January 06, 2021

Statement of ABA President Patricia Lee Refo Re: Violence at the U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2021 — The American Bar Association condemns in the strongest terms today’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by protesters during the process to count the Electoral College victory of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris.  Storming the Capitol and disrupting the procedure of counting is not a peaceful protest.  It is criminal conduct. President Donald Trump and all other leaders must condemn this violence immediately, demand that it stop, and protect the safety and lives of those inside the Capitol. President Trump has a duty to restore and protect the rule of law.

Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital during a joint session of Congress.

Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital during a joint session of Congress.

Getty Images / Tasos Katopodis

The 2020 election was fairly conducted, and the results are accurate.  The system worked. Claims of impropriety were thoroughly and openly investigated. Dozens of lawsuits challenging the election results were carefully considered by courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. No evidence of any significant fraud was found.

Our election system was tested and delivered a free and fair election for the American people. States investigated claims of irregularities, conducted audits and recounts, and certified results. The Electoral College met and voted in accordance with the will of the American people. And Congress, as set forth in the U.S. Constitution and federal statute, is set to cast an overwhelming and bipartisan vote to count the Electoral College vote.

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.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews