MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Congress confirmed Joe Biden’s presidential victory in the early hours of Thursday. Members had to come back to finish the work after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, forcing lawmakers and staff to seek shelter for their safety.
Two Republicans of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation, Reps. Michelle Fischbach and Jim Hagedorn, joined the six members of the Senate and the 121 members of the House who objected to the certification of the Electoral College votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
It’s a move that has the Minnesota DFL party calling for their expulsion from Congress.
Hagedorn cited concerns about the “constitutionality of individual actors in various states making wholesale changes to election laws without the consent of respective state legislatures, as is required under the United States Constitution.”
In a statement, Fischbach said the election was “shrouded in allegations of irregularities and fraud too voluminous to ignore.”
Fischbach also called Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol “unacceptable.”
Respectful disagreement is fundamental to our democracy. The violence that we're seeing, especially toward law enforcement, is unacceptable.
— Rep. Michelle Fischbach (@RepFischbach) January 6, 2021
Minnesota DFL Party Says Both Should Be Expelled From Congress
The Minnesota DFL Party is calling for Fischbach and Hagedorn to be expelled from Congress, saying they broke their oaths to support and defend the Constitution.
“Just three days after Representatives Hagedorn and Fischbach swore oaths to defend the United States Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, they violated those oaths by lending aid and comfort to an insurrectionist mob through their votes to overturn the results of a free and fair American election,” DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said Thursday. “Today, I am calling on Congressional leaders to begin the formal process of expelling Representatives Hagedorn and Fischbach from the House of Representatives.”
Martin says it’s unthinkable that any sitting member of Congress would share the aims of the mob that had the “explicit goal of halting the certification” of the 2020 presidential election.
“At the core of any democracy is the agreement to resolve political differences through the ballot box, rather than the use of violence. By perpetuating the false notion that the former is no longer possible, Representatives Hagedorn and Fischbach have made the latter inevitable. If shortsighted and irresponsible politicians are allowed to continue leading our nation down this dark path, we may never recover. It is time for Congress to act in order to safeguard the future of American democracy,” Martin said.
On Wednesday during the attack the U.S. Capitol, Martin and the Minnesota DFL condemned Minnesota’s Republican congressional delegation — including Reps. Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber — for “fueling” the conspiracy theories around the election, resulting in violent protests in the U.S. Capitol.
Emmer, Stauber Don’t Contest Election
Two other Republicans from the Minnesota delegation, representatives Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber, did not vote to contest the election.
Emmer, who in December supported a Texas-led election lawsuit to overturn Biden’s win, said that Congress “does not have authority to discard an individual slate of electors certified by a state’s legislature in accordance with their constitution.” He says it would set a precedent that he believes undermines the state-based system of elections “that defines our Republic.”
Emmer also reacted to the events that transpired at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, calling them an unacceptable display of violence that contradicts the country’s values.
“There is no excuse for reasonable debate and discourse to be replaced by destruction and chaos. Regardless of whether it’s in the halls of Congress or in our communities, we must return to a place where we can engage one another with respect, regardless of our political views,” Emmer said.
.@GovTimWalz said this morning: "January 6 2021 is one of the most shameful and disgraceful days in American history"
— esme murphy (@esmemurphy) January 7, 2021
Since none of the objections had a majority, they had no chance of succeeding. Even if there was a majority on any of the objections, it would not have changed the outcome of the election. Biden will be sworn in on January 20.
President Trump has now acknowledged his election loss for the first time, saying in a statement released early Thursday by his social media director that even though he disagrees with the election outcome, “there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”
Associated Press: All 4 Minnesota GOP lawmakers silent on blame for Capitol siege
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The four Republicans in Minnesota’s congressional delegation split on whether to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College, but remained silent Thursday on whether President Donald Trump and other GOP leaders bear any blame for the violent attack at the U.S. Capitol that interrupted the proceedings.
Minnesota Democrats, however, held little back on a day when top Democratic leaders called for Trump’s removal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined them in calling on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to force Trump from office, saying Congress may otherwise proceed to impeach him.
Republican Reps. Michelle Fischbach and Jim Hagedorn both supported the challenges, while Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber did not. Emmer and Hagedorn didn’t announce their positions until after the rioting.
While all four decried the violence, none suggested that Trump or others who sought to undermine confidence in the election results bore any responsibility for the insurrection.
Democrats in the delegation sharply condemned the attack. During the scramble to flee the chamber Wednesday, Rep. Dean Phillips had yelled at Republicans, “This is because of you!”
On Thursday, Phillips implored Congress to stay in session to consider impeaching Trump and to back using Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to remove him. He also demanded dismissal of those responsible for the security failure at the Capitol.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Phillips excoriated Trump.
“The lies and disinformation, the stoking of anger and yesterday’s de facto encouragement of storming the Capitol is egregious, criminal, seditious and intolerable,” Phillips said. “And anybody who after yesterday’s events doesn’t see it the same way — I simply have to disagree with and encourage them to do some soul searching.”
Phillips said principle has to be placed above political self-preservation.
Other Minnesota Democrats also called for invoking the 25th Amendment. And U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar moved ahead with articles of impeachment.
“Every single hour that Donald Trump remains in office, our country, our democracy and our national security remain in danger,” Omar wrote to colleagues. “Congress must take immediate action to keep the people of this country safe and set a precedent that such behavior cannot be tolerated.”
Fischbach’s spokesman said she was not available for an interview. None of the three other Minnesota Republican representatives responded to interview requests. None of their pubic statements or tweets Wednesday and Thursday sought to hold anyone accountable.
Protesters in Minnesota held a less eventful rally dubbed “Storm the Capitol” in St. Paul that later migrated to the Governor’s Residence as the mob overran the U.S. Capitol. The rhetoric included the use of the word “casualties” and threats to show up at the homes of judges and elected officials. No arrests were made, and Department of Public Safety spokesman Bruce Gordon said no repercussions were expected.
State troopers guarded the Capitol during the rally, and extra security remained at the site Thursday. Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington told WCCO Radio that he was “never happier” to have riot fencing around the Capitol, which was erected in June amid the unrest following the death of George Floyd when Minneapolis police forcibly detained him.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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