North Jersey News Roundup for Jan. 7, 2021

Vice President Mike Pence confirmed at 3:41 a.m. Jan. 7 that President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump, capping unprecedented hours of chaos and violence in the halls of Congress after a mob stormed the Capitol to disrupt what is normally a symbolic proceeding to formalize the presidential results. The Daily Record

Afterwards, President Donald Trump acknowledged for the first time he will leave office and agreed to an orderly transition of power. “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a press release. “While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.” The President failed to publicly recognize the deadly riot his supporters participated in inside the U.S. Capitol in his statement. PoliticoNJ

The events of the day started with President Donald Trump urging his supporters at a Stop the Steal rally to “walk down to the Capitol” as the outcome of the election was an “egregious assault on our democracy.” “We are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we are probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them—because you will never take back our country with weakness,” he told attendees of the rally who then proceeded to march down to the building where members of Congress were meeting. The New York Times

A total of four people died during the violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump. Washington, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said the dead included a woman who was shot by the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as three others who died in “medical emergencies.” Police said both law enforcement and Trump supporters deployed chemical irritants before the Capitol was cleared the night of Jan. 6 by law enforcement officials. Police said they had made “in excess of 52 arrests,” including 26 on U.S. Capitol grounds The Record

President-elect Joe Biden denounced the storming of the Capitol that afternoon as the violent expression of President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat, calling it “an assault on the citadel of liberty.” President-elect Biden called the scenes of chaos in the halls of Congress “a dark moment” in the nation’s history, making clear he held the President accountable for instigating violence. “At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite,” said the President-elect. “This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition.” The New York Times

Federal and state North Jersey lawmakers reacted to what Rep. Mikie Sherrill called “an obscene attack on our democracy,” with one North Jersey politician said were incited by President Donald Trump. “Today inside the Capitol, Republicans sought to tear down our democracy while the right wing extremist mob they whipped up outside is violently trying to do the same,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell in a press statement. “This attempted coup is treasonous. It was incited directly by Donald Trump and some Congressional Republicans.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer detailed the scene on the floor of the House of Representatives, as members could literally hear the mob who overtook the Capitol Building banging on the doors of the House. After being told to grab gas masks from underneath their desks, Gottheimer said members “just started running off the floor and into tunnels to get out.” New Jersey Herald

Rep. Albio Sires believes that President Donald Trump “belongs in jail…This is a coup without arms.” Sires recalled Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other leaders being rushed out of the room as officers pointed their guns toward a door as he was being evacuated. The Jersey Journal

When debate resumed, Sen. Cory Booker blasted President Donald Trump’s breaking of political norms as the Senate rejected Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. “It’s unprecedented that he’s fanning the flames of conspiracy to create a smokescreen in this nation to cover what he’s trying to do, which is to undermine our democratic principles,” said Booker. “(These efforts) are being aided and abetted by good Americans who are falling prey, who are choosing Trump over truth, who are surrendering to the passion of lies as opposed to standing up and speaking truth to power.” New Jersey Globe

Rep. Jeff Van Drew was the only member of the New Jersey Congressional delegation who voted to overturn the election results in Arizona in an attempt to prevent Joe Biden from becoming president. Van Drew did not make a speech during the floor debate or release a statement on his vote. New Jersey’s other Republican House member, Chris Smith, voted against the challenge, citing then-Attorney General William Barr’s recent comments that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said President Donald Trump “violated his oath and betrayed the American people” by not condemning pro-Trump rioters who stormed and occupied the U.S. Capitol. “Nobody who saw this today other than the President of the United States and his most blind supporters could think this was acceptable, could think this was something our country could ever be able to put up with,” said Christie. “As someone who has known him for 20 years, today breached something none of us should have to put up with by anybody who’s given the honor of being an elected leader in this country.”

Twitter and Facebook locked President Donald Trump’s account after he posted a video in the wake of the breach of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. by a mob of Trump-supporting rioters. The minute long video was a mix of the President urging his supporters to stop the attack on the U.S. Capitol as well as his continued airing of unfounded grievances that the election was stolen from him. The Daily Record

Members of the New Jersey State Police were sent to Washington D.C. to help restore order in the nation’s capital. Gov. Phil Murphy deployed the troopers at the request of D.C. officials and said he was prepared to deploy the state’s National Guard upon request to “facilitate the peaceful transition of power & protect our democracy.”

And finally…As the events of Jan. 6 unfolded, we kept going back to the lyrics from Bruce Springsteen’s “Long Walk Home: You know that flag flying over the courthouse means certain things are set in stone/Who we are, what we’ll do and what we won’t. 

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