Md. Police Head to D.C. as Democratic Lawmakers Condemn Trump

U.S. Capitol police officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. Congress held a joint session to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College win over President Trump. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Maryland police have been deployed to Washington, D.C., in an effort to restore order after an armed mob stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday as Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) tweeted around 3:45 p.m. that the Maryland State Police would deploy troopers to the capital and that the Maryland National Guard’s adjutant general is calling up a rapid response force to assist.

“All Americans should be outraged by this attack on our nation’s Capitol,” Hogan said in a statement. “This is a heinous and violent assault on the heart of our democracy. I will not stand for this, and neither should any American.”

Montgomery County Police teams were also on the Capitol grounds Wednesday afternoon.

Shortly after the Congress began the process to certify the results of the November 2020 election, the Capitol building was breached and lawmakers were evacuated to safer locations.

Hours earlier, President Trump addressed supporters at an outdoor rally and encouraged them to march to the U.S. Capitol.

His actions and rhetoric were condemned by Maryland lawmakers.

“This is a very sad day for our country,” Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D) tweeted. “Mr. President, tell your supporters to stand down before someone gets seriously hurt.”

Earlier in the day, Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D) had spoken on the House floor against objections to certify the election results from Arizona.

“There were repeated efforts to barrel into the Capitol chamber,” Raskin said on CSPAN.

After the death of his son on New Year’s Eve, Raskin, a Constitutional law scholar, said he’d brought his daughter and son-in-law to D.C. with him on Wednesday to be together and witness “the peaceful transfer of power in the United States of America.”

“So what was really going through my mind was their safety because they were not with me in the chamber. And I just wanted to make sure that we could get back together,” Raskin said.

In the hours after the attack on the Capitol, Raskin said lawmakers were devoted to concluding the Electoral College vote count.

“Every single member I’ve spoken to is absolutely determined to have us complete the counting of the Electoral College votes as is demanded of us by the 12th Amendment of the Constitution. And everyone is absolutely determined that we will continue with the normal proceedings of the U.S. Congress and that any violent insurrection against the government of the United States will be put down and our Constitutional democracy will prevail,” he said.

“…We are going to go forward. If we’ve got to stay here all night, we’re going to go forward. If we’ve got to stay here all day tomorrow we’re going to go forward. And the next day,” Raskin said. “We are going to complete the counting of the Electoral College votes. We are going to swear in the new president of the United States.”

PBS News’ Lisa Desjardins reported late Wednesday afternoon that House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D) was in a safe location, as well as many other members of Congress.

The Capital Gazette reported that a spokesman confirmed Rep. John Sarbanes was safe.

The Maryland congressional delegation’s lone Republican, Rep. Andrew P. Harris, had joined efforts to object to the Electoral College certification. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the only way he’d publicly addressed the attack on social media was by retweeting Trump’s statements.

Hours after the storming of the Capitol commenced, Trump issued a video telling the protesters, “We love you.” But — after reiterating his baseless claims that the election was stolen from him — Trump urged calm.

“Go home, we love you, you’re very special,” he said.

At 4 p.m., Biden said the demonstrators’ actions bordered on sedition.

Hannah Gaskill contributed to this report. 

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Danielle E. Gaines
Danielle Gaines most recently worked for Bethesda Beat covering Montgomery County. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at the Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.