George Will: “The Trump-Hawley-Cruz insurrection against constitutional government will be an indelible stain on the nation. They, however, will not be so permanent. In 14 days, one of them will be removed from office by the constitutional processes he neither fathoms nor favors. It will take longer to scrub the other two from public life. Until that hygienic outcome is accomplished, from this day forward, everything they say or do or advocate should be disregarded as patent attempts to distract attention from the lurid fact of what they have become. Each will wear a scarlet ‘S’ as a seditionist.”
Former Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) sharply criticized Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Said Danforth: “Supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life. Yesterday was the physical culmination of the long attempt (by Hawley and others) to foment a lack of public confidence in our democratic system. It is very dangerous to America to continue pushing this idea that government doesn’t work and that voting was fraudulent.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned that President Trump’s legacy was undercut after rioters supportive of challenging the election results breached the Capitol on Wednesday, he added that he wasn’t supportive of “at this point” of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office, The Hill reports.
Said Graham: “If something else happens all options would be on the table.”
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“Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said he will fire Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Mike Stenger when Democrats take the majority later this month after the pro-Trump riots in the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon,” Politico reports.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called for President Trump to be immediately removed from office, saying the 25th amendment should be invoked.
Said Schumer: “If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”
Rudy Giuliani meant to call Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) this evening to ask him to object to 10 states’ electoral votes in order to buy the Trump campaign more time and “slow it down.”
But he accidentally left a voicemail on a different senator’s phone. The Dispatch has the audio.
From a Kansas City Star editorial:
“No one other than President Donald Trump himself is more responsible for Wednesday’s coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol than one Joshua David Hawley, the 41-year-old junior senator from Missouri, who put out a fundraising appeal while the siege was underway…”
“Among those Hawley got to emulate him was Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall, whose very first act as a member of the world’s greatest deliberative body was to sell out his country by attempting to overturn the outcome of a legitimate election.”
“Republican lawmakers are pressing the Trump loyalists in their party to abandon their objections to President-elect Joe Biden’s win as lawmakers huddle in an undisclosed location Wednesday afternoon to wait out the siege of the Capitol,” the Washington Post reports.
“The intervention from Republicans is focused on the GOP lawmakers who have been spearheading the electoral college challenges, including Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) issued a statement:
“We gather today due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning. What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States. Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. They will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history. That will be their legacy.”
New York Times: “The sergeant-at-arms, the top security official at the Capitol, announced that the building had been secured around 5:40 p.m., but it remained unclear when lawmakers would be able to return.”
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) blamed President Trump for the riots and violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, The Hill reports.
Said Sasse: “Today, the United States Capitol — the world’s greatest symbol of self-government — was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution.”
He added: “Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”
Senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers are discussing reconvening the joint session to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory later tonight in an attempt to show that Congress will not yield to rioters.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) told CBS News that a “quick-thinking” Senate aide seized copies of the Electoral College certificates before they were all evacuated the chamber.
John Podhoretz, writing for Commentary:
“Donald Trump unleashed a mob on Capitol Hill. What he has done is without precedent in American history. Even if he had seven minutes left in his presidency, he should not be permitted to spend another second as the President. Nancy Pelosi should call an emergency session of the House tonight and impeach the president, and Mitch McConnell should convene the Senate tomorrow and call a vote to remove Trump from the presidency.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) reportedly yelled at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), “This is what you’ve gotten,” as he was evacuated from the U.S. Senate, Vanity Fair reports.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) began Senate debate over Arizona’s 11 electoral votes with an emotional plea against rejecting the voters’ will, the Washington Post reports.
Said McConnell: “Nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale — the massive scale — that would have tipped the entire election. Nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break when the doubt itself was incited without any evidence.”
He added: “Voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken — they’ve all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever… our democracy would enter a death spiral.”
Jonathan Chait: “Biden’s majority will be historically narrow. He will not have the chance to pass the full agenda he campaigned on, let alone the agenda of his party’s progressive wing. But the difference between a one-vote majority and a one-vote minority is not trivial. It is everything. It is the difference between impotence and having a presidency.”
“The nature of reporters and commenters on cable news and social media is to overreact to whatever most recent development is playing out on their screen. In this case, we may be under-reacting.”