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Washington State elected officials react to Capitol riots

Violence broke out at the US Capitol Wednesday as the House and the Senate debated the presidential election results. The building was overrun by a pro-Trump mob, incited by the President himself. At least four people are dead as a result.

Members of Washington State’s congressional delegation could be seen taking cover as rioters entered the House floor. As riots ensued at the US Capitol, armed rioters in Olympia stormed the governor’s residence and threatened journalists at the scene.

The state’s governor, congressional delegation, and legislative leaders released statements following the day’s events.

Below are excerpts of a few of those statements.

Governor Jay Inslee

The siege of the U.S. Capitol was an attack on democracy itself. It was fueled, precipitated and induced by the unrelenting and totally discredited lies of Donald Trump and his lackeys in Congress.

The members of Washington’s congressional delegation, their staff and all who serve in the Capitol should never fear for their safety in carrying out the people’s work.

But know this — democracy will not be denied. The ship of state will sail on. Our nation will persevere and a new president will take office.

And it is our fondest hope that those who have enabled Donald Trump will be touched by the better angels of their nature, and find the courage to stand up for our most precious gift of democracy and the institutions that have preserved it for centuries.”

US Senator Patty Murray

This violent mob & the President who stoked their rage must be held accountable. They should not be allowed to delay our democratic processes for a minute longer.

We have a Constitutional duty to certify the election. We should resume that work right now and finish tonight.”

US House Delegation

Rep. Suzane DelBene (D): “My staff and I are safe. This violent mob will not stop us from carrying out our constitutional duty. My colleagues and I are determined to defend the vote of the people and certify the election results.

President Trump has violated his oath of office. For the good of the country, the 25th Amendment should be invoked to remove him from office immediately.”

Rep. Rick Larsen (D): “Thank you to the Capitol Police for helping to safeguard democracy today. I am sorry that people are treating the you with such disrespect.”

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler: I was on the House floor as the protestors overran police and pounded on the doors. The Capitol Police barricaded us in. We were told to get our gas masks. Eventually, we were ushered out. Capitol police who were escorting me told they had found and detonated four bombs just off the Capitol campus …

The reports you are hearing about the chaos, panic and dangerous actions by protestors are not exaggerations. I witnessed them. Is this the America we want to give our children?”

Read Herrera Beutler’s full statement here.

Rep. Dan Newhouse (R): I wholeheartedly condemn this violence. This is not who we are, and this needs to stop immediately.

After initially stating that she would object to the Electoral College vote counts in states where the president has made baseless claims of voter fraud, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers backpedaled Wednesday following the riots at the Capitol.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R): What happened today and continues to unfold in the nation’s capital is disgraceful and un-American. Thugs assaulted Capitol Police Officers, breached and defaced our Capitol Building, put people’s lives in danger, and disregarded the values we hold dear as Americans. To anyone involved, shame on you,” said McMorris Rodgers. “We must have a peaceful transfer of power. The only reason for my objection was to give voice to the concern that governors and courts unilaterally changed election procedures without the will of the people and outside of the legislative process … What we have seen today is unlawful and unacceptable. I have decided I will vote to uphold the Electoral College results and I encourage Donald Trump to condemn and put an end to this madness.”

Rep. Derek Kilmer (D): “This is a dark day for our republic. The violence & intimidation by the mob at the Capitol must stop, immediately. Donald Trump should call it off NOW. This is not how our system works. We don’t get bullied by angry people who lost elections. This will not get in the way of the will of the voters.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal: I am safe and sheltering in place. I was one of a dozen Representatives in the gallery above the House floor. We pulled out gas masks and had to get down on the ground. Capitol police barricaded the doors and had guns drawn. We were eventually told that we had to quickly exit.

I can’t contain my rage at Donald Trump and Republicans who invited, incited, and fueled this terror. Our country and our democracy will have to recover from these deep wounds—and it won’t be easy.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers and thoughts for our safety and for America.

We will get through this because we are strong and resilient. Stay calm, we will too, and justice and peace will prevail. We WILL preserve and protect our democracy. I promise you that.

Rep. Kim Schrier (D): Thank you to everyone asking about my safety. I am safe. I am VERY worried about the state of our country, and flabbergasted that our president has not put a stop to this. I am also worried about the health and safety of the Capitol Police, and thank them for their service.

Rep. Adam Smith (D): The assault by pro-Trump extremists on the United States Capitol is a criminal act aimed at ending our democracy as we know it …

President Trump and his enablers are directly responsible for the despicable acts at our nation’s Capitol that we all have witnessed today. The President incited and encouraged this riot. He has lied repeatedly, as have his enablers in Congress and elsewhere about this election. They do not believe in democracy. They believe in retaining power by any means necessary. All Americans who believe in the rule of law and our Constitution must clearly and unambiguously hold these people accountable for their actions.

“Order will be restored. Congress will do its job. This election will be certified, and Joe Biden will, as he was duly elected to do, take office as our next President on January 20th.”

Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D): “What we witnessed today was nothing short of an unprecedented assault on our Capitol, Constitution and democracy. This was not peaceful protest, this was domestic terrorism. Confederate-flag toting terrorists attempted a coup, incited and encouraged by Trump and his acolytes- all of whom will be judged by history. This violence is the direct result of Trump undermining our democratic process by misleading people because he didn’t like the results of the election.”

State legislative leaders

Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig: “We all have the right to protest, but we all also have a responsibility to not cross the line into intimidation or violence. Today at our state capital and in our nation’s capital, we have seen that line crossed. I condemn any violence, intimidation and destruction in the strongest terms possible.

I am glad to see prominent Republicans speaking out against today’s violence. I am disappointed, however, that it took violence at the United States Capitol Building for them to finally condemn what has been manifesting for years under this president and in recent weeks through the support of conspiracy theories designed to undermine our democracy.

Senate Minority Leader John Braun: “What we are seeing at our nation’s Capitol today is unacceptable. I condemned the violent protests here in our state and around the country this summer and I condemn today’s actions just as strongly. Attacking the U.S. Capitol is no more justifiable than attacking our state capitol, or a police precinct, or private property that happens to be in a certain part of a city. No matter the reasoning behind it, violence is not the answer …

I sincerely hope those protesting at the Washington State Capitol who share a cause with those protesting in D.C. today recognize the volatility of the situation and the need to maintain public safety, respect the role of the Capitol campus security officers and conduct themselves peacefully. Violence is not the path forward.”

House Minority Leader JT Wilcox: “Political violence must end or our great country will end. We treasure freedom of speech and the best service we can render our country now is to be an example of effective discourse that rejects violence. We can’t let toleration of violence be part of our politics. Cast it out.”


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