A former U.S. defence secretary says he is “shocked” that Wednesday’s siege of Capitol Hill wasn’t met with a stronger safety presence and frightened about what that would imply for president-elect Joe Biden’s impending inauguration.
“Everybody knew that this was a real possibility. This wasn’t something [where] you had to rely on some kind of classified intelligence. All you had to do was read the paper and watch television and know that these groups were going to be gathering in Washington,” Leon Panetta stated in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live airing Sunday.
Panetta — a former Democratic Congressman who additionally served as defence secretary to former president Barack Obama, chief of workers to former president Bill Clinton and director of the CIA — known as this week’s assault by a pro-Trump mob “tragic.”
“We paid a horrible price for that. It really is probably the worst crisis we have had with regard to our democracy … since the Civil War,” Panetta instructed CBC Chief Political Correspondent Rosemary Barton. “To have that happen has told us how fragile our democracy is.”
President Donald Trump has been accused of inciting the mob accountable for storming the U.S. Capitol, the place lawmakers had gathered on Wednesday to certify Biden’s victory within the Nov. three presidential election. The rioters outnumbered members of the Capitol Police responding to the breach, resulting in the demise of 1 officer and the hospitalization of others. A feminine protester was additionally shot and killed by police through the riot.
The violence has led to concern over what would possibly occur when Biden is sworn in as president on Jan. 20 — an occasion Trump has made clear he is not going to attend.
“It raises questions about whether or not the security that’s established for the inauguration itself will indeed be sufficient to protect against these kinds of activities,” Panetta stated. “I’m concerned about whether or not we’ll have proper security in place so that what we saw on Wednesday will never happen again.”
Panetta stated this week’s occasions may embolden extremist teams to hold out different assaults.
“It is very important for the authorities in this country to be able to make certain that extreme groups that are out there will not try something similar either on Inauguration Day or at another moment in our time,” he warned.
Pivotal second for U.S. management
The former defence secretary stated that whereas it falls to legislation enforcement to stop future riots, there’s “no question” that Trump set off Wednesday’s siege.
“The president has challenged not only our laws, but challenged our Constitution. We saw it happen the other day, when he stood up before that crowd and told them that he would lead that march up to the Capitol,” Panetta stated.
Hours earlier than the violence started, Trump spoke at a rally close to the White House urging supporters to move to the Capitol to protest the electoral faculty vote rely.
It’s for these causes, Panetta defined, that the outgoing president ought to resign and permit Vice-President Mike Pence to steer the ultimate days of the Trump administration earlier than Biden takes workplace.
“This is going to be a moment where the leadership of our country is truly going to be challenged as to whether or not we can heal what’s happened over these last four years and restore a belief in the strength of our democracy,” he stated.