On Nov. 3, millions of Americans visited their nearest election poll to cast their votes for the 46th president of the United States. The results of this election projected democratic candidate Joe Biden to be the president-elect and Kamala Harris to be the first Black South Asian woman to be vice president-elect.
For weeks after the results of the election, President Donald Trump made repeated claims of voter fraud and election interference, especially with mail-in votes, since Americans were faced with the national Coronavirus pandemic and opted-out of voting in person this election. Many other claims that not only Trump, but other Republican party members made were that dead people were voting, machines were malfunctioning, votes were being found out of nowhere and poll watchers were being prevented from watching the polls. All of which have been fact-checked by city officials and even gone through hand re-counts, audits and investigations to ensure that voter fraud was non-existent. The former Attorney General William Barr, who led the Justice Department throughout the election and the countless lawsuits, even spoke out publicly about not seeing any evidence of voter fraud. Still, this did not stop Trump’s claims from sowing distrust in the American electoral college system.
Trump’s voter fraud claims provided the fuel to the violence that erupted at the Capitol by his supporters, who believed that the election was rigged and stolen from him. On Jan. 6, a mob of pro-Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the presidential election as the electoral college votes were being counted by Congress to solidify the winner.
During the riot, individuals climbed the walls of the Capitol, forced their way into government official offices, like Nancy Pelosi, and even resulted in the death of about five people. Although such acts presented a threat to democracy, this did not stop Congress from counting votes. A day later, Joe Biden was confirmed and declared the 46th president of the United States, recognizing Trump as the formal loser in the race.
The news of Biden’s victory only angered the mob even more, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) received information about “armed protests” being planned by an identified group at all 50 state Capitols, sending a memo to law enforcement agencies as a warning. Although not guaranteed, these protests could begin later this week or at the start of next week and potentially continue even after Biden is inaugurated.
Trump’s response to many of the acts that have taken place is that he completely sympathizes with them and understands their frustration.
As a precaution, the Capitol and surrounding buildings that house official offices have been fenced off and have been assigned stationed troops in the event that another mob is present.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden has made it clear that the mob who stormed the Capitol were not protesters but domestic terrorists, placing blame on Trump for apparently inciting the violence by encouraging them to fight back.
During the next few days, the safety and security of both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are at the top of the agenda for agencies like the Secret Service and FBI.