and Impeachment are voted on by Congress.  Voters have nothing to do with it.



Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jan 08, 2021 10:39

I believe that there is not be enough to invoke the 25th amendment nor impeachment.



Posted by: Elizabeth Dickerson | Jan 07, 2021 20:11

Folks: a petition is started calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, or for the house to proceed immediately with articles of impeachment. The petition will be delivered to Maine's congressional delegation. I don't want to use online petition apps because they ask for money, so it's a Google Docs form. if anyone wants to sign, email me at lizzie.dickerson@gmail.com and I can send you an invite to sign. Thanks. Be in peace.



Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | Jan 07, 2021 11:21

I think somebody took a spin too many in a clothes dryer a couple of decades ago.



Posted by: Paul Rosen | Jan 07, 2021 09:57

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me    -  Martin Neimoller  (https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/martin-niemoeller-first-they-came-for-the-socialists)



Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jan 07, 2021 09:29

How very twisted your words are Mr. Carroll.



Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Jan 07, 2021 09:24

Our congressional leaders have spoken.  "go home, there's nothing to see here", " pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"  Hundreds of thousands of proud American citizens had nothing to do Wednesday and decided to travel to our Nation's Capitol for a big party.  If you truly believe this, then I have some swamp land in Frorida to sell.  No these people are angry and want their leaders to listen.  Instead the response they received:  Here's $600 now go home "sit down & shut up" we've got this handled.



Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jan 07, 2021 09:15

Trumps Twitter account has been suspended. America needs our prayers to heal from this awful event and move on to help our country find peace and help those in need.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jan 07, 2021 06:54

The Senate Chaplain said it well:    (9) Facebook

 



Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Jan 06, 2021 19:45

A sick person in need of help. He did not get into office legally Putin put him in.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jan 06, 2021 18:54

The president said in a new tweet, “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!”



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