U.S. Rep. Ed Case condemned President Donald Trump’s inflammatory actions and words that preceded the mob assault on the U.S. Capitol today that left one woman dead, guns drawn against advancing Trump supporters and another delay in the certification of Joe Biden as the next president.
“Any reasonable person who considered the president’s words, his actions, and the effect they would have on his strongest and most loyal supporters could have predicted this possible result,” Case said after the melee.
“And I don’t think it was lost on the president that his words and actions could have this result,” Case said before the House and Senate reconvened. “And so, the responsibility stops at his desk and I think he bears it.”
Case, one of four Democratic members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, noted that the “great majority” of lawmakers were not on the floor of the House or Senate when the violence broke out.
Because of COVID-19 “we don’t assemble in the House or in the Senate all at one time.” Case was in his office watching the proceedings “and I certainly could see that something unusual was happening on the House floor.”
“And then it happened very, very fast,” he said. “From there it happened very quickly that the folks that assaulted the Capitol got in and overran the police and started ransacking through the Capitol.”
In the House chamber they “broke down the door and the glass windows and went in,” he said.
At his “Save America” rally earlier in the day near the White House, Trump asked that TV cameras be turned on his supporters saying, “these people are not going to take it any longer.”
Trump blamed “big tech” and the media for a rigged election.
“Our country has had enough,” he said. “We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.”
The day before, Trump had tweeted that Republicans should “get smart” and “FIGHT!”
Case said he planned to finish the job “we have a constitutional duty to fulfill” with the certification of Biden’s electoral college victory. “This is not going to prevent us from doing that. … We’re going to resume and our intention is to finish the job.”
Case said that may take some time. Any member of Congress can object to the certification for any state, triggering a two-hour debate. Lawmakers had only gotten to objections over Arizona when the assault on the Capitol ensued.
Potentially, six states could be contested. “So you can take six times two and then add an hour plus, each vote, because we can’t just go down there and vote,” Case said. “COVID-19 means that we vote in phases.”
The end result could be 15 hours of deliberation, Case said. “But I’m not sure what impact this is going to have on the will of my Republican colleagues to drag out these proceedings,” he said.
Case said he would have wanted a president “when all of this happened to go on national TV immediately and say, ‘This is absolutely wrong. I don’t support it whatsoever.’ “
Trump tweeted after the breach of the Capitol started that he wanted everyone to “remain peaceful. No violence!” and to support Capitol police and law enforcement.
Case acknowledged that it was a tough election. “And yes, the president has convinced millions of Americans that it was fraudulent, despite all evidence to the contrary. But to believe that that this next step (storming the U.S. Capitol) was absolutely unforeseeable — I don’t accept that.”
The Hawaii lawmaker noted that “in the range of one third” of his constituents voted for Trump “and I have an obligation to represent them, too,” although Case said he “didn’t agree with them on whether Trump should return as president.”
“But I hope very much for the good of our country that they can look in the mirror tonight and say, even though I voted for President Trump, what happened today was wrong, unconditionally. And what President Trump did today was wrong, unconditionally.”