WASHINGTON – Hundreds of protesters gathered in the nation’s capital to support President Donald Trump’s baseless allegations of voter fraud, descending on the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon when Congress convened to win President-elect Joe Biden’s November election.
The protesters marched en masse to the Capitol after Trump, speaking to the large crowd in front of the White House, vowed never to give in to Biden.
“We will never give up, we will never let you in. You won’t let me in when it comes to theft,” Trump told a crowd of supporters, some of whom chanted “USA”! or anti-Biden banners were swung. He later falsely claimed that Biden would be an “illegal” president.
Trump’s baseless allegations of voter fraud have been widely refuted, and his legal team’s efforts to challenge the election results in court have been rejected by a series of judges. Trump said Wednesday’s joint session of Congress is a chance to overthrow the election, even though state voters have already confirmed the results and the event within the Capitol is solemn.
Trump put pressure on Vice President Mike Pence, who chaired the ceremony, claiming he could interfere in the counting. In his lengthy and depressing remarks, Trump called on Pence to “do the right thing,” even though Pence’s solemn role does not provide the power to intervene in the counting of votes. Pence sent a letter to Congress before the ceremony stating that he was not doing what Trump had hoped for.
Jason Bjorklund, who flew from Sioux Falls in South Dakota to the country’s capital, said he didn’t know what to expect when Congress met.
“I just felt like I had to be here because our republic seems to be alienating from us,” Bjorklund said. He unjustifiably added that there is a “tip of evidence of fraud” and detailed conspiracy theories about Dominion voting machines.
When asked to account for the judges who rejected Trump’s legal team’s attempt to challenge the election results, Bjorklund said, “I think we are fighting top-down corruption.”
Near the Capitol, Trump fans seemed to be looking for some senators, including a apparently desperate Senator Todd Young, R-Ind., Who said he would not vote to confirm Biden’s victory because he was obliged to abide by the law.
“I took an oath under God, under God!” Young said. “Are we still serious about this in this country?”
Theresa Reilly and her husband, Bill from Michigan – a key state in the Midwest that entered the Democratic column in November – came to the country’s capital to take part in Wednesday’s protests because they thought Biden’s victory over Trump was fraudulent.
“We don’t think they’re honest, real voters,” Theresa Reilly said as Celine Dion’s main song from the movie “Titanic” sounds on a speaker system in the background. “There’s a lot of fraud, and I think everyone knows that, including the Democrats.”
According to Bill Reilly, “without too much research,” it is clear that “something is wrong” with the November election results
“The only thing I can say, no matter how many people are here, it’s not going to go away,” he said. “If you thought 2020 was weird, then 2021 ‘grab your beer’ if you ask.”
Allan Smith and Ginger Gibson from Washington and Daniel Arkin from New York.