In the wake of a Trump-inspired, violent mob and its takeover of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, many Democrats are demanding repercussions. While party leaders such as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) are calling for invoking the 25th Amendment and drafting articles of impeachment, law enforcement in D.C. have arrested 68 people while Capitol Police arrested another 14, the agencies reported Thursday.
With law enforcement handling the charges, President-elect Joe Biden condemned the MAGA-fueled riots in scathing terms, directly blaming President Donald Trump for “inciting” his supporters with his false claims that the 2020 election had been stolen. “They weren’t protesters,” he declared in remarks from Wilmington, Del. “Don’t dare call them protesters.”
“The past four years, we’ve had a president who’s made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution and the rule of law clear in everything he has done,” Biden said during his formal introduction of his pick for attorney general, Merrick Garland, and several choices for other top Justice Department jobs.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to press requests for comment.
Meanwhile, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department released a list of suspects and the crimes they are arrested on suspicion of. These charges include:
- 63 instances of curfew violation (The city ordered a 6 p.m. curfew when chaos broke out.)
- 25 instances of unlawful entry
- One instance of crossing a police line
- Four instances of carrying a pistol without a license
- One person arrested on suspicion of defacing public property and assaulting a police officer
This is more than likely not the final nor full list of charges arrested suspects will face. Police and prosecutors can add to the list of crimes as the investigation unfolds and suspects are formally charged. The Metropolitan Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying another several dozen “persons of interest” seen in viral news photos from Wednesday’s caucastic chaos.
President-elect Joe Biden also mentioned plans by his administration to pass a law against domestic terrorism, and has been urged by fellow constituents to create a White House post overseeing the fight against ideologically inspired violent extremists (ex. The Proud Boys, 3-Percenters) and increasing funding to combat them.
Four people died during the melee meant to disrupt the electoral college confirmation of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the 46th President and Vice President. Thirty-five-year-old Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by a U.S. Capitol Police officer as members of the riotous crowd attempted to force their way into the House chamber. Three other people on the grounds died in what appeared to be medical emergencies, according to acting D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee. They were identified as Benjamin Philips, 50, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania; Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, Alabama; and Roseanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia.
To ward off further attempts at violence, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy announced a total of 6,200 National Guard members were mobilized and would remain in place for at least the next 30 days to support D.C. police. The mobilization includes the entire D.C. National Guard, plus support from National Guard members from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York.
In addition, a 7-foot-tall “non-scalable” fence was built around the Capitol building, McCarthy said. The fencing is expected to stay up for the next 30 days, which includes the Jan. 20 inauguration.