A federal court in Washington has charged two-time Olympic swimming champion Cleet Keller with three crimes related to the seizure of the Capitol building by protesters Donald Trump supporters, ESPN reports.
The former member of the US national team is accused of trespassing into a closed building, trespassing on the Capitol grounds and obstructing police during civil unrest.
The swimmer was identified in photographs from the scene. After that, he deleted his social media accounts and turned off the connection. It is not known if he was detained, but the court issued a warrant for his arrest, CNN reports.
Keller is a participant in three Summer Olympics – in 2000, 2004 and 2008, he won five awards at them. In the relay at the Athens Games in 2004, he won gold for his team, overtaking competition favorite Ian Thorpe.
He received another gold medal at the relay in Beijing. He now works as a realtor in Colorado.
The riots in Washington took place on January 6. Supporters of the incumbent President Trump stormed into the Congress building, where a meeting was being held to recognize the results of the US presidential election, which was won by Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
During the incident, five people were killed. One of the victims was shot by the police, the other was himself a policeman. Dozens of people were arrested. Democratic Party members are calling for the case to be viewed as domestic terrorism. President Trump was impeached by the lower house of Congress in connection with these events, accusing him of inciting riot.
After the seizure of the building, social networks blocked Trump’s personal accounts, some of them deleted him permanently. Protesters are fired from their jobs and blocked from various services, such as Airbnb accommodation reservations. Some sponsors have rejected Republican politicians who did not condemn the building takeover. At the same time, 45 percent of Republicans supported the actions of the protesters, the YouGov poll shows.
The United States chief of diplomacy responded to the “numerous people” who compared the country to a ‘banana republic’, including former President George W. Bush, following the invasion of the Capitol.
“This slander shows a wrong understanding of the ‘banana republics’ and democracy in America,” said Mike Pompeo, in a message posted on the social network Twitter.
“In a ‘banana republic’, popular violence determines the exercise of power. In the United States, security forces put an end to popular violence so that those elected by the people can exercise their power,” he wrote.
“The finalization of the ratification of the votes of the great voters, under the order restored by our heroic security forces in the Capitol, shows the strength of the American political institutions”, considered, about the Congress session, interrupted on Wednesday night , following the invasion of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.
Videos and photographs of Trump’s supporters in the halls of Congress, after storming the building to contest the outcome of the November presidential election, which Democrat Joe Biden won, sparked consternation and outrage around the world.
On Wednesday, former US President George W. Bush declared that only “in the ‘banana republics'” the election results are “so contested and not in a democratic republic”.
Supporters of outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump clashed with officials and invaded the Capitol in Washington while members of Congress were meeting to formalize the victory of President-elect Joe Biden in the November elections.
As early as Thursday, the United States Congress ratified Joe Biden’s victory in the November presidential election, in the final stage before being installed on January 20.
Republican Vice President Mike Pence validated the vote of 306 major voters in favor of the Democrat against 232 for Trump, at the end of a session of the two chambers, resumed four hours after the invasion and the authorities declared the Capitol building safe .
On Thursday night, Donald Trump acknowledged defeat in the elections and pointed out that “the new administration will take office” on January 20, in a “smooth transition”.
On Thursday night, Congress validated the votes of three Vermont electors. The tally was not yet complete, but it was at this moment that Joe Biden became president-elect: he received the 271 votes necessary for election. Further procedural ploy by Donald Trump’s supporters became meaningless.
January 6, 2021 America will remember for a long time. On this day, she received a serious injury. What began four years ago as a new season of the amusing reality show ended with the not-so-funny takeover of the Capitol.
After Donald Trump lost 61 of 62 lawsuits in the courts of six disputed states, and the only one won did not mean anything on the general scale; after they failed to persuade the legislators of these states, against the will of the voters, to appoint Republican electors instead of Democrats; after Georgia’s Secretary of State refused to “find” the votes the president needed, he could only rely on his supporters in Congress, who promised to take full advantage of the electoral counting procedure, and on Vice President Pence, who supposedly has the right to cancel the results presidential elections.
However, Pence said that he was not taking the oath of allegiance to the Constitution in order to violate it now. And then the participants of the “Save America” march who had gathered from all over the country got down to business. On the afternoon of January 6, the president spoke at their rally in front of the White House.
Hundreds of thousands of American patriots are committed to the integrity of our elections and the dignity of our great republic. All of us, gathered here today, do not want to see our victory in the elections stolen by insolent left-wing radical democrats and the press of false news. This is what they have done and continue to do. We will never give up, never admit we are defeated. It will not happen. You can’t give up when you’ve been robbed. Enough for our country. We will not tolerate any more. We will stop the theft.
He urged rally participants to go to Congress:
We go to the Capitol to cheer up our brave senators and lower house members. We may not give too much encouragement to some of them, because a country is not being taken back by weakness. You should show strength, should be strong...
Meanwhile, in Congress, at a joint meeting of the chambers, the electoral vote counting procedure began. The Vice President, one by one, opened the envelopes containing the voting records of the electors of each state and handed them over to specially appointed representatives of the chambers. They certified the authenticity and legitimacy of the document and announced the number of votes received by this or that candidate. When the alphabet reached Arizona, Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Paul Gosar objected. In their opinion, the Arizona Protocol cannot be recognized as valid due to reports of massive fraudulent elections in that state.
In accordance with the law, Mike Pence interrupted the joint meeting, and the chambers went to discuss, each separately, the situation that had arisen. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposed the obstruction of certification.
These elections weren’t really even unusually competitive. In recent history – 1976, 2000, 2004 – the gap between candidates was smaller than it is now. The ratio of electoral votes is almost the same as in 2016. If the outcome of this election is reversed based on mere claims by the losing side, our democracy will enter a death spiral. The whole nation will never again recognize the election results. Every four years, we will see a power struggle at any cost.
However, he did not have time to put the question to a vote. It turned out that the “saviors of America” had laid siege to the Capitol, and several dozen of the most aggressive entered. The police decided to evacuate the legislators to other premises (the buildings of Congress are connected underground by tunnels along which the metro runs, but you can also move on foot).
Live reports did not give a complete picture of what was happening. The cameras showed some exotic dressed up people who wandered idly through the corridors and premises of the Capitol and posted their selfies on the network either on the speaker’s podium or in the congressman’s office. But now we know that among those who broke through there were others, well equipped and armed. They found tear spray, bottles with Molotov cocktails, and improvised explosive devices. Weirdos in animal skins with horns were with them to divert their eyes. Members of Congress were in real danger, and Capitol guards were seriously stripping their trunks to protect them.
What if envelopes with minutes remained on the chairman’s table in confusion and confusion? Uninvited guests could simply burn them. But Senator Jeff Merkley tweeted that congressional staff were able to save the trunks.
Joe Biden gave his assessment of what is happening.
Let me be very clear. The picture of chaos at the Capitol does not reflect the real America, does not represent us as we are. We see a small number of extremists committing lawlessness. This is not a disagreement. This is outrage. It’s chaos. It borders on a riot and must be stopped now. I urge this gathering to back down and allow democracy to continue its work. The president’s words matter, it doesn’t matter if the president is good or bad. So I call on President Trump to appear on national television now to fulfill his oath, defend the constitution, and demand an end to this siege. They storm the Capitol, break windows, seize the offices and the Senate meeting room, wander around the office, the House of Representatives, threaten the safety of legally elected persons. it not protest. it mutiny.
By this time, Donald Trump, apparently, realized that it was time to retreat. A few minutes after Biden’s speech, he posted a video on the networks in which he urged his supporters to peacefully leave the Capitol.
I know it hurts you. I know you’re annoyed. We had elections that were stolen from us. It was a crushing victory, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But now you must go home. We must have peace, we must have law and order. We don’t want anyone to get hurt. This is a difficult moment. It will never happen again, they will no longer be able to take away the victory from you, from me, from our country. These were fraudulent elections, but we cannot play into the hands of these people. We need peace, so go home. We love you. You are special. I know how you feel. But go home, go in peace.
However, the mayor of the District of Columbia Muriel Bowser was not ready to let the instigators go “in peace.”
Everyone who has participated and continues to participate in these activities will be responsible for them. Law and order will be restored, and we will not tolerate such behavior.
At eight o’clock in the evening, Congress resumed work, but after the stress experienced, many senators no longer wanted to challenge the election results. The objection to Arizona was rejected by 93 votes to 6, and the objection to Pennsylvania – 92 to 7. A number of prominent Republicans have publicly dissociated themselves from the president. In particular, the formerly loyal to Trump chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lindsay Graham, said at the meeting to those who continued to try to change the election results in favor of Trump: “Don’t count on me anymore. There is a limit to everything. It’s over, then it’s over.”
After the counting and certification of votes ended and Mike Pence announced at half past four in the morning that Joe Biden had been elected president, having received 306 electoral votes against 232 votes for his rival, Donald Trump issued a statement in which he promised, despite his categorical disagreement with the result elections, to transfer power “appropriately”.
This promise in no way satisfied the public. An avalanche of indignation and criticism fell on Trump, which he, perhaps, did not face in his entire presidential term. His calls to the crowd were denounced by all four former presidents. “History will rightly remember the day of violence in the Capitol, which was the result of the incitement of the incumbent president, who continued to lie groundlessly about the results of legitimate elections, as the day of the greatest shame and shame of our nation,” Barack Obama said, in particular. “This is how elections are contested in the banana republic, not in our democracy,” said George W. Bush.
There were calls for the forcible removal of Trump from office. According to CBS News, cabinet members are discussing the possibility of applying the 25th Constitutional Amendment to Trump. This amendment regulates the procedure for declaring the president incapacitated.
This requires the majority of cabinet members to vote in favor of the removal. And the largest American social networks have frozen the accounts of the current president.
San Francisco On a Saturday afternoon in December, seven Democrats sit in front of their webcams in Boston, Seattle and Philadelphia discussing whether they are “socialists” or “baby killers”. Or are they rather decried as “elitist” and “anti-American”?
“They say we Democrats don’t have the borders under control,” shouts Bill *, who dialed in from a nursery in Washington state. A teddy bear can be seen behind him.
Identifying the most common prejudices about your own party – and what spark of truth there is in them – is the first exercise of the day. A group of Republicans and Democrats from all parts of the country have come together in a video forum for the “Red and Blue” workshop.
On two Saturdays, each for three hours, they want to learn more about the supporters of the other party – and how to talk to each other. “We’re not here to change the minds of others,” says honorary presenter Dee, reminding us of the rules of the game. “We only talk for ourselves. And – that is probably the most difficult rule – we stick to the topic of conversation.”
Since 2016, “Braver Angels” has been holding workshops to bridge the political divides in the USA. The organization began in the fall of 2016, the days when Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the presidential election left half of the country in ecstasy and the other half in shock.
In the “Swing State” Ohio, ten supporters of Donald Trump and ten of Hillary Clinton came together in a church. The meeting was co-organized by family therapist Bill Doherty. He now wanted to treat America with the same methods with which he cemented broken marriages: let each other speak out, find common ground, avoid generalizations.
The concept was successful, meanwhile “Braver Angels” has held hundreds of such workshops across the country – before the pandemic in churches and gyms, now in video conferences. The organization has more than 8,500 members.
The demand for this afternoon was so huge that the volunteer organizers not only held a second workshop at the same time, but also had fifty spectators each, who were allowed to listen to the discussions in silence.
The name “Braver Angels” is a reference to the first inaugural address given by President Abraham Lincoln: On the eve of the Civil War, he urged his compatriots to be “friends, not enemies” and appealed to the “better angel” in each individual. As is well known, the Americans declared war six weeks later. The appeal to the “better angel” in everyone seems necessary even 150 years after the civil war. Americans are more polarized than ever before, writes the Pew Research Center. In the assessment of Donald Trump, there is an incredible 90 percentage points between Democrats and Republicans, never before has the Gallup Institute found such a discrepancy in the assessment of a president.
Almost three quarters of Republicans question the November 3rd election results. But not only Trump divides the country. Since 2008, more and more Americans have stated that they do not want their child to marry a supporter of the other party.
Republicans have no confidence in the election result
American views of climate change, health insurance and racism diverge like an open wound. A month before the most recent presidential election, nine out of ten registered voters said they were “fundamentally different from the other side on key American values”.
A few days ago the leader of the Republican Party in Texas called for secession. At the same time, the willingness to use violence has increased on both sides, as the riots with partially fatal consequences in Charlottesville 2017 or in Kenosha and Louisville showed this summer.
The polarization of society has long since become a business model. If you zap between Fox News and CNN on television, you feel like you’re on two planets. Facebook, Youtube and Twitter also make money from the social division; Experience shows that the angrier a user, the more time they spend with like-minded people in a chat forum.
A 2017 study by the University of California at Davis found that three-quarters of Americans talk about politics almost exclusively with people who share their views.
The rifts in the country are also eating their way through families and friendships. “My brother and I can no longer talk to each other,” said Democrat Bill in the “Braver Angels” workshop that afternoon. “Every conversation comes down to Trump, always.”
Others tell of similar problems in the family, in the city council, in school. But the first step towards resolving the conflict is self-reflection: the moderators ask the seven “reds” and the seven “blues” to explain what sometimes bothers them about their party.
“We always say no and are no longer willing to compromise,” says Brynne, a young Republican from Salt Lake City. She was disappointed when, after years of fundamental opposition to Obamacare, her party was unable to present its own reform proposal.
“It bothers me that we Republicans aren’t so diverse,” admits Melissa, a young Asian woman from St. Paul, Minnesota, who holds her son on her lap.
The Democrats are baffled at so much self-criticism – then it’s their turn. “Above all, we are hypocritical,” says Jed, the teacher has joined in from his living room in a suburb of Boston. “We democrats always demand diversity, we just can’t stand a diversity of opinion.” The other “blues” nod.
Reconciliation at the dining table
“Braver Angels” isn’t the only organization trying to reconcile America. Countless similar movements have now sprung up across the country. “Make America Dinner Again”, for example, invites Republicans and Democrats to dine together at the table, the host cooks.
Tria Chang from San Francisco came up with the idea after the 2016 presidential election. “I hadn’t seen Trump’s victory coming and I didn’t know anyone who had voted for him,” said the 36-year-old on the phone. She became aware of the filter bubble in which she lived herself. Without further ado, she organized a dinner with Republicans and Democrats from her larger circle of friends. She soon repeated the format in other cities.
MADA, as Chang calls the format, is meeting with enormous demand: before the pandemic, there were more than two hundred dinners across the country, organized by local volunteers, mostly with eight to ten Republicans and Democrats.
At dinner, a moderator ensures that everyone obeys the rules of the game: do not interrupt each other, every statement should be formulated in first-person form instead of generalized. And there is always a “time out” bell, says Chang – if a discussion gets too heated, the moderator can pull the emergency brake and let everyone take a deep breath.
With the outbreak of the pandemic, the activities of “Make America Dinner Again” have shifted from the dining table to the internet. In a Facebook group with more than nine hundred members, people are now discussing virtually what they think of the electoral committee for the presidential election.
The discussions are much more disciplined than in other forums, but now and then Chang also has to remind the participants of the rules of the game. Although the forum was working well overall, it was not the same as having dinner together, so she wanted to return to the original format as soon as possible. “All of MADA’s magic happens thanks to eye contact and body language.”
“Braver Angels”, on the other hand, sees the virtual format as an opportunity for Americans, who are actually thousands of kilometers between them, to come into contact with each other – including the “rednecks in the south” with the “elitists of the Left Coast”.
In the second part of the workshop, one week later, all fourteen “reds” and “blues” met again in the video forum, and the more than fifty spectators again spent half their Saturday here. Many seem to have been looking forward to the sequel. “There are great people here,” explains Peter from Philadelphia, one of the active participants. “There is so much at stake. It would be so tragic if we as a country could no longer find anything in common. “
Today, however, the pace is set to step up: Republicans and Democrats can ask each other questions. “But these must be answerable, and there shouldn’t be any leading questions,” warns the moderator Dee.
After a short discussion, the Democrats get going: What do you Republicans worry about in a government of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris? Judy, an elderly lady from rural Vermont, speaks in an audible voice. “I worry about Biden’s physical and mental abilities. I worry who will stand in for him if necessary – and whether the person is qualified. I don’t see that this government will get us any further. ”When asked, she confesses that she got her information about Biden’s health from television.
Listen and spend less time on social networks
The Democrats are silent in front of their webcams, some look concerned. Then it’s their turn to answer. “What is your view of identity politics – and how does the focus on it help to get closer to one another?”, The “Reds” want to know.
After a moment’s hesitation, Jeb from Boston speaks up and shares his very personal point of view. “I’m gay, I’m married, and we have twin boys. For most of my life I couldn’t imagine how I could become what I wanted most to be – a father. ”
He himself doesn’t know exactly what identity politics should be, but he is grateful that the USA has achieved equality for homosexuals. “You can call that identity politics. I call this my life. ”Some participants nod in agreement, some will thank him later for his openness.
The question and answer session continues alternately: What bother you about gun ownership? How do you explain the racial inequality in the country? All participants make a noticeable effort to be honest.
But there is one problem that the organizers cannot solve this Saturday either: the attitudes of the participants. Anyone who registers for a “Braver Angels” workshop is naturally not a political hardliner, but is open to other points of view.
It is also noticeable that there is no African American among the participants, which was also criticized during the break by a woman who appears to be the only black spectator (not all of them have the webcam turned on).
It is difficult to talk about racism in the country if only white citizens are involved, she complains. The volunteer moderators take notes and promise to address the issue internally.
At the end of the second day, the other participants also vow to continue to take what they have learned to heart. “Listening, listening, that’s the key,” is how one of the Republicans sums it up for himself. Others also end the workshop with this resolution – and announce that they want to spend less time on social networks.
* The names of individual persons were changed on request.
More: New barriers are needed against a second Trump
In the absence of evidence of the alleged electoral fraud, this Monday the winner of the US presidential elections is officially declared. President Donald Trump convinced his followers to give him funds to contest the results, what did that money do?
The moment of truth has come. This Monday, the Electoral College will meet in the United States to take another step towards making the victory of President-elect Joe Biden official. After this day, only the confirmation of Congress will remain, the first week of January, so that no one has doubts that the Democratic candidate is the winner. How does this work?
Throughout the day, the 538 voters chosen by the Americans in the last general elections will meet in the state chambers to cast their votes for Biden or Donald Trump, depending on the result of the popular vote in their states. This is the vote that really matters. Let us remember that, in these elections, citizens do not directly elect their next president, but rather a group of people – the electors – who are entrusted with the task of voting in the Electoral College for one or another candidate. And in almost all states, voters are committed to voting for the presidential ballot that won the popular vote in their state.
See more: The Supreme Court closes the doors to Trump’s latest lawsuit
There are no longer suspense ingredients for this day. There is no way for Trump to escape his destiny. On December 8, the fifty states and the District of Columbia certified the votes of their respective populations, granting Biden 306 electoral votes, thus beating Trump’s 232. Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled in July that state governments can ban unfaithful voters from voting as agreed on the ballot.
This process, which was once considered a mere formality, will then seal the defeat of the Republican president and could put a stop to his shameful attempt to challenge the will of the people at the polls … it could, nothing more. For as long as there is a flow of money involved, Trump will try to convince his supporters that the elections are still at stake and that he still has a chance to win. And it is that all this Trump campaign to challenge the results may not have got him a stay in the White House for another four years, but it was a success for him and his pocket.
Let’s start by clarifying what happened a month ago. In the midst of the counting of the votes, Trump intensified his denunciations of an alleged electoral fraud with which the Democrats sought to “steal the elections.” Once victory was decided for Biden in the key states of the well-known Rust Belt, the Republican began to raise funds to take the elections to the courts and fight for the results that, according to him, should favor him. Those legal battles that the president and his circle promoted with such hype were a resounding failure and one of the greatest embarrassments in presidential history.
See more: Donald Trump’s judicial setbacks
The numbers first: As of the first week of December, the Trump campaign had lost 46 legal battles, according to advocacy group Democracy Docket. He only got one victory, in Pennsylvania, which did not change the results of the polls in the least. This series of defeats has a very obvious explanation: there was no evidence.
As members of the bar association, lawyers have rules of professional ethics and civil procedure. If they fail to comply they expose themselves to sanctions from the bar association, ranging from fines to suspension of their license. Because of this, many plaintiffs’ attorneys had to back down from their requests, because they are required to make sure their claims have supporting evidence. Without such evidence, the judges dismiss the claims. And that was precisely what happened. In other cases, it was judges, some appointed by Trump himself, who dismissed the lawsuits for lack of evidence.
This was a respite for democracy, since it indicated that federal judges are not the president’s pawns, no matter how many attempts he makes to affect democratic processes. On Friday, all nine Supreme Court justices, including the three appointed by Trump, dismissed the president’s latest attempt to reverse his defeat in Texas.
There are more painful facts for this campaign. Trump’s team paid $ 3 million for a vote recount in Wisconsin, which ended up giving his rival more than a hundred extra votes. And the alleged star witnesses announced by his legal team were unable to argue the alleged fraud. One of these witnesses gave such flimsy testimony that the opposition even claimed she was drunk when she appeared in court. So if humiliation in court was inevitable, why did Trump insist on fighting? The answer would be found in the last 500 emails of your campaign.
See more: Donald Trump’s defeat is inevitable
The president’s team sent about 500 emails to his followers assuring them that the elections had been fraudulent and that he therefore needed funds to fight in the courts. Trump asked them to put money into the Electoral Defense Fund. In this way, he obtained close to US $ 207 million after the elections. This is much higher than his campaign’s monthly receipts before the elections. But in the midst of that cash flow is a question that the president’s supporters should ask themselves today: Where did that money end up?
The fine print of those emails informed the president’s followers that the money raised was not only destined for legal battles, but that it would mostly serve to pay the debts of the Trump campaign and would go to give to Political Action Committees Like the Republican National Committee, and another in particular, the Save America committee, which Trump just founded in November. What is the problem?
See more: Donald Trump’s fight against Fox News
The money never actually went to the Trump Election Defense Fund. In fact, this was non-existent. The funds went to the Save America committee. It should be emphasized that these types of committees have almost no restrictions, so that Trump can spend the money he raised however he wants; that is, the businessman could redirect that money collected in the future to his coffers, holding political rallies in his hotels and paying the bills of those events with the money of his followers. And no, this is not illegal; However, it is a great scam for his followers who, by following the game of the president’s adventures, ended up giving him their money. Trump sold his people a fight without just cause from which he could profit.
In recent weeks, settling into the holiday season, the president’s emails come up with an offer: Donate to Trump’s fight in court and receive a Make America Great Again (MAGA) Christmas ball or cap autographed by the president. .
No attempt was ever made to contest the results. The fraud speech was a lie; the fight too: it was all about money.