Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pushing back against criticism that the United States has turned into a ‘banana republic’ after Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol.
“The slander reveals a faulty understanding of banana republics and of democracy in America,” Pompeo tweeted in a thread Thursday evening. “In a banana republic, mob violence determines the exercise of power. In the United States, law enforcement officials quash mob violence so that the people’s representatives can exercise power in accordance with the rule of law and constitutional government.”
Former President George Bush was quick to make the criticism on Wednesday after the events.
“This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic,” he said in a statement.
Former Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., told Fox News’ “The Story” that if anyone was “thinking about moving to a narcos state or banana republic,” Wednesday’s attack was a good example of what it would look like.
“That is not America. That is not this idea of America,” Gowdy added. “We’re a nation of laws, we’re not a nation of people who attack law enforcement officers trying to accomplish a goal that was never going to be accomplished in the first place.”
The riot by pro-Trump supporters took place as a joint session of Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, causing lawmakers to go into lockdown. The riot left four dead, including one pro-Trump demonstrator who was shot and killed by Capitol Police, and resulted in at least 68 arrests, according to Washington police.
Pompeo immediately condemned the violence on Wednesday, calling it “unacceptable.”
“I have traveled to many countries and always support the right of every human being to protest peacefully for their beliefs and their causes,” Pomeo said. “But violence, putting at risk the safety of others including those tasked with providing security for all of us, is intolerable both at home and abroad.”
He also called for the people involved in the riot to be prosecuted.
“Let us swiftly bring justice to the criminals who engaged in this rioting,” he said.
After the chaos, lawmakers continued the certification process of the Electoral College votes. Some Republicans who initially vowed to challenge states’ results due to voter fraud concerns announced they’d instead vote to certify.
Vice President Mike Pence, who had announced he would not overturn the will of voters, confirmed the Biden victory at 3:41 a.m. ET.
Pompeo noted that Congress’ official certification of electors “shows the strength of American political institutions and represents a victory for the rule of law & constitutional government in America.”
The FBI is asking for help identifying people who may have been involved in violent conduct or rioting. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or visit http://fbi.gov/USCapitol.