In the wake of a violent mob storming the U.S. Capitol and disrupting today’s joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College votes, the National Council on Election Integrity — a bipartisan group of more than 40 former elected officials, former Cabinet secretaries, retired military officials, and civic leaders — issued the following statement:
“Today was a dark day for America. Instead of witnessing an uncontroversial ceremonial event in Congress that celebrated our democratic process, we saw a dangerous and malicious assault on our democracy. The violence that took place at the nation’s Capitol was un-American and reprehensible.
“This is what happens when people challenge the peaceful and orderly transition of power. The people responsible for inflaming this lawlessness, including President Trump, must be held accountable. Members of Congress who stoked conspiracy theories and convinced throngs of Americans that the presidential election was rigged are also complicit.
“Let us remember: President Trump’s Department of Homeland Security found the 2020 election to be the ‘most secure in American history.’ Continued attacks on our democratic principles are harmful to the long-term health of our nation. At a time when authoritarianism is on the rise, our democratic system of government must be a beacon of freedom and liberty.
“The Constitution and the rule of law requires members of Congress to honor the results of the election. The American people determined the winner of this election with their votes on November 3 — results that were certified by state governments, expressed as Electoral College votes on December 14, and should be officially counted by Congress as quickly as possible so that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris may be inaugurated on January 20, in accordance with the law.
“The world is watching. It’s time for peace, for collective governing, and for our great democratic republic to confidently stride forward.”