Legal Twitter condemns Capitol attacks

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By Adam Mawardi on

American Bar Association brands protestors’ actions as ‘criminal conduct’

Capitol building – image credit: Martin Falbisoner via Wikimedia Commons

Lawyers have condemned the violent riots in Washington after an angry mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building.

The shocking incident took place yesterday after President Donald Trump — who refuses to accept his November election defeat and has repeatedly made unsupported claims of electoral fraud — vowed to “never concede” at a gathering of his supporters in Washington. Four people have reportedly died as hoards of protestors charged the debating chambers and clashed with armed police.

Adam Wagner, a human rights barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, tweeted that he watched the riots in “horror and sadness”.

In another tweet, Wagner also stressed the importance the rule of law in democratic societies, which maintains “that rules matter, that power is peacefully transferred, that power is ultimately subject to the law”. He continued:

Lawyer and legal commentator David Allen Green went as far as describing the attack as an “attempted coup”.

Green went on to comment on the calls among lawmakers and media outlets for Vice-President Mike Pence and cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment which would oust Donald Trump from office.

Also weighing into the impeachment debate was anonymous bar blogger The Secret Barrister.

Former barrister and now legal journalist Catherine Baksi questioned how protestors even made it into the Capitol building “so easily”.

The American Bar Association condemned the assault “in the strongest terms” and described attempts to disrupt the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris as not a “peaceful protest” but instead “criminal conduct”. It continued:

“The peaceful transition of power from one elected president to the next is a revered American tradition going back more than two centuries and serves as a model to the rest of the world. All elected officials and others in positions of civic responsibility must now uphold their oath to defend the Constitution, support a peaceful transition of power, and thereby protect the rule of law.”

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