LINCOLN — Several hundred people gathered on the north steps of the State Capitol on Wednesday in support of President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
As angry mobs of Trump supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., attendees of a “Pro-Trump Freedom Rally” waved Trump flags, chanted “stop the steal” and other slogans, posed for pictures and saluted passing motorists who honked their support.
Others threw snowballs at vehicles with passengers who hurled anti-Trump statements toward the crowd, or confronted a small group of counterprotesters who were present on the north side of K Street during the three-hour event.
Tim Davis, who organized Wednesday’s protest on Facebook, said it grew out of the “Stop the Steal” demonstrations that were organized at the Capitol every Saturday following the Nov. 6 election.
Some of the estimated 400 attendees came from as far as Sidney, Davis said, and more events are being planned across the state in the weeks and months to come.
Davis said he doesn’t condone the violence seen in Washington, D.C., or in other parts of the country following numerous lawmakers — all Republicans — saying they would oppose counting the Electoral College vote on Wednesday.
“I’m not a supporter of taking the violent route to get the response you want, just like I’m not a supporter of using martial law or the military to win an election,” Davis said.
But, the Omaha man said, Congress should delay counting the Electoral College votes, a largely ceremonial act, in order to “take a serious look at the allegations that have been put out there” regarding fraud in battleground states.
Other attendees of Wednesday’s rally said they, too, believe the election was stolen from Trump and echoed the president’s numerous false claims that have circulated on social media and cable television.
Talli Kratochvil of Pleasant Dale and Tina Cole of Lincoln pointed to what they said was a “circumvention of the Constitution” by election officials in Pennsylvania to accept and count ballots arriving by mail three days after Election Day.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, citing case law that grants election officials discretion in implementing election law, granted extra time for counties to accept and count mail-in ballots.
That decision has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has not indicated whether it will hear the case.
Kratochvil and Cole said the unwillingness of elected leaders — they named Sens. Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer — to look into the unsubstantiated claims brought them to the Capitol on Wednesday.
“It’s been lies and deceit and fraud, and no one in Washington is willing to look at it,” said Kratochvil, who worked with LNK Recall. “If it’s all good and fair, there shouldn’t be problems looking into it.”
Like Davis, the women indicated their intention to continue demonstrating on behalf of Trump and his “America First” agenda, and fighting against what they said was widespread election fraud.
Cole said she and other Trump supporters have been “discouraged and put down” for backing the president, and have been complacent “for too long.”