A few hours before a mob of extremist supporters of President Trump stormed the US Capitol as Congress met to certify President-Elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win on Wednesday, a couple dozen pro-Trump protestors chanted, screamed obscenities and waved Trump banners on Capitol Square in Columbus.
The group included the far-right white nationalist Proud Boys, and it turned violent against a handful of counter protestors. But unlike in DC and in other states, the group never tried to take over the Statehouse.
It was an event that was planned and promoted on social media, to happen before member of Congress certified the Electoral College results. President Trump was scheduled to speak at a rally at around the same time in Washington DC, to supporters he had urged to come to the US capital to protest the Electoral College results.
As the certification progressed on Wednesday, five of Ohio’s 12 Republican Ohio Congressmen were among those who opposed it – Jim Jordan, Steve Chabot, Warren Davidson, Bob Gibbs and Bill Johnson.
President Trump won Ohio by eight points, almost the same margin he won by in 2016. The election in Ohio was never disputed, though the state does use Dominion voting machines, which Trump has falsely accused of altering the vote.
Some Ohioans who strongly support Trump had noted they planned to go to Washington as he had called them to, including Portage County Tea Party head Tom Zawistowski, who posted about the planned trip to DC last month.