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Chaos at the Capitol: News 3's political analysts discuss what led to violence in Washington

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jan 07, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - Our local political analysts in the News 3 Think Tank are weighing in on the violent Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building and what led up to the chaos.

News 3 anchor Kurt Williams asked whether the senators and members of Congress who wanted to challenge accepting the states' Electoral College tallies bear any blame in adding fuel to Wednesday’s deadly incident.

“They are complicit. They give a bully pulpit and a bullhorn to these false allegations. And they bear just as much blame for the president in inciting these insurrections.”

“But they were all part of the broader effort inspired by the president to delay, to obstruct, to try to obfuscate the defeat,” added Dr. Jesse Richman, political analyst at Old Dominion University. “This was not a close election.”

Both agree that a bitter divide is growing within the Republican Party over how to move forward following the Trump presidency.

Many politicians, including Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, are calling for the 25th Amendment to be invoked, which would put the wheels in motion for the removal of the president from office. We asked Claville and Richman whether they see that movement gaining any traction.

“So far, I think it's gained some traction among Democrats. Traction among Republicans isn't yet wide enough,” Richman said.

“I think at this point, the 25th Amendment is the most appropriate action in order to stop a president who is clearly out of control,” added Claville. “For this to happen, keep in mind: The 25th Amendment - you have a couple of stages. You would have to get the vice president and a sufficient number of members of the cabinet to say he was incapacitated. Then, you would have to have a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress.”

And with 13 days left in the Trump presidency, our local analysts don't see that happening.

Related: Rep. Wittman condemns violence, stands by decision to vote against certifying Pennsylvania's electors

“And Kurt, I want you to understand what we saw yesterday… this is something that hasn't happened since 1812, where individuals were able to breach the U.S. Capitol , able to breach federal offices and go in and desecrate that which is sacred to us,” Claville explained.

“I think the events yesterday also highlight something that's tremendously important to remember, and this is the difference between democracy and mob rule,” Richman added.