Vice President Mike Pence told the Senate, “let’s get back to work,” hours after a violent mob forced its way into the U.S. Capitol to disrupt the counting of the Electoral College vote.
“As we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy, for even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism at this Capitol, the elected representatives of the people of the United States have assembled again on the very same day to support and defend the constitution of the United States,” Pence told the lawmakers who had earlier been evacuated with gas masks.
Pence had been at the Capitol in order to preside over the count, a mostly symbolic event that is part of the American ritual of peaceful transfer of power. President Donald Trump, who falsely claims that the election was illegitimate, urged Pence to reject the count. But the vice president, who has echoed unfounded claims about the election, said in a statement that he did not have “unilateral authority” to do so.
“To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people’s house,” Pence added in his remarks Wednesday evening.