Historical Events Upend First Week Of 2021 In US Capitol

Friday, January 8th 2021, 5:47 pm


A week that started with the promise of a new year, a new Congress and a new president is ending with anger, humiliation, and talk of a second impeachment.

While many Americans try to process Wednesday's brazen attack on democracy, leaders in Congress are promising an investigation into why and how the U.S. Capitol police force seemed unprepared for the assault by an angry pro-Trump.

District leaders are especially upset, saying that Capitol police took a far more aggressive posture last summer when Black Live Matter protesters demonstrated, peacefully, at the Capitol.

Just as federal authorities erected seven-foot non-scalable fencing around the White House at the height of the BLM protests in June, the National Guard put up the same fencing on Thursday around the perimeter of the Capitol. The D.C. National Guard has been activated and is on duty there.

This first week of 2021 started peacefully enough with the swearing in of the new Congress, including the state's newest member, Republican Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma's 5th District.

Anticipation then grew over a midweek joint session, where Congress was to make President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College win final.

The arrival of thousands of President Donald Trump's supporters for a rally to protest the election added to the drama, along with the fact that dozens of Republicans, including six of Oklahoma's seven members (all but Sen. Jim Inhofe), decided to object to the votes in battleground states that went to Biden.

But following the insurrection, which Democrats and even some Republicans are blaming on the president, some GOP senators, including Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, withdrew their objections.

"Obviously, the (election) commission that we have asked for is not going to happen at this point," said a somber Lankford, "and I understand that."

Since Wednesday, the calls for Trump's removal from office have been growing and several prominent members of his staff and cabinet have resigned in protest. Democrats are considering trying to impeach him, a second time.

For his part, the president finally condemned the violence in a scripted video he posted to Twitter on Thursday, and he announced he does not plan to attend the Biden inauguration on Friday. 

The new seven-foot fencing will remain in place for at least the next 30 days, which will include the inauguration.

Law enforcement leaders are saying the threat miscalculation that seems have been made Wednesday won't be repeated January 20.