WASHINGTON — A protest broke out on Capitol Hill as Congress attempted to certify the Electoral College results Wednesday afternoon.
The group of protestors expressed doubt in the results, which would declare former Vice President Joe Biden the 46th President of the United States. The crowd, sporting pro-Trump clothing and flags raided the Capitol, causing a lockdown. One person was shot according to the Associated Press.
Those that represent Scioto County in the U.S. House of Representatives, two Republican congressmen that have supported President Donald Trump, both called for an end to the violence.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup went to Twitter a little after 3 p.m. to condemn the ongoing situation, standing behind law enforcement attempting to restore peace.
“This violence must stop. The criminals who have broken into the U.S. Capitol, injured law enforcement, and disrupted the constitutional process are not patriots,” he tweeted. “No matter what flag one is carrying, people violating the law need to be held accountable.”
Rep. Bill Johnson, who represents the eastern half of the county, also sent out a statement on social media. He planned on contesting the election results in Pennsylvania, claiming voter fraud through mail-in voting that led to Biden’s victory in the state.
“I’m shocked and dismayed by the violence here in the Capitol,” said Johnson in a statement. “This is not the way Americans solve our problems.”
Many GOP political leaders in Ohio issued similar remarks, including Gov. Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, and Sen. Rob Portman.
“I condemn the storming of the Capitol. This is not protest, but lawlessness,” tweeted Yost. “My prayers are with the law enforcement officers trying to restore order.”
Portman and DeWine, both of whom have referred to Biden as the president-elect, said in separate statements that First Amendment rights to protest were essentially void once it became violent.
DeWine defined the unfolding situation as an “embarrassment to our country” and added that the protesters disrupted a fundamental constitutional process.
“This is an affront to our Constitution and everything we hold dear,” the Governor tweeted. “Those who breached the Capitol breached the Constitution.”
Portman said previously that voter fraud, which President Trump claimed led to the election being stolen, had happened but not in amounts to change the 306-232 electoral tally. He did not support attempts like Johnson’s to contest the Electoral College results.
“The right to protest peacefully is protected under the Constitution but the actions by violent mobs against our law enforcement and property at the @US Capitol building today are not,” tweeted Portman. “@realdonaldtrump should condemn this unacceptable vandalism and violence.”
The Ohio Democratic Party also released the following statement from Chairwoman Rhine McLin in response to Wednesday’s events at the U.S. Capitol.
“President-elect Joe Biden is absolutely right: the words of a president matter. For too long, this president’s words have fanned the flames of hatred, chaos and racism, and for four years, Ohio Republicans have cheered him on or shrugged their shoulders and pretended to be ‘late for lunch.’ We join president-elect Biden in calling on the president to go on national TV immediately, condemn the violence and demand that his supporters end their seditious attack on the U.S. Capitol. We will continue to pray for our nation and for our nation’s leaders.”
Trump also took to Twitter to speak to his supporters, who he said are “very special,” empathizing with their pain and asking them to go home peacefully.
“We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election. Everyone knows it, especially the other side,” he said in a video that Twitter has prevented from being shared, retweeted or liked. “You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order.”
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday and ending at 6 a.m. Thursday. The New York Times reports that 1,100 National Guard troops would be activated and deployed throughout the city.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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