NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — President Trump supporters raided the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, interrupting deliberations about President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
For months, several members of the GOP have said they opposed the certification of the election results, including 29 Tennessee lawmakers.
Dr. Tom Schwartz, a history and political science professor at Vanderbilt University, said Wednesday’s events are a fork in the road for the Republican Party.
He said the party could become more moderate because of this, seeing things have gone too far. Or he says, it could intensify the party’s rhetoric.
“I think many, many Republicans who might’ve been unhappy with the election are deeply, deeply concerned by what they’ve seen happen [Wednesday],” Schwartz said.
Wednesday, Senator Mitch McConnell said he honored the President’s decision to wage legal battles against the election results, but McConnel said he would not fight the electoral college results any longer.
“President Trump claims the election was fraudulent,” McConnell said. “The assertions range from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories.”
He added there has not been any illegalities that would overturn the election.
President Trump released a video via social media telling protestors to go home, but then appeared to justify the Capitol raid in a now-deleted tweet.
Twitter locked Trump’s account for the first time, and demanded he remove tweets excusing violence. Facebook also blocked Trump from posting after his supporters raided the Capitol.
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Schwartz says he thinks today ruined Trump’s chances for 2024, but said that doesn’t mean he’ll be out of politics.
“He might be able to influence where the Republican [party] goes by having such a strong component of support,” Schwartz said.
He added much can change over the next four years, but said Wednesday was historic.
“This is unprecedented -- outside of the Civil War, or the Vietnam War is probably the closest -- in terms of demonstrators coming to the Capitol determined to storm the buildings or shut down the capital,” Schwartz said. “We have not had that.”