WASHINGTON — Protesters supporting President Donald Trump derailed the typically routine process of Congress certifying the presidential election results Wednesday, with both chambers abruptly recessing after protesters clashed with police and forced their way into the U.S. Capitol.
Dozens of Republicans were expected to file a series of objections to Biden's votes from a handful of swing states, alleging fraud claims that have failed in lawsuits brought by the legal team of Trump, who has refused to concede.
Leading those efforts in the Senate was Missouri's Josh Hawley, who has argued Pennsylvania's 2019 law expanding mail-in voting in the state, passed by a GOP-controlled Legislature, violated the state's Constitution and thus its electoral votes should be discarded.
While Hawley has not yet spoken publicly since the violence began, other Missouri Republicans — even those who supported the efforts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election — tweeted out condemnation.
"Peaceful protesting is acceptable," tweeted Rep.Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo. "Violence, lawlessness and attacks on law enforcement are absolutely not."
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, who was one of only two Missouri Republican members of Congress to speak against Hawley's efforts, tweeted, "The events unfolding at the Capitol are shameful. There is no justification for violence and destruction. It has to stop now. This is not who we are as a nation."
Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner, who opposed the efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, tweeted "violent riots we are seeing right now are despicable and have no place in our nation. The President needs to take decisive action immediately to stop this seditious behavior."
Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver tweeted that he was "currently locked down in a safe and secure location. The country that I am seeing on television is unrecognizable to me."
Expressing her disbelief, Democratic Rep. Cori Bush tweeted, "I can't believe domestic terrorists are roaming around inside the Capitol."
The House and Senate convened briefly to begin tallying votes, and the first objection was filed to Arizona's 11 electoral votes. The two chambers began debate over that objection, which was raised by U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and 60 colleagues, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
That debate was upended as the protesters approached the building. As Capitol Police closed the doors to lock down the House floor, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) shouted to Republicans, "This is because of you," according to pool reports.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a 6 p.m. citywide curfew until 6 a.m. Thursday.
The Missouri Independent is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization covering state government and its impact on Missourians.