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tv   The Presidential Election Congress Counts the Vote  CNN  January 6, 2021 9:00am-12:00pm PST

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the constitution doesn't give them the right to turn over the vote and expected to speak out forcefully against the effort and then republicans to join ted cruz to try to overturn arizona's results and same thing on the house side and then reconvene state by state ultimately going to the state of georgia and an objection by kelly loeffler that lost her race last night to object to the results in georgia. that will lead to the same situation and then as we go down the line pennsylvania's the next state where josh hawley plans to object. at the moment we are expecting those three states to be the ones objected to. conservatives jim jordan leading the effort in the house to get six republican senators to object to six states. they don't have the six senators yet so expect this to at the moment focus on those three states. that could take up to four hours each to deal with each of the
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state's objections and dispense with it and then move on and could be going on all the day and night and the ultimate outcome will not be affected. joe biden will be -- have the votes affirmed on the way to be sworn in january 20th. >> we should just remind people there is no credible evidence of any widespread voter fraud to change the course of the election. none whatsoever. this is all based on lies and conspiracy theory and the fact that president trump has decided to become the sorest loser in american history. let's go to phil mattingly now. >> reporter: jake, senate democrats, combination of gleeful and buoyant and watching the senate republican conference over the course of the last several days and pay attention to house senate democrats operate splitting into the chambers and start the debates.
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a senator said if they tear themselves apart we are more than happy to be spectators saying he thought it was going to look like republican on republican violence. to be sure democrats are ready to defend the states, the electors if they feel like it's necessary but given where things have been and given the rift within the party democrats want to see how republicans address republicans on this issue as another democratic senator told me. he said, quote, this is the first time i'm interested in hearing what mitch has to say so democrats prepared to fight back, to debate if they feel like it's necessary but also keenly aware of the dynamics playing out and on the policy side of things, the history side of things related to what goes on today and more than happy to let republicans battle it out on their own and another democratic
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senator said they're going to dictate how long it takes but joe biden will be inaugust -- i inaugurated january 20th. you would think maybe after the spectacle of losses in georgia because of divisions in the party and the republican party doubling down on conspiracy theories, smears, lies and attacking each other and think maybe cooler heads would prevail and how minority leader mccarthy would say, you know, obviously this is a bad call for us. but no. >> no. because they first have to take a trip with alice through the wonderland today. that's what we're going to be seeing because on the other side is what you said. it is going to be joe biden being certified as the next
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president of the united states. joe biden won. he won in all of the states that said formally that he will be the next president and that is what congress is going to do. but before that we are going to see republican after republican make objections including from -- this is one of the thing this is's going to boggle my mind, states in the house, they're going through arizona and pennsylvania and georgia. we know that. right? you will have somebody like andy biggs of arizona saying, no, mr. president, the election in arizona was false. it should be overturned and rejected. he's talking about his own election, too! saying with every one of these republican members from pennsylvania who will do the same thing and also from georgia. it just makes no sense. that gives you a sense of how
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illogical, hypocritical and st. louis -- this process is going to be. >> there's so many analogies. like the revenge of frankenstein. inmates running the asylum. this is a republican party that n nurtured and fed this creature that's about to eat them live. they have lost control over a base that doesn't trust them, doesn't want them to do the right thing, doesn't want them to follow the constitution and they can't do anything about it. we have already seen lawmakers like mitt romney and others accosted in public by trump supporters who want them to overturn the results of this election. there is a trump base who wants this to happen today. but they can't be reasoned with anymore and the republican party in washington, the people who know better, they don't have any control over those individuals anymore. that's the dilemma that they
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face as they go forward. how do you lead when you don't have the respect of your constituents? when you don't have the moral authority over your constituents? the answer is probably that you can't. that's why you see republicans who can't take the trump era anymore just having to leave washington, having to walk away from the party in order to do the right thing. and so this is a challenge not resolved today but it's -- i know that both of you talk to republicans all the time. it is not easy for many of them in their view going home to their districts their constituents believe the lies. their constituents want them to do things that they know are unconstitutional. they can't push back because they won't change the minds. it's already too late for that. the time for them to have done
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the right thing probably four or five years ago, maybe started with the birther conspiracy and continued onward but this is the consequence of living in a world created by donald trump that is full of lies and misinformation. >> that is not leadership, right? these are members of the congress elected to lead, not to follow whatever conspiracy theories their constituents have been fed and could believe that bigfoot and the loch ness monster why joe biden is elected but you don't have to sign on. wolf, how many members of the house and senate, how many republicans to show the world they're not serious people? how many will sign on to sedition? how many will sign on to this effort to undermine the will of the american people? >> too many and that's not, not good at all here in the united states. here with john king. the joint session at the top of the hour normally, normally we cover this over the years,
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ceremony, choose highlights, these are not normal times. >> this is supposed to be another one of the rituals laid out by the founders, a ritual to celebrate the peaceful transfer of pow er, re-election of a president. this is the firewall to stop the scorched earth attacks. we've been through the process already. the states meet. the electors vote in december. not normally supposed to be drama. those votes are then sent to d.c. boom, january 26th, they come in to session to count the votes. supposed to be a secelebration. spelled out clearly in federal law. when? the sixth day of january. 1:00. this is all done to show the strength of democracy every four
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years to reaffirm the strength of democracy but this time it is interesting. normally two senators, two members of the house from each other party are tellers. the clerks to move the process along. here's arizona, alabama, routine process. the tellers read the results in. each state. trump gets his votes. biden gets his votes. the vice president announces the final results. however we know as everyone was just discussing there are objections. it is within the process. you are supposed to have evidence to object. but you can object. this must be in writing and this will happen alphabetically. arizona. this is where it gums up did works. the math is done. joe biden will be president of the united states in under two weeks but when an objection is submitted if you have a house member, a senator, it is in
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writing and expect that to happen then it stops the joint session. they debate separately up to two hours. we know the house and the senate will reject these but it happens again and again and told to expect at least three, maybe more. gums up the works. the debate rules, speaks in the chain berhes. two hours for one, two, three states throughout the day and should be resolved in an hour or so. the vice president is in the chair which is great irony because president trump is asking the vice president break the rules, change the rules. fix this for me, mr. vice president. it is laid out. i won't read it. he's the chairman of the meeting. no real power here but to start it and end it and read the results. nowhere does it say you can decide to throw the results out and change them. doesn't exist but the president wants him to do that.
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a quick little piece of history. vice president pence was not the number one men on the ticket. vice president at the time, nixon against john kennedy. al gore against george bush. they were the sitting vice president. nixon said kennedy is your president. al gore said george w. bush is your president, america. vice president pence can think about history today. follow history and the grace of those gentlemen or his boss? >> that's coming up very soon. jake, i understand you have a special guest. >> i do, wolf. thank you so much. joining me is senator and former candidate amy klobuchar. senator klobuchar, we have not called the ossoff/perdue race yet but presuming ossoff
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continues to hold the lead, what would be the difference of you being in the minority or majority party? >> i hope you call it soon, jake. you will when you feel comfortable but he is going to win this thing and chuck schumer will be the leader of the senate and thank him and the incredible candidates ossoff and warnock and the work of stacey abrams and joe and ckamala in winning this election. they focused on the pandemic. the empty chairs at the table. people not getting the vaccine, people wanting individual help in the form of that $2,000 check and that is why we won and as abby was just pointing out you have a situation where you have got a donald trump, the sitting president attacking georgia republicans and the election system and the polls after the election have now showed that and the exit polls have showed
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that people didn't like that. i think that this is an incredible moment in time but i don't want to forget the positive message of our candidates and why they won. >> you're going to be one of the senators leading the two-hour debates on the states, the ones that republicans are disputing based on conspiracy theories and lies, leading the effort in the senate. what is your plan to counter the message, the lies from your republican colleagues who plan to object? >> we counter it with facts and we have -- in the senate it may be a little different. we have so many republicans joining us, joining our ranks of those fight against the coup and i think we have over 25 already and i look at this as a bipartisan effort to protect our democracy and to stop this
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crusade by two people, josh hawley and ted cruz, who seem to want to run for president in 2024 and don't seem to care if they're putting their own destinies in front of the destiny of the country and the democracy so this is that moment. we're countering with facts and 80 judges have turned down the frivolous lawsuits and trump-appointed judges and the governors and secretaries of state certified the results and this this is unprecedented for them to allege the widespread fraud when joe biden won by over 7 million votes and it is verified by who? attorney general barr, no widespread fraud. head of the division that covered this for trump's homeland security, safest election in the history of america. we have good facts. >> if democrats are in the majority which it looks like
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will happen should there be any consequences for these republicans who are part of -- it is not -- look. i didn't think it was appropriate when democrats did this in 2005 but it wasn't part of an overall campaign to undo the will of the people. should there be consequences? can you work with cruz or hawley or any of the others on any other issue? senator langford who i was surprised to see join this effort. >> i think the consequences are more about the colleagues in their own party and in our party because this is a pretty big deal what they're doing and while objections have been raised in the past, the last one rejected 74-1. everyone united against it. when i look at this i see a future for them that's going to be more difficult because of what they have done and i also see that our party is going to take the lead in working with joe and kamala in meeting the
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needs of the american people, getting the vaccines distributed, the economic help they need and building back better and getting the economy going. that is a number one focus instead of revenge. >> president trump is putting pressure on vice president pence who is president of the senate. he's bestowed upon pence magical powers that he doesn't have, no vice president has ever had. he is known to watch cable television sometimes, if he is watching right now, what do you say to him? >> he needs to go out in the way that every president has gone out and that is a peaceful transition of power. that is believing in the cause in john mccain's words larger than yourself which is america. the way that we are watching as
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someone called it the nine stages of grief or 15 stages of grief while americans are dying is not right and mike pence is the precider as john and wolf pointed out. that is his job and he can move the proceedings along and say objections are not real if not joined in by a senator but can't overturn the will of the people and why this day is not such a big deal but if anything with all the republicans joining us and i'm grateful they are in the senate, this should be a moment for the democracy. major stress test, the last one before and this will happen -- >> senator -- >> when joe biden is -- >> we have big news about a
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rather significant cabinet pick by president-elect biden. arlette? >> reporter: president-elect selected the joychoice for attoy general. the president-elect intends to nominate judge merrick garland to lead the department of justy coming as it appears democrats are closer to securing that senate majority and garland you will remember was also president obama's pick to serve on the supreme court just before he left office but republicans had blocked that nomination from even being considered in that election year. garland had been a top contender for the past few weeks for this position but there had been some concerns that there would be issues with the fact that he sits on the court of appeals for the district of washington, d.c. and that no, ma'minating him
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potentially create a vacancies that republicans would block if they're in the majority but as the races in georgia are clearer and getting a clearer picture of how that will pan out the president-elect decided to move forward in nominating judge garland as attorney general and expecting this announcement to come as soon as tomorrow. this is one of those top positions that had been outstanding in the cabinet as biden is looking to round out all of that cabinet before he takes office. jake? >> big news from the biden/harris transition team. i want to bring in dana bash to continue the interview with senator klobuchar on the senate judiciary committee. >> that's right. senator, this is the news, this is pretty big news. this was the last big nomination we're waiting for. what is your reaction to garland being the pick? >> i love merrick garland.
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i got to know him when he was denied the seat he should have had on the supreme court and many good friends of mine considered for this including doug jones, a leader i helped find another path to leadership as well as sally yates and others but merrick garland is someone that is well liked on the court. working with actually both judges from -- appointed by presidents of different parties, knows the law and to me one of the things that's really important to bring credibility back to the justice department and improve morale, get people to see it as a lawyer's job which it is. the job is the fidelity to the constitution and the law, not being the personal lawyer of the president. i think a judge gets that and i think that there are many colleagues despite what happened to him in the separate process that have showed respect to him in the past on both sides of the
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aisle and that will help him to see a smooth confirmation. >> i'll pass it over to abby phillips but really quickly i know it's a delicate question but not just yourself but there were other sitting members of congress who worked really hard for joe biden who are not members of the cabinet. your thoughts on that particularly with this attorney general news. your name was floated as a possibility. >> i think the answer is in georgia, in the winning senate races. we all know knew that the major focus for the country is making sure we had a strong senate that wouldn't keep blocking things and help to the american people, and our jobs, all of us, the ran for president or who are leaders in the senate couldn't be more important and actually exciting right now. i'm going to be the chair of the senate rules committee. it will give me the ability to
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work on issues related to elections where i was blocked before, anti-trust. things that i realitily care about so i think i speak for us senate and just so happy about this day and about the incredible people of georgia seeing through the voter suppression and the president's attempts to attack the state and our very democracy and they voted for goodness and they had compassion and they voted for competence and we are going to be able to get things done now. >> thank you so much. good to see you again. perha perhaps next time i'll congratulate you and call you madame chairwoman but you are not there yet. abby? >> i think senator klobuchar made an important point as we were discussing this last night. what does joe biden want the justice department to be in a joe biden administration. this pick seems to signal he wants it straight down the line.
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a judge who understands as senator klobuchar says the rule of law and restores almost a kind of stoic nature of this institution that is about as polar opposite from the trump era as you can get. president trump viewed the justice department many years as his personal law firm and -- >> give me my roy cohen. >> right. merrick garland is a respected attorney and chosed by barack obama for that supreme court seat because he was viewed as even handed, even moderate. >> totally. >> i think that's why joe biden looks at him for that position as jeff zeleny reported last night what a senate majority potentially does for joe biden is eliminate the anxiety about the court of appeals seat, any anxiety about the ability to fill, to back fill a very important federal court position
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so it makes quite a bit of sense. >> and we have to talk about the symbolism here. right? that merrick garland was the guy who was nominated by president obama and joe biden was obviously very much part of that administration and never got a hearing because mcconnell said we'll wait and then he never got to the supreme court. and the fact that he is now going to come for very different job just attorney general, not a lifetime appointment to the supreme court before the quite senate get a hearing and it's possible that mitch mcconnell will have not much to say about it. >> but disappointed progressives today. the idea that biden could pick anyone and went with a moderate democrat. let's go to anderson cooper. >> we have been listening and hearing from president trump who's been addressing a crowd of supporters in washington d.c.
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want to play some of what he said particularly about vice president pence and what he hopes pence's role will be today. >> i hope mike is going to do the right thing. i hope so. i hope so. because if mike pence does the right thing we win the election. all he has to do -- all -- this is from the number one or certainly one of the top constitutional lawyers in our country. he has the absolute right to do it. supposed to protect the country, support our country, support our constitution and protect our constitution. states want to revote. the states got defrauded. they were given false information. they voted on it. now they want to recertify. they want it back. all vice president pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify. and we become president and you
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are the happiest people. >> the president saying it boiling down to vice president mike pence. the advice coming from a top constitutional law expert in the country is probably not true. >> without a name. >> without a name. one of the best. one of my favorites. david, it's stunning that now -- how the worm has turned. vice president pence nothing but loyal just as jim sessions was loyal to this president, none of that matters now. now he will have his presidential ambitions thwarted because he is now taking the fall for this. >> yeah. gloria said yesterday that this whole thing is shakesperian. this is part of it. >> oh yeah. >> the loyal henchman served him in every way. >> not as well written. >> the juxtaposition of joe
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biden choosing merrick garland to serve as attorney general who is a paragon of integrity, a guy who's respected deeply in the legal community for his understanding of the law, the prudence with which he administers it with president essentially telling or trying to pressure the vice president of the united states to do something that's unconstitutional and hand him an election that he's lost, no state is asking to have their vote reconsidered. that is not true. he wants it reconsidered. he lost. he lost an election and in this country that means you pack and you leave on january 20th and he cannot tolerate that. i worry the people that take his word seriously and destructive and unfortunate. >> if you wonder what four years of loyalty to donald trump gets
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you just look at mike pence today. i actually looked up that quote we were talking about yesterday. mike pence talks about how we all stand upon the president's broad shoulders and big heart. this is what he had said for four years. >> i think you are being unfair. four years of loyalty can get you a pardon. >> that's right. but mike pence who's been a true loyalist in every sense of the word now the president is saying to him you have to defame the constitution for me. you have to go out there and undermine democracy for me. so i can get re-elected and by the way if you did that you say by the way that also re-elects me and maybe the president thinks in his own mind that's why mike pence would do it
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because he would get to stay in office for four more years. pence might today pay homage to the president in some way, shape or form, say some nice things about him. >> we also heard earlier today from the leader of the has beens and never weres that now the president surrounds him with is rudy giuliani and trial by combat. i don't know what that means. senator sanatorium, you expect vice president pence to do what today? >> vice president pence will preside over the proceeding and open the ballots and will recognize people who seek recognition to challenge them and that's what the vice president will do. he may make a remark or two. go back to nixon asking for a moment to be able to make a comment. it was probably one of the great moments for him in his career
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because clearly there was fraud in the 1960 election and he put the country ahead of that situation and made a speech seen as very statesman-like. i think the vice president will not give a similar speech and may say some nice things about donald trump but talking about the constitution duty. >> this is how it ends for him. what do you make of -- >> this is a great mike i moment for mike pence. >> no, no. for president trump. >> it is disappointing over the last two months. >> but not surprising? >> disappointing that the president has remained as focused as he has on this and the consequences have not been
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good for him and the long-term viability of the changes to the government because we lose two seats in georgia, pretty certain at this point and it's pretty clear that if you look at the georgia election from last night and you compare the to two months ago and the president two months ago said, i won by half a million votes, right? i won by half a million votes. the republicans did better two months ago than last night. every on the ballot. loeffler and the republicans generally in the senate. and no one is contesting this election as -- last night as being at all fraudulent. >> the president -- >> i don't hear any sub standtive claims of any irregularities of anyone in georgia about this election and yet two months ago when there were irregularities republicans
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did better than last night and it is hard to square that. if i sit in the congress right now and look at what happened in georgia and if i had any -- i know people feel that there was a lot of irregularities that went on and i believe in pennsylvania there were a lot. they weren't sufficient to overturn the election but irregularities. anyone who looks at what happened in georgia and sees those election results from last knight and sees how the state of georgia -- the state chairman in georgia. they had poll watchers. this is a well-watched election and certainly brad raffensperger and the governor would make sure everything was followed to a "t" and republicans did worse. it is hard to say that somehow or another georgia was stolen. if georgia wasn't stolen at 11,000 votes hard to say at 80,000 some votes pennsylvania was stolen. they had the wind taken out of the sails, whether that means
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they're going to act differently i don't know. but i think some of the rational and the zeal of what people thought happened last night georgia said maybe it didn't happen to the scale that was necessary to change an election. >> could it be that they're so cynical and that they were doing what they might do later because think think it will help them in the next election and perhaps today they think donald trump is less useful to them? >> yeah. >> than he was yesterday. >> i think that a lot of republicans are worried. i talked to a lot of house members, state in pennsylvania and other places. the big concern is trump is active and engaged and take on everybody that didn't stand with him. >> what donnie jr. and the other -- >> the president actually said that today at the speech.
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i wonder. if you watch the speech today, he is going to -- he said we'll primary the people that are weak republicans. sitting on a quarter billion dollars of money. that's a lot as a state or a congressional candidate. i think what you just said is part of the beauty of this country. what i hate about what's going on right now is that the ugliness from the president is overshadowing a lot of beautiful stuff. that was a courageous balls and strike comment you just made and a bunch of pooh 'em that work for democracy and the system is working. the reality is this president blew it. we have a pandemic that's completely out of control, an economy where people don't get the help they need and then the system is supposed to respond. people give a different team a chance. that's what happened. that is democracy. that's our system. you don't have to pretend that
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the vice president of the united states is suddenly the most powerful human being in the history of the world. you have to have the vice president say you get to be president. that is a complete fantasy and a complete lie if you don't like what's happening right now organize. the that's the lesson of the day. >> the reason -- i have talked to a lot of really good people on our side and everyone understands the president and his dynamic but they're so afraid of what the other side is going to do. there is so much fear from our folks about what the left is -- the -- >> what merrick garland is going to do? >> concerns me that we have to break the law to stop the bad guys from breaking the law. no! you don't do bad things to stop bad things. you do good things to stop bad
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we're back with our special coverage. less than 20 minutes congress is about to count and announce the electoral vote with trump loyalists planning to challenge the will of the american people. manu, set the scene for us. >> reporter: we expect at least three states to be objected to by house and senate republicans. it is uncertain if there's more than three states. it is a doomed effort to try to overturn the will of the voters, an unprecedented action that republicans and democrats overwhelmingly oppose but there are a small number of house members and senate republicans who plan to try to object to three arizona, pennsylvania and georgia. i have been speaking to republican senators this morning and not clear if any will try to object to more states. house conservatives trying to
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extend the debate to six states. and try to prolong this typical ceremonial event into the wee hours of the morning. increasingly we are seeing a divide play out among top republicans. two senior republicans just came out opposed to the effort by the president and the allies. someone todd young saying this is not the way to go and tom ti tillis and seeing some republicans side with the president including steve scalise and expect this division to play out through the course of the day today, ultimately a foolish attempt to overturn the vote. >> joe biden will be sworn in as the next president of the united states. stand by. phil mattingly is up on capitol
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hill. >> reporter: manu laid out the objections and will result in debate but i'm told pay attention to house republicans to raise the issues that president trump is raising and these are fringe issues, no baring on what's going to happen today but doesn't mean they won't be brought up as all, the possibility of competing slates of electors or mike pence with an option to reject electors or force adjournments so an election commission is put in place and keep an eye on those being possible, the type of thing that president trump tweeted about and the type of things people in his peripheral have said is possible. it is not possible. there are a specific set of guidelines that must be followed on this day. there are parliamentarians who met with mike pence and he knows
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what he can and can't do. those objections may lead to brief chaos and go nowhere. they might impress the president but will fail. >> thanks very much, phil. brian todd is watching the protesters here in washington d.c. brian? >> reporter: lots of energy on the east front of the capitol and the crowd is building and we know it will grow significantly in the next couple as people where the president has spoken come up here and thousands of people down there near the white house, many make the way up constitution avenue to where we are right here. hundreds of people have been here for hours. a motorcade came here and people chanting wi want trump, fight for trump. some people are speaking from
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mega phones up here on this rise and we talked a couple of organizers, one told me that people feel that they haven't had the day in court and want to come here and start to chant for congress to as they say do the job and to desert if i the results and a lot know that can't happen but want their voices heard and a orlg nizn or said if the president keeps fighting they'll keep fighting. you get the impression that a lot of people want to keep the fight up for a couple of weeks to the inauguration. security is a major concern here. the capitol hill police are over there. we saw police walk through here just to show the presence here. law enforcement authorities are
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wary of firearms, warning people you will be arrested if you carry firearms in the open and concerned about that and ten arrests made overnight. so they are concerned about that, wolf, as people make the way here and keep a close eye on people baring firearms in public. officials, a huge security contention. police say they'll surge personal into areas of trouble. wolf. >> brian, thank you very much. so sad that the mayor of washington, d.c. had no choice but to ask to mobilize the national guard, the d.c. national guard here in the nation's capital. >> that's right.
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>> let's bring in two guests. we'll all ask you questions. alan, let's start with you. the obvious question, is there anything that vice president pence as the president of the senate can do to stop president-elect biden's electoral count recognition, the official counting in congress today? >> there is absolutely nothing of which i'm aware in the constitution and the relevant statutes, in the precedence of the senate and house in common sense that gives the vice president any ability whatsoever leg legitimately to halt, stop or delay the proceedings.
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>> and norm, you were the white house ethics czar among other jobs. one thing we have seen repeatedly with this effort, stop the steal, the lies and conspiracy theories pushed by president trump, pushed by senators and members of the house, people are getting money of it, a lot of fund raising with it. president trump's sending out dozens and dozens of texts and emails raising money that i believe he does not have to spend most of it at all on any legal challenges at all. is there anything illegal about any of it? >> well, he's allowed to raise the money. it's terribly wrong. it's unethical. it's a betrayal of his duty to the country. the illegal part comes when he
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demands his vice president to do unlawful acts like decertify. there's nothing under the law as that. the call to georgia was illegal and we'll see. we don't know all the details of the hundreds of millions of dollars yet. where trump goes ill legality follows. today it looks like the congress is going to definitively reject that. >> it's dana bash. you have been through your share of these events, these constitutionally mandated events that happen on this day at this time every four years. have you ever even just privately had members of congress come to you and ask, we have seen objections but ask if something this frankly ridiculous is possible?
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have you had conversations that come even close to what we will see them attempt, the show of today? >> well -- >> i'm not sure that's addressed to me or to norm. >> alan furman. >> go ahead, norm. oh. the short answer is no. >> the short answer to you is no. >> i'll take the question and as i said, is no. conclusively no. >> and norm? you haven't been a parliamentarian per se but you have been involved in conversations of how to work through a possibility politically. >> when i was counsel for the house in the impeachment and the impeachment trial we constantly worked through these issues, including spending two weeks on the floor of the senate with the parliamentarians and my
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conversations then and since what's going to happen today by these few rogue members of the senate and unfortunately a larger group of the minority in the house is repugnant to the rules, to their fellow senators and house members and rul hear from the parliamentarian today and alan knows that parliamentary staff well. if there is any effort to color outside the lines that it is a violation of the rules, hopefully the vice president is the presiding officer will go along with that. >> and, alan, to that point, this is abby fiphillip, that's something that there seems to be an openness to from the vice president in terms of at least voicing some kind of concurrence with the idea that he supports
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dissenting the electoral votes counted from certain states. is there room in the process for the vice president to say in his ceremonial position that he supports the fact that the votes aren't counted even though he will have to count them? >> if there's room in the process, i've never seen it. i i have a bunch of papers, the constitutional, the statutory language and looked all over for something to authorize the vice president to speak and express an opinion and it is like trying to find waldo. it ain't there. >> appreciate it. wolf? >> i want to go to arlette saenz. what are you hearing about vice president-elect kamala harris and her role? what is she planning on doing?
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>> reporter: vice president-elect kamala harris will be up on capitol hill for that joint session of congress as they are heading in to counting and certifying the votes and i'm told that the senator and vice president-elect will be voting in today's proceedings and not planning to speak as they enter the debate periods as senators are expected to raise some objections to this. she will be there in her capacity as a u.s. senator which she will be doing for two weeks until she resigns and becomes vice president-elect and as one harris senate aide putt it they said that the american people did their job and harris will be doing her job looking ahead to voting in these proceedings that real really should be a formality. wolf? >> thank you very much. i'm here with john king watching
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what's happening. this is a joint session of the house and senate and live pictures. senators will be walking over to the house of congress. >> it is supposed to be a celebration, an affirmation of the strength of the democracy. they come for a day like this, for the state of the union. they're supposed to be celebrations of the american democracy and what makes america exceptional today is a display of a firewall. they're trying to say this this didn't happen. the map. this election did not happen. the election happened. they will object. they bring in the state electorals and try to put them on the record. you can object. but they have no basis and only object if you have a basis. arizona will come up first.
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because they go through beginning in "a." they went to court in arizona. it was close. a big deal for republicans to lose that state but trump lost. they had a chance to appeal, they went to court and didn't succeed because they had no evidence and then georgia at least and then pennsylvania and you see the senators on the floor here. this is the beginning of the sb biden administration and the democrats will watch thinking that this civil war, do you stand with president trump or say try to push him to the side line? this is going to be fascinating and divisive on a day that's supposed to be a celebration. >> what president trump is doing since the election, certainly, did not help the fellow republicans in georgia. >> no. if you want to -- so the president says he was robbed.
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then two senate elections in a state more than a generation solidly republican. republican governor and all the statewide positions of consequence are republicans and now will likely have two democratic senators. >> we are seeing the vice president mike pence, also the president of the u.s. senate. jim acosta is joining us right now. >> reporter: vice president pence is in a difficult position under pressure from the president. he's just released a statement talking about essentially what he plans to do, how he plans to preside over today's ceremonial counting of the votes and what he is saying in this statement, i can read it to you, basically he is not going to do the president's bidding and overturn the election results or attempt to.
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something that he cannot do. i can read some of this to you. dear colleague, today for the 59th time congress will convene to count the electoral votes for president of the united states. it will be my duty as vice president and as president of the senate to serve as the presiding officer. he goes on here in the stanlt to essentially acknowledge some of the president's misgivings and says after an election with allegations of voter irregularities and officials setting aside state election law, i share the concerns of millions of americans about the integrity of this election and said -- there's some other context here i think i can go past -- given the controversy surrounding the election some approach this year's tradition with great expectations, others with disdain. some believe i should be able to reject or accept votes uri
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unilaterally. after a study i believe neither view is correct. he goz on sa i the president is the chief of expectative officer of the federal government with immense power to impact the american people. the presidency belongs to the american people and to them alone. when disputes arise under fralg law they review the evidence and resolve through a democratic process. our founders were skeptical of power. he goes on to say vesting the vice president with authority to decide presidential contests would be entirely ant thet call to that design and then in the statement saying that the vice president does not have the
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unilateral authority and would be entirely antithetical to the constitution and the role of vice president in these procedures. the vice president is now throwing cold water as these proceedings are about to begin on the president's demands that he toss out the results or attempt to toss out the results of the november 3rd election. this is a historic moment. the president put the vice president in a vice. attempting to pressure the vice president into operating outside the constitution and tossing out the will of the american people and the vice president is telling the president he is not going to do the bidding, not going to defy the constitution and the will of the american voter, will. >> very significant statement by the vice president of the united states. he is about to be introduced, the speaker is there. this is a joint session of the house and the senate. they will receive the electoral
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college results, they got the boxes over there. let's listen. >> madame speaker, the vice president and the united states senate. [ applause ] >> all right. so there you have it. the senators led by the vice president of the united states in his role under the constitution, also the president of the senate if there's a tie. the vice president as the president of the senate breaks that tie. we are watching them walk in. john, this is a significant moment in the vice president's history right now because he is clearly deviating dramatically from what the president himself said in the past hour. >> right. the vice president essentially
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saying, sorry, mr. president, i have to follow the constitution and he understands now he is at war with his boss. donald trump holds grudges. we know that. mike pence with political ambitions of his owner knows now that his boss the president of the united states will oppose him. >> there you see the vice president and nancy pelosi leading this joint session, a hiss toric moment, indeed. we have seen the moments before. usually a nice photo opportunity but today as we have poirntded out it is not a normal day. >> the toxicity, the conspiracy that is the trump presidency sometimes obscures. next time to see a joint session it is the female speaker of the house and the female vice president of the united states. a woman of color as vice president of the united states. this should be a historic moment. the republicans are mad.
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but what should be a celebration of democracy is a toxic political environment because the president moments from the white house and the capitol out saying he won the election and did not. joe biden won the election fair and square and should be a celebration. it's a controversy. not an easy decision for the vice president to so publicly and dramatically tell the president of the united states you are wrong. i have to do what the constitution wants. we are seeing the leaders of the house and the senate. see chuck schumer, assuming the second senate seat goes in the democratic way, schumer will be the majority leader and michl mcconnell the minority leader. >> this is a bag change. it is a narrowest possible democratic majority. what a different world. you mentioned the georgia race. there are about 60,000 plus outstanding, more than 50,000
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come from counties that voted by a decent margin or bigger margin. ossoff's lead will grow. that is a backdrop for this. the republicans stand up and object to math. object to democracy. object to what the constitution of the united states says today. they have to know that just yesterday in georgia again a state that's been red for a jeri generation said no. so the republicans have to know that. that's why you see the divide. instead of a celebration of american democracy, sure, the republicans lost, have hard feelings but this is supposed to be a day to celebrate and republicans have to be looking over the shoulders. this is a side choosing day. do you stay with trump or decide that chapter is over and willing to break from him. >> we see those ma nothihogany .
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biden won the election and the national popular vote by more than 7 million votes. hold on a second. >> for this important historic meeting. let us remind that each side, house and senate, democrats and republicans, each have 11 members allowed to be present on the floor, others may be in the gallery. this is at the guidance of the officiating attending physician and the sergeants at arm. the gentleman on the republican side of the aisle will please observe the social distancing and agree to what we have 11 meshes on each side. so that we can -- responsibilities to this chamber, to this responsibility and to this house of
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representatives. please exit the floor if you do not have an assigned role from your leadership. you can share with your staff if you want a few more but you cannot be that together on the floor of the house. with that many people in here. i thank the senate and the democrat -- by the rule. let's go. let's just start. okay. >> madame speaker -- >> mr. vice president -- mr. vice president -- >> madame speaker, members of congress, pursuant to the constitution and the laws of the united states, the senate and house of representatives are meeting in joint session to verify the certificates and
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count the votes of the electors of the state for president and vice president of the united states. after ascertain is had that the certificates are correct in form, the tellers will count and make a list of the votes cast by the electors of the several states. the tellers on the part of the two houses have taken their places at the clerk's desk. without objection the tellers will dispense with the reading of the formal portions of the certificates, after ascertaining they're regular in form and awe therntdic the tellers will announce the votes cast for the electors beginning with alabama. which the parliamentarians advise me is only certificate of that state and that as annexed to it a certificate of that state to appoint or ascertain i
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leng electors. >> mr. vice president -- >> for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? >> point of order, mr. vice president, in order to follow with the speaker's instructions limited number of people be on the floor, how would one make an objection or a parliamentary inquiry in the future not on the floor but in the gallery? >> title 3 of the united states code debate is not per mitted in the joint session. >> the parliamentary -- >> gentleman's recognized. >> i'm not trying to debate but find out how a parliamentary inquiry or point of order is made with the speaker's request that most of us not be on the
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floor. >> respectfully -- >> yes, sir. >> the gentleman's inquiry kons tutds debate which is not per mitted under the united states code. with that, mr. blount. >> mr. president - - >> mr. president? >> the house is not in order. >> do you think that is on? >> it is not on. >> try it one more time.
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>> is it working? >> they think it is. >> all right. okay . >> are you ready? >> let's get order. >> they think it's working so try again. >> mr. president? >> order in the chamber. >> mr. president -- the certificate seems to be regular in form and authentic and appears that donald trump received nine votes for president and michael r. pence of the state of indiana received nine votes for vice president. >> are there any objections to
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counting the certificate of vote of the state of alabama that the teller verified appears to be regular in form and authentic? hearing none. this certificate from alaska, the parliamentarian's advised me is only certificate of vote from that state that purports to be a return from the state and that has annexed to it a certificate from an authority of the state purporting to appoint and ascertain electors. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of alaska seems to be regular in form and authentic. and it appears there from that donald j. trump of the state of florida received three votes for president and michael r. pence of indiana received three votes for vice president. >> are there any objections to counting the certificate of vote
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of the state of alaska that the teller has verified appears to be regular in form and authentic? hearing none. this certificate from arizona, the parliamentarian's advised me is only certificate of vote from that state that purports to be a return from the state and that has annexed to it a certificate from an authority of the state purporting to appoint or ascertain electors. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of arizona seems to be regular in form and authentic. and it appears there from that joseph r. biden jr. of the state
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of delaware received 11 votes for vice president and kamala d. harris of the state of california received 11 votes for vice president. >> are there any objections to counting the certificate of vote of the state of arizona that the teller has verified appears to be regular in form and authentic? >> mr. vice president, i from arizona -- >> for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> i rise for myself and 60 colleagues to object to the counting of the electoral ballots from arizona. >> is the objection in writing and signed by a senator? >> yes, it is. >> it is. [ applause ]
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>> an objection presented in writing and signed by both a representative and a senator complies with the law. chapter 1 of title 3 of the united states code. the clerk will report the objection. >> action to counting the electoral votes of the state of arizona, we a member of the house of representatives and a united states senator object to the counting of the electoral votes of the state of arizona on the grounds that they were not under all of the known
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circumstances regularly given. >> are there further objections to the certificates from the state of arizona? the chair hears none. the two houses will withdraw from joint session. each house will deliberate separately on the pending objection and report its decision back to the joint session. the senate will now retire to its chamber. >> all right. so you have it. the first objection they're going to be separated now. the senators go back to the floor of the u.s. senate and debate for two hours. they ve they'll have a limited amount of speaking chances. walk us through quickly what will happen over two hours. >> the joint session has broken
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up. the senate goes to the chamber. the house stays in the house chamber. they have two hours in the process. you saw what happened. normally this plays out quickly. the count to process is they report the votes gorks to the vice president and if no controversy it moves along quickly. with objections in writing signed by a senator in writing meets the test. so now they go off into the separate chambers and debate up to two hours. they can speak up to five minutes if they like and then the chair calls for a vote. they vote and then they come back and report it to the joint session. the senate will reject this and the house will reject this but it is an opportunity to gum up the process to make the objection in this case to arizona because they do the states in alphabetical order. they allege the irregularities and fraud in the state of
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arizona. the president's team tried, supporters tried and they lost. but we know at the end of the day joe biden will win the vote. the election will be certified. but this is allowed. they go off for two hours and debate arizona and come back and then rejected by the house and the senate and see what the vote totals are and rejected by both and go back through the order and when they get to the "gs" an objection of georgia and then in "ps" an objection about pennsylvania. they try to divide if they have support to do more than that. we'll go through this at least three times today. arizona first. this is supposed to be an affirmation of the election but now two hours of debate in'm chamber. >> this is a highly unusual. this debate two hours in the senate, two hours in the house.
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they will fail but clearly sin play trying to score some political points with the president's supporters. >> we should note that this is not unprecedented. members of the house and a democratic senator did this in 2005 to protest what they saw as inspector general regularities in ohio but the context is quite different. back then the losing candidate democratic senator john kerry distanced himself from the process and distanced himself from the objection. what we have here is this comes in the context of a two-month-long process of president trump and allies to actually try to undermine the results of the election and stage what is essentially a bloodless coup. i want to bring back alan fuhrman.
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what would have to happen for this to work? >> in order for this to work both houses have to affirmatively vote to sustain this objection. so each house will consider this for up to two hours. at the end of that the presiding officer of the two respectedive bodies will putt the question, shall the objection submitted by the gentleman from so and so and the senator from so and so, shall that objection be sustained. if neither -- well, the objectors need to have both houses agree with the objection. we think that that's unlikely. thank you may get the senate to agree but i doubt it and very much doubt they get the house to agree. after dthe two hours, the senat rirns to the joint session. the secretary of the senate will make an announcement with respect to the vote that the senate took announcing that the
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senate voted no on the objection and then the clerk of the house likely make that is pronouncement and the vice president will announce that neither house having sustained the objection, the objection is not sustained and at that point i would certainly hope they move on to the next state. >> yeah. it is not going to happen. the house of representatives is controlled by democrats. and they would never vote to uphold this objection and the u.s. senate is controlled by republicans, dana, but even though it is controlled by republicans most of the republicans in the u.s. senate including and especially the senate majority leader mcconnell opposes this farce. >> that's right and why the reporting from the colleagues on capitol hill is likely to hear from mcconnell first when it comes to the republican side to i'm sure not as blunt as you were but the message is expected to be as clear which is this is
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not what we do. this is not appropriate. it is done. let's move on. the debate will continue longer than that but this is probably one of the first things to hear coming to the debate from republicans in the united states senate and the house will have a debate on their own at the same time. one thing we heard was an open mic situation and really telling when the vice president was standing there, awaiting to go on and heard him ask an aide did my statement go out and we heard yes, sir. the statement we all got before this began going through the reasons why he doesn't believe that he can interfere. he put this out because he doesn't as alan said have an opportunity to say that up there. he is speaking largely to his boss and the president of the united states and made sure before it started that this got out and explained why
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constitutionally he cannot interfere. >> he is speaking obviously or signaling to president trump but notably president trump isn't mentioned at all and i did note at the end pence says four years ago i took an oath to support and defend the constitution which ended with the words so help me god. that would be a completely unremarkable statement under normal circumstances. let's actually listen to speaker pelosi. >> concurrent resolution 1 of title 3 -- of the u.s. -- united states code, when the two houses withdraw from the joint session to count the electoral vote for separate consideration a representative may speak to the objection for five minutes and not more than once. debate shall not exceed two
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hours and the chair will put in the question, shall the objection be agreed to. the clerk will report the objection made in the joint session. >> objection to counting the electoral votes of the state of arizona. we a member of the house of representatives and a united states senator object to the counting of the votes of state of arizona on the ground that they were not under all of the known circumstances regularly given. signed representative of arizona, senator ted cruz of texas. >> thank you. the chair will endeavor to alternate recognition of members seeking surp port of the objection and members seeking opposition to the objection. the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana mr. scalise for five minutes. >> thank you, madame speaker. i rise today to object to a number of states that did not
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folt low the constitutional requirement. this is something that is clear that our founding fathers debated about as a fund. al decision of how we choose our president. there was a lot of back and forth. if anyone reads the founding documents of oush country about the different versions they went through to come up with a process with elections, each state has a process for selecting their electors and sending them to washington and in a number of states that constitutional process was not followed. that's why we are here to object. if you look at what the requirement says, nowhere in article ii section 1 does it give the secretary of state of a state that ability. nowhere does it give the governor that ability or a court that ability.
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it exclusively gives that ability to the legislators and that's the process that was followed in most states but for those that states that this wasn't followed unfortunately this is not new. we have seen over and over again more states where the democrat party has gone in and selectively gone around this process. that has to end, madame speaker. we have to follow the constitutional process. [ applause ] there might be reasons why some people don't like the process laid out by a legislative body. madame speaker, i served on one of those legislative bodies for 12 years. i serbed on the house and governmental affairs committees. i can tell you when we had to make changes those were extensively negotiated. we would have people on both
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sides come rn, republicans and democrats get together to work through the changes. any minute change to how a precinct to function, to how a change would be made in the time of an election urks signature irmts, the many things that require a secretary in the parish in our case, you would see people come and give testimony. madame speaker, both sides could come. clerks of court there. it was an open process by the way. not behind closed in a smoke-filled room where somebody might want to bully a secretary of state to get a different version that might benefit them or their party or candidate. that's not what the founding fathers said is the process. but they lay it out that process. and so when we would have to make those changes they were in public view. they were heavily debated and then those laws were changed in
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advance of the election so everybody knew what the rules were. people on both sides. knew how to play the rules before the game started not getting somewhere in the process saying you don't think it will benefit you so you try to go around the constitution. that's not how our system works. it's gotten out of hand. president trump is called this out. president trump has stood up to it. so many of us stood up to it. in fact, over 100 colleagues asked the supreme court to address this problem. just a few weeks ago and unfortunately the court chose to punt. they didn't answer it one way or the other. they didn't want to get in the middle of this discussion. we have to discuss this. we have to fix this. on our first full day of this congress many of us brought legislation on to the house
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floor to start fixing the problems with our elections, to restore integrity to the process which is lost by so many millions of americans. every single republican voted to restore the process. every democrat voted against it. they don't want to fix this problem but the constitution is our guide. it is time to follow the constitution. it is time to get back to what our founding fathers said is the process for selecting electors. that's the legislators in public view, not behind closed doors. not bullying somebody to give you a better ruling. let's get back to rule of law and follow the constitution. i yield back the balance of my time. >> chairman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman -- [ applause ]
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for what purpose does the gentle woman of california seek recognition. >> to strike the last word. >> for five minutes. >> this day marks a cross roads for american democracy. those who object to the counting of the electoral college votes that reflect the votes of the american people want to substitute their preferences. it's at odds with the american democratic republic. if congress selects the next president instead of american voters we will have no need for an electoral college and no need for presidential elections at all moving to a government slerkted by those gomping. that's not america. in the united states we abide by the choices of the people.
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the framers of our constitution considered whether to have congress select the president and rejected it but wrote article ii and the 12th amendment. article ii creates the electoral clnlg and each state appointing electors. laws require electors to vote for the winner of the start's popular election. each state provides for the conduct of elections and lawful challenges, recounts and the like. the 12th amendment brings us to today. it says the electors meet in the states. the amendment says they shall cast the votes, sign and certify them, transfer them to a seal and that's been done. the envelopes with the signed ballots of each state reflecting the votes of the people were in the mahogany boxes. the 12th act directs the president as the vice president as the president of the senate
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to do this. open the envelopes. simple. doesn't say count it in a manner that some members of the congress might prefer, no. the votes to be counted as transmitted by the states. after the civil war more than one slate of electors were appointed by states. duelli duelling lists were sent and as a result to make an orderly process congress enacted the elect ral count act of 1887 governing the proceedings today. the act provides dispute resolution mechanisms. under the eca if a governor certifies a slate of electors the governor's slate is counted. today every single -- >> be allowed to speak. >> the majority leader is speaking. >> the majority leader and the democratic leader control up to one hour of debate. debate time and be authorized to
quote
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yield up to five minutes of that time to any senator seeking recognition. further i ask unanimous consent to insert stamtements into the record if is there objection? without objection so ordered. >> mr. president -- >> majority leader? >> we're debating a step that's never been taken in american history. whether congress should overrule the voters and overturn a presidential election. i've served 36 years in the senate. this will be the most important vote i've ever cast. president trump claims the election was stolen. the assertions range from
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specific local allegations to constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories. i supported the president's right to use the legal system. dozens of lawsuits received hearings in courtrooms all across our country. but over and over the courts rejected these claims including all-star judges whom the president himself has nominated. every election we know features some illegality and irregularity and of course that's unacceptable. i support strong state-led voting reforms. last year's bizarre pandemic
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procedures must not become the new norm. but my colleagues, 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. the constitution gives us here in congress a limited role. we cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids.
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the voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken. they've all spoken. if we overrule them it would damage our republic forever. this election actually was not unusually close. just in recent history, 1976, 2000 and 2004 were all closer than this one. the electoral college margin is almost identical to what it was in 2016. this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing
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side our democracy would enter a death spiral. we'd never see the whole nation accept an election again. every four years would be a scramble for power. at any cost. the electoral college which most of us on this side have been defending for years would cease to exist. leaving many of our states with no real say at all in choosing a president. the effects would go even beyond the elections themselves. self government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to
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the truth and a shared respect for the ground rules of our system. we cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes with a separate set of facts and separate realities. with nothing in common except our hostility toward each other and mistrust for the few national institutions that we all still share. every time, every time in the last 30 years that democrats have lost a presidential race they have tried to challenge just like this. after 2000, after 2004, after 2016. after 2004, a senator joined and forced the same debate and
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believe it or not democrats like harry reid and hillary clinton praised them and applauded the stunt. republicans condemned those baseless efforts back then that we just spent fours condemning democrats' shameful attacking on president trump's own election. so look. there can be no double standard. if media that's outraged today spent four years aiding and abetting democrats' attacks on our institutions after they lost. but we must not imitate and escalate what we repudiate. our duties to govern for the public good. united states senate has a higher calling than an endless
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spiral of partisan vengeance. the congress will either override the voters, overrule them, the voters, the states and the courts for the first time ever or honor the peoples' decision. we'll either guarantee the delegitimatizing efforts after 2016 is a permanent, new routine for both sides or declare that our nation deserves a lot better than this. we'll either hasten down a poisonous path where only the winners of election accept the results or show we can still muster the patriotic coverage our fore bearers showed not only in victory but in defeat. framers built the senate to stop
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short-term passions from boiling over and melting the foundations of our republic. so i believe protecting our constitutional order requires respecting the limits of our own power. it would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise american voters and overrule the courts and the states on this extraordinarily thin basis. and i will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing. i will vote to respect the people's decision and defend our system of government as we know
quote
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it. >> leader -- >> mr. president, vice president, as prescribed by the constitution and the laws of the nation, the purpose of this joint session is for tellers apointed on a bipartisan basis by the two houses to read to the congress the results of an election that has already happened. we are here to receive an announcement of a vote that's already been certified by every state in the union. and confirmed by the courts. many times, many times over. we are here to watch the current vice president open envelopes and receive the news of a verdict that's already been
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rendered. it is a solemn and august occasion, no doubt. but it is a formality. the congress does not determine the outcome of elections. the people do. the congress is not endowed with the power to administer elections. our states are given that power. by the end of the proceedings today, it will be confirmed once again, something that is well-known and well settled. the american people elected joe biden and kamala harris to be the next president and vice president of the united states. and yet, a number of our colleagues have organized an effort to undermine and object to that free and fair election. they are in the minority. they will lose. they know that. they have no evidence of widespread voter fraud upon
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which to base their objections. that's because there is none. there is none. not brought before any of the courts. successfully. they know that president trump and his allies have suffered the defeat in court after court. across the country. losing no fewer than 62 legal challenges. and i might add many republican-apointed judges, some appointed by president trump, rendered those decisions. they know, you all know, that joe biden and kamala harris are going to be sworn in as president and vice president of the united states on january 20th. but they are going to object to the counting of the vote any way. and in the process they will
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embarrass themselves, they will embarrass their party. and worst of all they will embarrass their country. this insurrection was fo fortunately discouraged by the leadership of the majority party but it was not quelled. it is a very sad comment on our times that merely the accepting the results of an election is considered an act of political courage. sadder and more dangerous still is the fact that an element of the republican party believes their political viability hinges on the endorsement of an attempted coup. that anyone, much less an elected official, would be willing to tarnish our democracy in order to burr niche their
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personal political fortunes. over the course of the afternoon, and however far boo the evening this band of republican objectors wants to take us, senators of goodwill from both sides of the aisle will explain why these challenges must be dismissed. the senators from states whose electoral votes are being challenged will explain how the explanations of fraud are baseless and a substantial bipartisan majority must vote to put down the objections and defend the sanctity of our sections and indeed our great and grand democracy. because that's what we're talking about today. the health of our democracy. this wonderful, beautiful, grand democracy where the peaceful passing of the torch is extolled
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by school children in the second grade but not by some here. as we speak, half of our voters are being conditioned by the outgoing president to believe that when his party loses an election the results must not be legitimate. as we speak the eyes of the world are on this chamber questioning whether america is still the shining example of democracy, the shining city on the hill. what message we send today, what message will we send today to our people, to the world that has so looked up to us for centuries? what message will we send to fledgling democracies who study our constitution, mirror our
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laws and traditions that they, too, can build a country ruled by the consent of the governed. what message will we send where democratic values are under assault and look to us to see if those values are still worth fighting for? what message will we send to every dark corner of the world where human rights are betrayed, elections are stolen, human dignity denied? what will we show those people? will we show those people that there is a better way to ensure liberty and opportunity of human kind? sadly, a small band of republican objectors may darken the view of our democracy today. but a larger group of senators and house members from both
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sides of the aisle can send a message, too. that democracy beats deep in the hearts of our citizens and elected representatives that we are a kumpb of laws and not men. that traditions are not so easily d easily discarded even by our president. that facts matter, that truth matters, that while democracy allows free speech and free expression even if that expression is anti-democratic, there will always, always be, praise god, a far broader and stronger coalition ready to push back and defend everything we hold dear. we can send that message today by voting in large and overwhelming numbers to defeat these objections. my colleagues, we each swore an oath just three days ago that we
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would defend and such port the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic, that we would bear true faith and allegiance to the same. we swore that we took this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that we could well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office we were about to enter so help us god. the precise words of that oath were shortly written after the civil war when the idea of true faith and allegiance in this country and constitution took on enormous meaning. let those words, let those words ring in the ears of every senator today. let us do our duty to support
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and defend the constitution of the united states so help us god. >> majority leader? >> i yield up to five minutes to the senator of texas, senator cruz. >> mr. president? >> senator? >> we gather together at moment of great division. at a moment of great passion. we have seen and no doubt will continue to see a great deal of moralizing from both sides of the aisle. but i would urge to both sides perhaps a bit less certitude and a bit more recognition that we are gathered at a time when democracy is in crisis. recenter polling shows that 39% of americans believe the
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election that just occurred, quote, was rigged. you may not agree with that assessment. but it is nonetheless a reality for nearly half the country. i would note it as not just republicans who believe that. . 31% of independents agree with that statement. 17% of democrats believe the election was rigged. even if you do not share that conviction, it is the responsibility i believe of this office to acknowledge that is a profound threat to this country and to the legitimacy of any administrations that will come in the future. i want to take a moment to speak to my democratic colleagues. i understand, yew guy is winning right now, if democrats vote as
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a block, joe biden will almost certainly by certified as the next president of the united states. i want to speak to the republicans who are considering but i urge you to pause that if we vote not even to consider the claims of illegality and fraud in this election. >> i believe there's a better way. the leaders just spoke about setting aside the election. let me be clear, i'm not arguing for setting aside the election. one is vote against the objection, and tens of millions of americans will see a vote against the objection as a statement that voter fraud doesn't matter, isn't real,
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and -- other than the most, if not all of us believe we should not set aside the results of an election because our candidate did not prevail. i look for door number three, a third option, and i look to history of the 1876 election, the haze tilden election, where this congress appointed a commission five house members, five senators, five supreme court justs, examine the evidence and runered a judgment. what i would urge of this body is we do the same. we -- consider the evidence, and resolved the claims. for those on the democratic aisle who say there is no evident, they've been rejected, you should rest in conversation
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if that's the indicate. but for those who respect the supposers, simply telling the voters go jump in a lake, the fact that you have deep concerns is of no moment to us, that jeopardizeses, i believe, the legitimacy of this and subsequent elections. the constitution gives to congress the responsibility this day to count the votes, the framers knew what they were doing when they gave responsibilities to congress. we have a responsibility, and i would urge that we follow the precedent of 1877. the electoral count act explicitly allows on objections for votes not regularly given. this is for the state of arizona, but it is broader than that. it is an objection for all six of the contested states, to have a credible, objective impartial
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body hear the evidence and make a conclusive determination. that would benefit both sides. that would improve legitimacy of this election. so let me urge the colleagues. all of us take our responsibility seriously. i would urge my college, don't take perhaps the easy path, but astonish the viewers and act in a bipartisan sense to say we will have a credible and fair tribunal, consider the facts, consider the claims, consider the evidence, and make a conclusive determination to what extent this election complied with the constitutional and with federal law. nor from minnesota.
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>> mr. president, i first would like to say i appreciate the words of our leader, senator schumer, as well as senator mcconnell's call for a higher calling. january 6th is not typically a day of historical significance for our country. for centuries, this day is simply the day we receive each state's certified electoral votes. it's come and gone without much fanfare. in fact this is only the third time in 120 years that the senate has gather to do debate an objection. as senator cruz well knows, both times were, the last time the vote was 74-1. why? because senators belong believe they should not mess around with the will of the people. they have understood the words of our great former colleague john mccain, from the state of arizona, who once said nothing in life is more liberating that this to fight for a cause larger than yourself.
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in this case my colleagues' cause, despite our political differences, is to preserve our republic, because as someone once said long ago, it's a republic if you can keep it. now, i appreciate all my democratic and republican colleagues who have joined our ranks of coup fighters, who have stood up for our democracy, who stand tall for our republic, and who believe in an ideal greater than ourselves, larger than our political parties. that ideal is america. senator cruz, he knows this. on january 20th, joe biden and kamala harris will be sworn in as president and vice president of the united states. he knows that president-elect biden won more votes than any president in history and more than 7 million more votes than president trump. despite the unfounded conspiracy theories senator cruz tows, he knows that high-ranking officials in president trump's
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own homeland security department have concluded that the 2020 election was, quote, the most secure in american history. and if he wants to improve the numbers in his own party that he just mentioned, of people believing in our elections, maybe he should start consulting with them, or maybe he should start consulting with former attorney general barr, who said that he has found no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. we don't have to go back to 1877, my colleague. senator cruz knows that 80 judges, including conservative judges, inclusion judges confirmed in this chamber nominated by president trump, have thrown out these lawsuits, calling them baseless, inadequate, and contrary to the plain meaning of the constitutional text and common sense. he knows that all ten living defense secretaries, including both of trump's defense secretaries.
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he knows all these leaders have come together to say the scurrilous attacks must stop. a summary -- president trump received 1,661,686 votes in the state. 1,672, 143 votes, means joe biden won the state. on november 30th, after arizona's republican governor, the secretary of state, the attorney general and the conservative chief justice of the arizona supreme court certified the results of the election, the governor actually said, we do elections well here in arizona, the system is strong. eight post-election lawsuits brought in arizona to challenge the results were dismissed by
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judges. nine members of the house from arizona were elected in the same election, including four republicans. colleagues, i did not see senator cruz over at the swearing-in of the house of representatives yesterday asking for an audit. he did not stop their swearing in, because there was no fraud. he did not ask for an audit, because we had a fair election. i will end with this -- my friend roy blunt, nigh fellow rules committee leader, many years ago found a statue, the bust of a man at the top of the bookcase, he did research. all he could find out is that no one knew who this guy was, except he was a cleric, hence the statue is called "the understanding known cleric." at the time the leaders thought the man important enough that they would warrant a statue for him, but today no one knows who
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he is. senator blunt's message to school kids and senators alike who visit his office, he shows them, what we do here is more important than who we are. senators, what matters is not our futures, not our own short-term destinies. what matters is our democracy's destiny, because i think many of us know people will not know who we are 100 years from now, or 200 years from now, but what they will know is this -- they will know what we did today, how we voted today, and that is more important than who we are. it's a republic, if we can keep it. thank you, mr. president, i yield the floor. majority leader. >> i yield up to five minutes from the senator from pa, senator toomey. >> senator toomey. >> i intend to address
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pennsylvania, later if -- but now i want to it address my remarks to the fundamental question opposed by the objectors. that is, does congress have the constitutional authority to decide which states' electoral college votes should be counted and which should not, based on how well we think they ran their elections. this is what the objectors are really asking you to do -- to federalize elections, by rejecting electoral college votes from states whose processes say they disapprove of, and thereby having congress select the president of the united states instead of the american people. the answer, mr. president is no, there is no such authority under the constitution. the constitution assigns to the states the responsibility to conduct elections. it's clear in article ii, section 1, it leaves courts with the responsibility to adjudicate
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disputes, and it assigns to congress the ministerial function of counting ballots, except for in extreme circumstances, such as when a state sends competing slates of elector to say congress, which brings me to the 1877 precedent. some objectors to claim to merely wasn't a commission to do an audit. in 1877, congress had before it two slates of electors from several states. here there are no trump elector, just biden electors. second electors from the swing states have chosen not to send us alternative electors. third, a commission? really? it's completely impractical, and we all know it. with 14 days to go before a constitutionally mandated inauguration? look at it this way, if the
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objectors are right and it is congress's job to sit in judgment on the worth inness of the states ease electoral processes, what's the criteria? what investigations have been conducted of these processes? what body has deemed that certain states' processes are unacceptable? what opportunities were these states given to challenge the findings? why are the objectors only objecting to swing states that president trump lost? what about the ones he won? i don't know, what about north carolina? california? they have ballot harvesting, i'm told, if this is all supposed to be congress's job, you would think we would have procedures in place, because we would have done this every four years, right? because we don't. it's not our job. if we adopt this new president, we constituent in judgment of states' processes, we're osteo -- we would necessarily have to establish the per missibility criteria and rules for the states' election. the ballot harvesting, it's
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illegal in some states, encouraged in others. does it become forbidden depending on who is in control of congress? and the electoral college is the mechanism by which the people select the president. but if congress gets to decide which states get to vote in the electoral college, then clearly congress is selecting the president, not the people. whichever party controls both houses of congress would control the presidency. the public would never tolerate congress it is picking the president, so they two abolish the electoral college, a many colleagues would like to do. . mr. president, the constitution does not assign to congress the responsibility to judge the wor worthiness of state election processes, that's the responsibility of the states and the court.
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l let me conclude with this -- i voted for president trump. i publicly endorsed for president trump. i campaigned for president trump. i did not want joe biden to win this election. there's something more important to me than having my preferred candidate sworn in as the next president. that's to have the american people's chosen candidate sworn in as the next president. a fundamental defining feature of a democratic republic is the right of the people to elect their own leaders. it's now our duty, our responsibility, to ensure that right is respected in this election and preserved for future elections. i urge you, vote against this objection. we're going to continue to monitor this. i want to go up to manu raju on capitol hill. manu, i understand protesters are getting assertive. what is the latest? >> reporter: there's a tense situation outside with protesters, many of whom were listening to president trump's speech near the white house.
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they marched down to capitol hill. right outside the capitol there are scores of protesters, and we have been told by capitol police, the capitol is in lockdown, and people cannot leave the building. our colleague ted barrett just tried to leave the capitol building. the officers have said the building is in lockdown. we have been ordered to stay in our offices so we cannot leave the building. we have been told that some of the protesters have breached the security perimeter. there are barricades around the building, and some protesters have breached that perimeter apparently, which has led to this escalating situation. this comes in the aftermath of the canon office building, southeast of the capitol, which had just been evacuated. staff members and people working in that building were asked to leave the building, go intoed tunnels between the two office buildings in the house side. also, the james madison building, which is part of the
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library of congress, was also asked to be evacuated president capitol police we are investigating what was believed to be a suspicious package, which has now been cleared, but the united states capitol building is where you're seeing the debate and also on the house side, the building itself is in lockdown, so reporters, staff members and others are not allowed to leave the building at the moment because of what is considered to be a pretty tense situation with supporters, many trump supporters, who are protesting what is happening here in the building. >> these are basically all pro-trump supporters who have gathered in these huge numbers walking over from the area of the white house up to the capitol hill. we see the huge crowds. that's what we're talking about, right? >> that's what it is. just looking outside the building, i with see scores and scores of protestest. the police have been prepared for many days for this.
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there are usually barricades around the capitol, but there have been more to extend the perimeter around this building, giving that many lawmakers come and park their cars in the lot just outside the capitol grounds, but they had extended that perimeter, but it appears, according to what we have been told, that some of these protesters have breached that perimeter, and that's led to back-and-forth tense situation with the police. we're still trying to gather more information about what exactly is going on, but at the moment, wolf, amid this tense, bitter and divisive debate, a tense situation outside, leading to an unusual situation where people like ourselves have been told we can't leave, because this building is in lockdown for safety. >> we have this huge crowd right in front of where the inauguration on january 20th is going to be taking place. they have gathered very, very close, you can see the construction for the inauguration of joe biden, as president of the united states, kamala harris as vice president of the united states, but right
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in front where there would normally be a crowd to wash, they have gathered, no mostly no masks, no social distancing, moving closer and closer to capitol hill. >> reporter: and it's on both sides. it's also on the east front, which is the cause for concern for the police officers. that is typically the side in which house members, senators and others who work in this building enter from, from the east side of the capitol. that's where the barricades have been placed, to essentially push these demonstrators toward the grassy area in between the can toll and the supreme court building, but that area on the east side of the capitol is the one that is cause for concern. the buildings that had been evacuated on the southeast side of the capitol, which is the house office buildings, where members of congress, members of the house, staff work where they work, that had initial lip been the source of concern, but there appears to be multiple concerns here, as this protest,
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demonstration outside gets more and more tense, as the capitol police officers are taking precautions, telling people in the capitol building don't leave because of the concerns about the security here. >> we know u.s. capitol police there in charge there, but the d.c. mayor muriel bowser did asked the national guard to be activated, with the potential of violence emerging. do you see members of the d.c. national guard up on capitol hill right now? >> reporter: i don't see them, wolf. i'm inside the building. i have seen many, many capitol police. it's very possible there are d.c. national guard, orders helping with the situation outside, but there's a building heavily fortified. initially there are lots of police officers at every exit and every door. there are more today because of this expectation of this huge rally. let's not forget that president trump has repeatedly promote this had rally, said january 6th, i will see you there.
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he's told his supporters, this is the opportunity to overturn the election when we know it's simply not going to happen. there's just too many people who oppose taking such an unprecedented action and defy constitution, and he has told his supporters something else, that this is the time where they can win, and he's revved them up. they're angry. they want congress to act, and it's not going the way they expect, so we expect this to play out all day today. we'll see how long the demonstrations last, because we expect the proceedings on capitol hill to go up to the early morning hours. we'll see if the demonstrations last that long. >> i understand that kevin mccarthy just issued a statement calling on the protesters to engage in peaceful demonstrations. clearly there's a lot of concern not from the democratic leadership, but the republican leadership as well. >> no question about it. these house members, it's their
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office buildings where a lot of their staff are now, and they're concerned about the safety. that's where a lot of the demonstration is, as i said, on the east side of the capitol, the southeast side of the capitol, that's where the house buildings are. so kevin mccarthy making that statement, it will be important also for the president to urge his demonstrators to engage in civil discourse outside. so uncertain what will happen, wolf, but clearly capitol police recognize how serious of a situation this is, and doing everything they can to keep things tense and peaceful. >> you have covered capitol hill, manu, for a long time. how unusual is this? >> reporter: it's pretty unusual. we have seen many, many protests over the years. some get more tense than others, some get violent, but typically not like this. from my time covering this building, i really can only
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remember maybe once or twice being in lockdown in a situation like this. i've been covering capitol hill for almost 20 years now. it's very rare to be told you can't leave the building. so that's unusual, but, you know, it's unclear exactly what is happening outside that has prompted this other than the fact that we have heard that some protesters have breached the perimeter. we're not certainly what else beyond that. it's just shows the precautions given that all members of congress are inside, the vice president of the united states is inside. staff members and other here during this cry couldle moment in which joe biden's victory will be official, wolf. >> i want to bring in jim acosta. right now the president show just a little while ago. he seemed to be encouraging these protesters to get out there and make their voices heard. peaceful protesting is good, but if there's violence, not good,
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jim. >> reporter: that's absolutely right. wolf. this is what the president said a short time ago on the remarks on the mall when he was talking. he said -- we're going to try to give our republicans the weak ones, because the strong ones don't need any of our help. we're going to try to give them the kind of pride and boldness they need to take back our country. so let's walk down pennsylvania avenue. the president indicated a couple times during his remarks earlier today, he would go down to the capitol. we have been waved off of that by the white house, but at this point we have not heard anything from president trump telling these protest eers to stand bac and stand by, using a frayed he used during the debates. this is a president who has been egging on his supporters for weeks now. we heard him earlier today down down on the eclipllipse, sayingt
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his vice president should be a part of that attempted coup up on capitol hill. the vice president has said he's not going to do that, wolf. but it's worth reminding people that we were here on june 1st when there were protests outside the grounds of the white house when the trump administration used tear gas and public protesters to bring calm to that situation -- >> jim, hold on for one moment. alexander marquardt is there in the middle of all of this. he's joining us on the phone. explain what you are seeing and hearing? how worried are the folks? >> reporter: they're not worried. in fact they are certainly energized. we're on the western side of the capitol. there's been a significant escalation in just the last few moments. the protest had been relativelily peaceful. in the last few minutes they have broken through that police line. i am watching as we speak
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throngs of protessor climbing the step off western side of the capitol. they have reached onto the terrace of the capitol. i can see at least half a dozen protester scaling, literally climbing the walls of the capitol to get up to where their fellow protesters are, in response. in response, the police have fired tear gas. we've had several rounds of tear gas. they've had protesters choking and their eyes streaming. wolf, it is hard to say what the police presence is out here. i cannot see any sort of law enforcement. right now everything i'm seeing is protesters getting onto the grounds of the capitol with very little pushback from law enforcement, wolf. >> and we anticipated something like this could happen. that's why the mayor of washington, d.c. asked the national guard be activated, but
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you don't see capitol police, you don't see military national guard on the scene right now, but you see a lot of protesters going through, breaching capitol hill steps, getting to areas where clearly they're breaking the law. do they understand they could potential be sentence to jail for what they are doing? >> reporter: i assume they certainly do, but that they don't care at all. there had been law enforcement, including what i imagine to be park police up there. they are no longer here. there are different movements, it seems within the different group, there were some who wanted to protest peacefully, asked others to go to the other side to carry out a peaceful protest. in just the past few moments there has been a lot of momentum one this protest, with people calling for their fellow protesters and activists to essentially storm the capitol, to get up those steps, and right
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now, wolf, what i am looking at are scores of protesters up on the terrace of the capitol where this inauguration will take place, holding all sorts of trump flag, american flags, don't tremendous on me flags. the people ij looking at appear to feel like they do have the upper hand. i'm not seeing any sort of sign of law enforcement from where i am. >> that's not good at all. phil mattingly is up on capitol hill. you've covered capitol hill for a long time. what are you seeing? >> reporter: wolf, i think let's start from the banks of what the capitol police do. they set up a security perimeter of fences, about 100, 150 feet away from the actual building itself. the general public is not allowed through unless you have a pass. those bare indicates have been completely busted through. thousands of people have gone through the bare indicates,
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based on where i am across the street. the capitol police have backed off to try to circle the perimeter of the capitol building itself. the bigger issue, it would appear, is the number of protesters, and clearly in the hundreds, who have now climbed up the steps of the capitol building this is an area that the general public is not allowed on evening in normal days. they have overtaken the front of the capitol. not just hundreds of people having climbed onto the building, up to the steps, but also thousands more on the ground waiting there. so the word we have gotten right now is essentially from capitol police, the capitol building is shut down, locked down, but i think the bigger question is, this is an overwhelming number of people for the capitol police and what they are prepared for. you know this as well as anybody, there's been no shortage of huge events in
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washington, d.c. that come around the capitol, near the capitol, focused, and i have simply never seen anything like this, not just the breaches of barricad barricades, but the climbing onto the building. they are not physically inside the building. so obviouslysh staff around here, in terms of what's going to happen and what the actual goals are, wolf. >> i've covered a lot of huge, huge demonstrations in washington, d.c. i haven't seen anything like this, so john king, you have covered a lot of these as well. this is dangerous when you see these protesters going through a barricade, getting inside this area, and you've got the vice president of the united states, the leadership in the house and the senate, they're debating these articles right now. all of a sudden we see this going on. >> it's a scary scene, plain and simple. every american has the right to
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protest, even if what they're protest testing is a fancy, means that the president won the election which, which he did not. the president encouraged these protesters, and said at one point he might go with him, which he's said before. there's a clear line from activism and anarchy. they are on federal property. they have every right to be around the grounds, to demonstrate, but scaling the stairs, going past the barricades? you're right, they are not trespassing. to phil's point, the capitol police, there's simply not enough of them. they do not anticipates moments like this. clearly they did not anticipate this materializing at the scale it is right now. what have they do? the capitol police have pulled back and essentially battened
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the hatches there. it's quite remarkable that the power center of the united states government that's inside the building, the vice president, the future vice president of the united states, the speaker of the house, the house of representatives, the united states senate all inside there. again, these are supporters of the president. he lost the election. they have every right to be upset and matt, but they do not are have the right to trespass. there's often conflicting information on this, but congresswoman elaine lawyeria tweeted, i just had to evacuate my office because of a pipe bomb reported outside. supporters much the president are trying to force their way into capitol, and i can hear what sounds like multiple gunshots. i want to be clear, when you have a chaotic situation like this, there's a lot of -- manu raju, what are you learning? >> reporter: we have been told
quote
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and there have been spotted protesters are inside the capitol building. scores of protesters, there have been witnessed outside the senate -- just off the senate floor, the second floor of the capitol. an alert just went out to all congressional staff as well as everybody in the capitol building, urging people to move insire their offices, telling them to take emergency equipment with them, stay away from external doors and winds. it says if you're in a public space, find a place to high, seek cover, remain quiet, silence electronics. one of you're in a safe location, tell your superiors. no one will be permitted to exercise or exit the capitol building until directed by the u.s. capitol police. this alert also says if you're in a building outside of the affected area, remain clear of the police activity, and await further direction. woolf, this is something i have never seen in my time covering
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capitol hill, that protester have actually breached not just the building, but have come inside the building, just steps from where u.s. senators have been debating on the senate floor. from the pictures we are seeing, there are actually protesters just off the senate floor, on the second fluorof the united states capitol. >> hold on a second, manu. brian todd is at this area where we see police now showing up. what are you seeing, brian? s. >> reporter: you just saw a large number of police officers. they have taken the steps, and i'm going to have our photojournalist christine pan over there. we heard a concussive blast from there. we've been hearing flash bangs of few minutes -- this is the east side of the capitol, and on the west side. on the west side it's also very, very tense. we saw people building up on
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risers, and breaches police lines. can you see where they breached the line here. they got to the balcony up there, but police have just come from -- from the independence avenue side behind us here and have started to enter the plaza. the question is, how long are they going to let these people stay up there and do what they're doing? it is an incredible scene. i've heard you talking about it, we've never seen anything like this before, never seen a breach where protesters got that close to the building. on the west side of the capitol, wolf, it was very, very tense as well. the crowd is bigger on the west side, because they were able to receive that open space there from the ellipse, but there was a lot of flag bangs, a lot of tension there, lines were breached there as well.
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>> it looks dangerous. you said some of this is prot t protesters gone inside. >> good question, wolf. reporters, attach members, people who work in the capital building, they are the only ones allowed -- the fact we have many protesters suggested they breached the security that the police officers guarding the exit, somehow they got in -- got passed the security, the
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magnetometers that expect whether people are bringing in firearms or other weapons. so somehow they got into the buildings, and from the pictures we have seen, wolf, they are in the senate, they are on the second floor of the senate. this is exactly where the senate debate was just happening, just steps from that, wolf. we are told also that capitol police have instructed the lawmakers them selves, the whole building, to stay where they are, both chambers are in recess. they have paused this certification of the electoral votes. they're sitting in their chambers, as the situation, unprecedented situation escalates. protesters inside the building somehow have gone in creating a very tensened scary situation in which staff members, others have been told to go into their offices, stay in their offices, lock their doors, because they don't know who is in the building, what they have, whether people have weapons, because of concerns this will escalate even further out of control, wolf. >> look at this, these protesters are insidestatuary.
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they are inside statuary hall, a legendary place, where all of us who have covered capitol hill, it's hard to believe what we're seeing. they're just walking through, where are the capitol police? it's a strange -- it's an awful situation. they're having a good time in statuary hall. jake tapper, this is an incredibly dangerous situation unfolding here in the united states. >> it's stunning. it's absolutely stunning and quite frankly dangerous. president trump could stop this with one tweet, but instead he's on twitter attacking vice president pence for refusing to go along with his attempt at a coup, at a bloodless coup, we hope it stays bloodless. you have protesters and costing
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senator, members of congress being evacuated because of bomb threats. protesters right outside the senate chamber. it is a potentially dangerous situation. i've been in washington for decades now. i have never seen anything like this. again, president trump, if he wanted to, and there is really no reason to think he wants to, he could stop this. he could stop it with one tweet. he will not, because frankly, he likes this. >> by not discouraging what we are seeing, the president is encouraging what we are seeing. just as he has in a much more overt way over and over and over again with his tweets. completely irresponsible, and this is the result of that. unfortunately, as unusual and as terrifying, and as brycing as
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what we are seeing is going on, in a lot of ways it is one least brycing things. what is remarkable is this kind of thing hasn't happened earlier, because this protest e. who of course have the right to protest, but these beyond that, as john said, this is basically taking over, storming the capitol, in -- it's anarchy, and the president has encouraged this time and time again, and they're stopping the constitutional peaceful transfer of power. >> i want to bring in pamela brown, who has more breaking news about the security issues at the united states capitol. it has now been stormed by hundreds of trump supporters, who have been fed the lie for month by the president and others that the election was fraudulent. it was not. they are angry, up yet and now
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there's a real risk much vile position. >> reporter: absolutely. several sources tell me the situation is out of control, that it has turned insane, frankly, and that the other law enforcement has been asked to help by capitol police. they have been reaching out to federal authorities and local authorities, asking them to come help. i'm told be local law enforcement sort that the mpd, civil disturbance personnel have been deployed to the capitol building to help. other federal authorities have been called to help. another issue they're dealing with are several suspicious packages around the building, i'm told that the capitol police are looking at. they are examining they suspicious packages. we have already reported that we heard flag bangs there. i'm also told a sort from the ground that pepper spray has been deployed, so there are multiple security situation going on, as we are seeing this
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unfold, this remarkable situation. >> the definition of sedition is to try to overturn the rule of law through force. that is what we are witnessing. trump supporters, who having lied to by trump and his minions, individuals like ted cruz and josh hawley, lied to by maga media, have been incensed, outraged and they are now resorting to physically trying to storm the capitol to stop the constitutional process of electors being counted for the person who won the election, joe biden the president-elect. that is what's going on. that is what we are witnessing. there are a lot of people who are complicit in this. it will not success. joe biden will be sworn in on january 20th, but at some point you have to ask yourself if you're josh hawley or ted cruz or matt gates or either of the
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murdoc murdoch i murdochs, you have to ask, what am i creating here? what have i unleashed? this is the united states of america and we're watching protesters try to undermine the course of an election? a constitutional process through force? >> look at that, that's outside -- sorry, jacob to interrupt, have you ever seen anything like that? these are protesters outside on the sense of the capitol. >> it's a fitting end to an era that has been characterized by lawlessness. president trump -- the reason this is happening is because president trump wanted vice president pence to act in a lawless way in his procedural duties today, and now his supporters in their anger are basically breaking into the
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capitol, forcing members of congress to go into hiding, because they have been, as you said, fed lies. >> i apologize for interrupting, abby. i want to say the mayor of washington, d.c., muriel bowser, is now ordering a 6:00 p.m. curfew in washington, d.c. because of these protests, which have turned violent, individuals who have been fed lies, as you noted, now storming the capitol to try to stop the constitutional process. please continue. >> just to be clear. president trump has tweeted in the last few minutes, but he's said nothing to avow this. >> he's throwing fuel on the fire. >> exactly. he's been upping the rhetoric against mike pence. that is irresponsible -- it's beyond irresponsible. these are his supporters. they're carrying trump flags, so he could say to them, stop, back away, don't do this.
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he won't do it. >> we are watching an attempted sedition. we are watching an attempt at a bloodless coup in the united states, trump supporters, stopping the constitutional process, the counting of electors. the maid yor has invoked a 6:00 p.m. curfew. more reinforcements are coming to capitol hill. brian, where are you and what are you seeing? jake you see the huge group of protesters. you can see capitol hill police on the side. they don't appear to have the numbers to deal with it, but threw donning riot gear. you can see the -- there are some capitol hill please up there, probably awaiting orders, and we're told there are reinforcements cupping from different law infersment.
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there was a group of d.c. police who showed up a short time ago, went around the side of the building. we believe went inside, but we're not sure. clearly, as far as the police we're seeing on the balcony, they are not moving. they are observing right now. they have donned some riot gear, and they have not moved yet to move these protesters off the steps. let's have -- we have some cheers going up here. i was going to show you another set of steps. let's see what's happening here. i'm not sure what started the cheering, but -- clearly it's, you know, this has gotten out of hand. they breached the barricades. and we did see a large group of metropolitan washington police go inside the building. they'll be trying to deal with
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it from the inside first before they move out here, but they have not shown up in huge numbers at this plaza yet. we also know on the west side of the capitol it's very, very tense with a lot of flag bangs going a. protesters at the climbed up on they see riser that were set up no the nag race. we're seeing -- right now, i can tell you, they don't have the numbers here to deal with this crowd. alex marquardt is on the scene. i'm getting texts, as i'm sure dana and abby you are, members of congress, democrats, republicans, who are stunned. they have been told by capitol police they have to shelter in place in their office. is it because of a terrorist attack on the united states? it's because trump supporters are violently in some cases
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forcing themselves into the united states capitol, stopping the constitutional proceedings of the s counting of the electoral votes. alex, what are you seeing? >> reporter: we're still on the western side of the capitol. it is -- [ inaudible ] -- it is -- the wall of the capitol -- >> alex, your phone's going in and out. we'll check back with you when your connection is better. let's go to manu raju, who i think is inside the capitol building. where are you? >> reporter: jake, we have been ordered to stay inside our offices, not to allowed to leave because of protesters now storming both the house and the senate. they are inside the building, ahn unprecedented situation, something that lawmakers are stunned themselves to see, and we're getting worse about how some of these was communicated
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to lawmakers while the debate was happening over the certification of the electoral votes according to pool reports that just came in moments ago, the officer told lawmakers, house members, they may need to duck under their chairs. they said protesters -- this was what the officers said -- we now have individuals that have breached the capitol building, they are in the rotunda area. the rotunda is, of course, the big dome that separates the house and the senate, and inside that is just feet away from both chambers. there were many protesters there, and that's what prompted the capitol police to warn lawmakers to cover themselves. they want at that point there was no threat to the chamber, but seeing the pictures coming in, jake and wolf, there are so many protesters that are just feet away from where house members are and where they have been told to essentially lock
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down inside the chamber themselves. if there's concern about some of these protesters getting onto the house floor, house lawmakers have been told to go into the cloak rooms. the cloak rooms are where the actual members from each side gather, they meet, when they go off of the house floor, and they're urging them to take cover there if necessary. the senate side of the capitol, also concerned, because there are many protesters around the senate floor right now. that's why the proceedings on the senate have gone into recess as well. senators are sitting inside the chamber themselves, nobody is allow to do go in. the reporters aren't allow to do go see what's happening, but at the moment, a very tense situation. police have clearly been overrun by the protesters who have stormed the building and walked past the security don't draw
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attention to yourself, they're saying, because they don't know who the individuals are, if they have any firearms or their intenti intentions. >> it's an absolutely shameful, disgusting situation that we are witnessing here, but eminently predictable, with the outgoing president refusing to concede defeat, ace tacking every rpg who gets in his way, including his own vice president. pamela brown, tell us more. >> reporter: i can tell you right now, jake, there are discussions about evacuating the vice president pence, given how unwieldy the situation and potentially dangerous the situation has become. it's unclear right now as to whether pence has officially been evacuated from the building, but what i can tell you is that, at the very least,
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jake, there are discussions ongoing, as we speak about getting him out of there, and if it hasn't already happened yet, it very well could soon. that's where we are. of course, pence is the presiding officer there today over the certification, the electoral count, and clearly this was not how officials planned for this to go for the vice president to potentially be evacuated from the building. of course, it's worth noting this is all happening as the white house has not commented. the president has not commented or said anything directly about the chaos that's going on at the white house. >> well, he did just tweet something. it's not -- it's not a call to stand down. let me go to jim acosta for that news. just a couple minutes ago, the president -- he did not say
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please stop what you're doing, but did issue a tweet, a rather weak one, i might away. >> reporter: it is rather flaccid, but the president has broken his silence, i should said, finally after this has been going on over an hour. he says please support or capitol police and law enforcement. they are truly on the side of our country. stay peaceful, with an exclamation mark, but he's not telling the protesters to leave the capitol. in fact earlier this afternoon, he was egging on the supporters to go down to the capitol and make their voices heard. now they're storming the capitol in a way that looks like open rebellion in washington, d.c., with no potentially to at this point -- i was just talking with a trump adviser a few moments ago, who was just outraged and said, shame on potus for throwing gasoline on this fire and not doing anything to stop
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it. a few moments ago we saw marines stationed outside the west wing, that's usually an indication that the president is in the oval office. you can almost take it to the bank, jake, that the president of the united states is watching all of this unfold, watching what he egged on unfold, and is essentially watching the world burn just two weeks before he leaves office. this is the kind of situation, jake, where the president should be going into the briefing room -- you know this all too well -- he should be going in and telling the protesterso stop and go home. he's not doing that. that makes him responsible for what is happening right before on you eyes right now. >> absolutely. when that trump adviser you spoke to who said shame on potus for pouring fuel on the fire, i mean, president trump has been spilling fuel like the exxon valdes. in the not some new development. he created this mess. >> this is a bonfire of the insanities that we're watching
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right now, and it all flowing from trump. he has been lighting these matching for weeks now. he was lighting them down on the national mall earlier today, telling people to go down to the capitol. telling them at one points, misleading them into thinking he was going to join them. so it was an invitation to join the president to give the lawmakers a piece of their minds, and now this is what we're left with. this is the ugly aftermath. jake, what is the plan to get these people out of there? my goodness, on june 1st, the president said federal law enforcement forces, national guard, they tear gassed, they punlled people dotsi to get people out of the lafayette park so he could hold a bible in front of a church. there appears to be no plan to clear all these protester away from the capitol. this is just bedlam on the streets of it is nation's
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capitol. this is trump's rebellion. >> absolutely. it is the natural development of all of this, so many cowardly republican congressmen in that building appeasing -- trying to appease the president and his angry base by rebelling and committing an attempted act of sedition. and here is the physical manifestation of it. manu raju, you have news? >> reporter: yeah, it seems to be very, very tense and very serious outside the house floor. there's a report that is coming from the pool reporters who are on that side of the capitol, saying there's an armed standoff at the house front door. the police officers have their guns drawn at someone who is trying to reach the front door. they tried to reach the main doors, but there was a hef barricaded police presence.
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but according to how pool reports, there's an armed standoff at the house front door. police officers have their guns drawn at someone who is trying to reach the front door. we are also told the how lawmakers who have been sheltering in place inside the house chambers, while this was all unfolding, as they were debating the election certification, they have been told to evacuate. we've also been told that the vice president of the united states presiding over the senate chamber, he's also been evacuated. it's unclear where all the senators are at the moment, but a lot of the protesters, they're all over this building. they have breached the barricades, breached of the security. there are many of them outside the house chamber, but at the moment a serious situation of an armed standoff outthe house floor. hopefully this gets resolved peacefully, but police are overrun. they have asked for reinforcements to deal with the situation that's escalating and
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growing out-of-control here. >> dana bash, you just got news from congressman jerry connelly, democrat of virginia. >> yeah, just to add to what manu was saying, who is reporting that the house members are being evacuated from the house chamber, one member, jerry connelly said, they were given gas masks on the house floor, members of congress, doing their constitutional duty to try to certify the next president of the united states, given gas masks. the reason is because tear gas was used in the rotunda, probably as a response to -- i wouldn't even call them protesters -- anarchists. >> let me bring in former police commissioner of the police force in both d.c. and philadelphia, charles ramsey. i guess the first question i have for you, one, how would one
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try to get control so the house and senate can resume their constitutional duty that has to happen today, according to law. >> well, i mean, they're going to need to get reinforcements, no question, start by clearing the outside, get the people outside away from the building, get that secured, and once inside, you have to force them out. this is absolutely ridiculous. can you not allow this to continue. they're overwhelmed right now. there is mous in play with the metropolitan police, the park police, the national capital capitol region, agencies from both virginia as well as maryland. i don't know who they're calling. i'm trying to reach out to get more information, but they need to bring in more resources and get this thing settled down, cleared out. it's time for them to just get people cleared out. it's not going to look pretty, but they've got to get it done. >> they are telling members of congress to shelter in place.
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they are evacuating members of the house and senate from doing their constitutionally prescribed duties, there are fights, there are people breaching police have you ever seen anything like this? >> no. and i don't think anybody else has, either. in fact, i know they haven't, not in the united states. maybe in some third world country, but here you got a situation where the president is stirring the pot, he's got his allies in there. they have unleashed something they cannot control, and they need to understand that. control can be regained, and again, i'm telling you now, it's not going to be pretty, and if i was there, i guarantee you, we would do whatever we had to do to get them the hell out of there. it never should have gotten this far. never should have gotten this far. >> president trump tweeted a comment, not what i think you would want if you were the police chief right now. he wrote, please support our
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capitol police and law enforcement. they are truly on our side. stay peaceful. it's odd that he said stay peaceful given this crowd is not peaceful, so there is no way they can stay peaceful, they have already stormed the capitol. what would you want president trump to tweet right now to deidentify he de de-elde de-escalate this? >> i want the president to get out of the way and get out of there. he's like a cancer. if he's not going told the right thing and tell them to get the hell out of the capitol, then shut up. he stirred this up. he got this thing going. this is as close to a coup attempt as we've ever seen. that's what you're looking at, folks. that's what you're looking at. and it's absolutely ridiculous. a lot of people are responsible for this. >> absolutely, this is sedition. we have been saying this now for weeks. this is sedition, this is attempting to undermine the rule of law through use of force.
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>> they're not attempting, they have done it. >> right. right. right. is there any way president -- >> this is just crazy. >> go ahead. >> they've got to gain control. they've got to gain control quickly or it's going to get worse. this is not even nightfall yet and you still got to deal with that. >> right, you need to get them out of there before night. before night. that's an excellent observation. >> it's going to get worse, it's not going to get better. it's going to get worse. >> why haven't they? we knew this day was coming. we knew that president trump likes to stir the pot. that's how you put it, i would say he likes to create terrorism, he likes to demonize and incentivize bad actions. >> we knew that they was coming, but i don't think anybody could have anticipated that people
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would have gone this far to seriously overrun the united states capitol. and i'm sure the capitol police had extra police on duty, but with 12-hour shifts, all days off canceled. every department in that region has activated their emergency plans. who could have anticipated this? i'm watching it and it's like watching a bad c movie. i just haven't seen anything like it. if i seem a little upset, it's because i am. this is the united states of america. that's our united states capitol. >> i think we all feel this way. i think we all feel that way. you might feel also something different because you were once the police chief of the metropolitan police department here in d.c., and so this is, in many ways, i would think, your worst nightmare and something that you worked very hard with all of your police officers to make sure never happened. >> exactly right. i mean, we had major demonstrations. if you remember back in the imf
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bank days, we had major demonstrations in the city and some of them got pretty close to losing it, but we never had anything even come close to coming this far. again, they have to gain control. ta take the gloves off, do what they have to do, but take the control back, please. >> the capitol police are asking for assistance. i imagine it would be the metropolitan police department, the secret service, perhaps even the national guard. u.s. park police, of course. >> yes, park police, national guard. >> how do you clear it out? obviously people have a right to peacefully protest that that's not what this is because they have stormed the capitol and stopped congressional action. i don't know that anything like this has happened since the days of the vietnam war, frankly, when people and protesters for the vietnam war used to go in there and block the halls of congress to try to stop
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proceedings. >> as far as i'm concerned, you do what you have to do to clear the capitol. we can't have this. >> i'm not comparing what happened to vietnam protesters, those people were trying to stop a war and these people are trying to start one. >> but i think what you're saying, because we're both old enough to remember, those are protesters that did get out of hand, it got very violent on both sides, both from law enforcement and from protesters. so i haven't seen anything like it since then. it didn't go far in that era. >> no, and those were generally peaceful protesters and storming the capitol in a peaceful
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protest. some of them are shocked, even scared. >> we're told there is an armed standoff outside. it's unclear exactly how that has been resolved at the moment. there are members outside the house chamber. it's been locked. other members have been vac wait -- evacuated to other parts of the park complex. others have evacuated as well, others locked in their offices and told not to leave. we're also told that the members who are in the house, they have been told that there is tear gas in the rotunda and to push back against any of these protesters. there is tear gasso potentially that could become an issue here as this situation develops, and they have been told there are masks under their seats in the
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house chamber that they can certainly put on if they need to, so there are members who have been told to go shelter in place. everybody has been told to shelter in place in this building. we've all been told we cannot leave this building because of the fact there are protesters in all parts of the capitol. the house side and the senate side through all levels, there have been reports of violent clashes between protesters and demonstrators, protesters and police trying to arrest some of these demonstrators, violent activity, violent interactions between the two sides and just feet from where the house was just gathering to debate the certification of joe biden's election victory, that armed standoff occurring. again, that is unclear how that is resolved, but they've been told there is tear gas that's ready to be deployed if necessary as this escalating situation continues here, jake. >> if you're just joining us, it
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is almost 3:00, and normally the house and senate would be counting the electoral votes for the president-elect joe biden in this case, but that has stopped. the proceedings have stopped because trump supporters have stormed the u.s. capitol. there are violent confrontations going on. members of congress have been told to shelter in place. many members of congress, trump supporters and biden supporters alike are appalled and scared, and frankly, it is appalling and it is frightening. we are witnessing an attempt at sedition. we are witnessing an attempt at a forceful overthrow of the u.s. government, or at least of the proceedings, the u.s. constitutionally prescribed proceedings. brian, what are you witnessing? >> reporter: jake, if you can see our photojournalist is going
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to zoom in as theyo by. you can see some government vehicles parked at the foot of the stairs here on the east side. now, in the last couple of minutes, we have seen some protesters make their way down the stairs. they're taking their time going down, so they really do not believe they're being pushed away by any law enforcement, and, christine, puif you can pa to your left there, you can see the capitol hill police on the left side of the balcony there. they've been standing there for several minutes waiting for orders, seemingly. some of them have donned riot gear but they are observers to this situation. the crowd, some of them have left the stairs, but clearly there is, as you can see, a lot of protesters on the stairs. we can also tell you that they have made their way up three sets of stairs here on the east side of the capitol, two on either side of us, but the crowd is not as dense on the other side, on the other stairways as
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it is here. but these people clearly are em bold boemboldened, they don't feel a urgency to move, and the real question here, jake, is when is law enforcement going to show up in force to try to get these people out? we do know the mayor has instituted a curfew for 6:00 p.m., but that's a few hours from now. the question is when are they going to show up to try to move some of these people out? they may be trying to address the situation inside the capitol first before they move on these people, because we did see some washington metropolitan police show up, about 20 of them, a short time ago and they moved around to the side of the building, seemingly to try to go inside. they may be inside dealing with the situation inside before they move outside and deal with this. but these people don't show any inclination at all to move, and right now they're not being forced to move at all, jake.

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