America’s military leadership is said to have issued a rare statement denouncing the Capitol riot and confirming Joe Biden as the next commander-in-chief.
“As service members, we must embody the values and ideals of the nation,” said the statement reputedly issued by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JSC).
“We support and defend the constitution. Any act to disrupt the constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law.”
Amid intense anxiety ahead of next weeks’ inauguration and fears of a repeat of the violence and chaos that reverberated across the world, reports said the uniformed leadership felt obliged to issue the statement and comment on live events, something it seeks to avoid doing.
The situation has been made even more tense by the determination of Democrats to oust Donald Trump before he completes his term, even though he has days to go.
They and others have accused Mr Trump of inciting what many have termed an “insurrection”, most obviously during a speech to supporters in Washington DC shortly before hundreds of people stormed into the Capitol.
They were seeking to stop the certification of electoral votes cast for Mr Biden, having been persuaded by Mr Trump and others that the election was rigged. There is no evidence to support any electoral fraud.