East End Congressman Lee Zeldin continued to object to the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory in the wee hours of Thursday morning, even after a mob of Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon.
I will be speaking shortly on the House floor to voice objections you & I have regarding confirmed, evidence filled issues w/ the administration of the 2020 Presidential election in certain battleground states.— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) January 6, 2021
Zeldin was just one of three New York members of Congress who had planned to object to yesterday’s electoral vote certification. The Congressman has closely aligned himself with Donald Trump over the past four years, but attempted to condemn the violence in the Capitol yesterday afternoon before later continuing his plan to object to the election results.
“This should never be the scene at the US Capitol,” he said in a statement late Wednesday afternoon.” This is not the America we all love. We can debate and we can disagree, even on a January 6th following a Presidential election. We can all passionately love our country, but in our republic we elect people to represent us to voice our objections in the House and Senate on this day. Additionally, there must be ZERO tolerance for violence in any form! It is very important now for everyone to please cooperate with Capitol Police who need to gain control of this situation immediately.”
Mr. Zeldin had tweeted around 1 p.m., before the violence began that “I will be speaking shortly on the House floor to voice objections you & I have regarding confirmed, evidence filled issues w/ the administration of the 2020 Presidential election in certain battleground states.”
“This is the same date, location & process where Dems objected every time a GOP president has won in the past generation, including Jan 6, 2001, Jan 6, 2005 & Jan 6, 2017,” he tweeted.
In defense of the republic pic.twitter.com/SwdzdA3igM— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) January 7, 2021
Zeldin would then go on to vote yes on two objections to the electoral vote count in the wee hours of Thursday morning, saying on the floor of the House that “many of my constituents have been outraged and demanding that I voiced their objections here today.”
“This debate is necessary because rogue election officials, secretaries of state and courts circumvented state election laws,” he added. “Over the past four years, Democrats boycotted President Trump’s inauguration and State of the Union addresses, pushed the Trump Russia collusion conspiracies and investigations and knowingly lied about it, voted to impeach the President before even knowing what to impeach him for, and then actually passed the Articles of Impeachment before Senate Democrats voted to remove him from office.”
Seven senators and four members of the House of Representatives who had planned to object to the certification of states’ electoral votes decided not to object after the mob, who had just been egged on by Donald Trump at a speech outside the White House, stormed the Capitol.
The breach of security forced lawmakers to evacuate the chambers where they had been voting to certify the election. Many members of Congress said they were told to put on the gas masks under their seats in the chamber as tear gas was deployed in the halls of the Capitol, and an armed standoff occurred mid-afternoon between Capitol Police and the mob at the door of the House chamber.
One woman in the crowd attempting to gain access to the building was shot by police and later died of her injuries, and three others died after suffering medical emergencies. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died Thursday as a result of injuries sustained when he was hit over the head with a fire extinguisher by someone in the mob. Fifteen Capitol Police Officers were hospitalized and up to 60 were injured in the incident.
The electoral college victory for President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris was certified by Congress just before 4 a.m. Thursday.
Outrage over Mr. Zeldin’s position spilled over on social media on Thursday, where many commenters on pages like Let’s Visit Lee Zeldin called on Mr. Zeldin to resign or be expelled from Congress.
Zeldin issued a conciliatory statement late Thursday evening:
“We live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. We have big challenges at the moment, real disagreement over important issues, and a precarious future as a republic.
“Following Congress’ certification of the Electoral College results, in 13 days, on January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. of Delaware, will be sworn in as the next President of the United States, and Kamala D. Harris of California, will be sworn in as the next Vice President of the United States.
“For our nation to thrive, we need our economy growing, our national security strong, our freedoms defended, our Constitution protected, and so much more.
“Moving forward, there will be continued debate and there will be disagreement, but out of that must be a healthy, guarded and even thriving republic. Right now, I am not going to dwell on any doubt, but to recommit to working towards a vigorous defense of lady liberty at all costs, and the pursuit of unity whenever possible.
“I just returned home from our nation’s Capitol after witnessing firsthand from inside the House chamber yesterday the best of America clash with some of the worst of it in a moment of my life I will never forget.
“I love our country and I ask for your prayers tonight for each other, for any hope of unity, for your wisdom, for a peaceful transition of power, for President Trump and Vice President Pence, and for President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris.
“For this moment, let’s take one collective deep breath, recharge and renew our spirit for whatever lies ahead. We are all Americans.”