Historians and legal experts in the Inland Northwest described the events in the nation’s capital Wednesday as unprecedented.

Cornell Clayton.

“There’s never been anything like it,” said Cornell Clayton, director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute of Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University.

“They never breached the Capitol like this,” Clayton said, as images of protesters marching through the Capitol’s Statuary Hall or climbing on the balconies showed on television screens.

“As a matter of Constitutional law, it’s not a contested election,” he said. Congress’ role at this point is merely to make sure the reports of the Electoral College votes are opened and read. “They have no role to judge them.”

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