Reportedly, on Thursday during the Senate debates over the Ohio electoral challenge, Ohio citizen Prof. Tracy Wallach was arrested by Capitol Police upon leaving the public gallery.
The incident apparently triggering the arrest was her alleged spontaneous outcry upon hearing the testimony of Ohio Senator George Voinovich. When Voinovich stated on the Senate floor that Ohio had elected Bush as President, Prof. Wallach allegedly cried out, “No, Ohio didn’t, you lied.” She then rushed from the Senate gallery where she had been seated to observe the debate. She was arrested shortly thereafter outside the gallery, and jailed overnight in the City Jail without bail, pending a hearing today on charges of disruption of Congress. She was told the outburst was a felony offense, and will face up to 6 months of jail time and a fine after a court hearing scheduled for March 2004. Prof. Wallach was told she was banned from the U.S. Capitol area of Washington D.C., forever.
Washington D.C. Police could not specify what penalties might result from her arrest. Wallach is a resident of Ohio and a professor at Kent State University. She had traveled to Washington with the “Freedom Winter Bus” from Columbus. The 50 citizens onboard the bus had started out at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday in Columbus, arriving in Washington, D.C. for a press conference at 2:00, followed by presentations of personal testimony to their elected representatives about their experiences with vote fraud and disenfranchisement in the November election.
Washington Police reportedly confiscated her camera, and other personal belongings. Prof. Wallach described her treatment as “extremely rude, especially in the middle of the night.”