Vice President-Elect Harris Calls for 'Peaceful Transition of Power' (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Friday, 15 January 2021 03:47 PM
Amid reports of planned protests for next week's inauguration, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said Thursday "a peaceful transfer of power" ranks among the traditions of U.S. democracy.
In an interview with National Public Radio, Harris spoke about Wednesday's inauguration, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in to replace President Donald Trump, and the large security presence to protect the district surrounding the event.
"We are a work in progress, but we cannot abandon the appreciation that we should all have for the traditions that are symbolic of our commitment to our democracy," Harris said, "which includes a peaceful transfer of power, which includes what we do to bring in one administration after another in a way that is about upholding basic standards, and in particular, those standards as outlined in the Constitution."
Harris added, the new administration "cannot yield to those who would try and make us afraid of who we are."
Approximately 15,000 National Guard members were deployed to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, a week after demonstrators protesting the presidential election violently stormed the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the riot.
"It was a day that wherein we witnessed an assault on America's democracy, a day when we witnessed the terror that a few can wreak on so many," Harris told NPR per Newsweek. "And it was probably, you know, it will be in history recorded as one of the worst days in terms of an attack on the integrity of our democracy."
Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee announced he expected more than 20,000 National Guard members in the district for the inauguration following reports of planned protests during Biden's inauguration.
Earlier this week, the House of Representatives voted in favor of impeaching Trump for "incitement of insurrection." His impeachment trial will move to the Senate, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., rejected Democrats' calls for an emergency session to convict Trump.
Any Senate trial won't happen until after Biden's inauguration.
Asked if Biden's administration can handle impeachment while also focusing on other issues, Harris said: "We know how to multitask. We have to multitask, which means, as with anyone, we have a lot of priorities and we need to see them through."