Trump Urges Supporters to Pack DC When Congress Counts Electoral Votes

At a recent Washington rally, Trump allies protesting election results engaged in street violence.

A December Proud Boys rally challenging election results in Washington.Carol Guzy/Zuma

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On Saturday morning, the day after Christmas, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to continue his attack on political institutions and figures who have failed to get in line with his authoritarian mission of overturning the democratic will of America’s voters, who, after four years of his administration, clearly chose his opponent.

Since Election Day, Trump and his allies have contested nearly every stage recording, certifying, or otherwise formalizing his defeat. The next major opportunity to do so—and the most significant one between now and Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20—is when Congress meets to count the electoral votes sent from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The president is urging his supporters to convene in the nation’s capital that day, setting up dramatic clashes both inside and outside Congress.

While it is unlikely that Trump supporters in Congress can replace any Biden-supporting electors—that would take the cooperation or assent of the Democratic-controlled House—objections from some of the president’s staunchest allies could significantly delay the proceedings. They are also likely to help further calcify on the right two corrosive notions: that Trump rightfully won the election, and that Washington’s top Republicans failed to stick up for him. 

Over the past two months, Trump supporters have come to Washington, DC several times to protest the election and push for Trump to stay in the White House. One recent event featured Proud Boys, a neo-fascist organization that supports Trump, participating in violent acts and vandalizing several of the city’s historically Black churches.

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