Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin blasted President Donald Trump on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday evening, saying that the president “invited” the mob of rioters who stormed the Capitol to do so.
Those individuals, who stormed the Capitol as a joint session of Congress was mulling over the votes of the electoral college, forced members of Congress and their staff members to shelter in place and to seek positions where they could lock down, interrupting the proceedings for hours as they moved through the Capitol, breaking into offices and even making it to the floor of the House and of the Senate.
In an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, Durbin blasted the “desecration” of the chamber by the rioters, saying it had been “defiled by thugs” in an attempt to try to disrupt the counting of electoral college votes.
“This temple to democracy was defiled by thugs who roamed the halls and sat in that very chair, Mr. Vice President,” Durbin said, addressing VP Mike Pence. “Did this mob spring spontaneously from America? No. This mob was invited to come to Washington on this day by this president for one reason: because he knew the electoral college was going to be counted this day.
“He wanted this mob to disrupt the Constitutional process which we are a part of. This mob was inspired by a president who cannot accept defeat,” he added.
Durbin called the Capitol building a “symbol of unity and hope,” one that had been completed under the direction of former President Abraham Lincoln at the height of the Civil War, and called it a “sacred place” that had been desecrated by the mobs that stormed through the building on Wednesday.
In closing, Durbin called on Republican colleagues to give up their planned challenges of the electoral college results, saying that the country needs to come together after Wednesday’s violence.
“Let me close by saying this: the vote we’re going to have here is a clear choice of whether we are going to feed the beast of ignorance or we are going to tell the truth to the American people,” he said. “We saw that beast today roaming the halls. Let's not invite it back."