GOP lawmakers condemn pro-Trump rioters within the US Capitol
Several Republican senators will no longer oppose the electoral college vote on Wednesday after pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier in the day and interrupted a joint congressional session that officially declared President-elect Joe Biden the winner 2020 election.
Sens. Steve Daines, R-Mont., James Lankford, R-Okla. And Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., All indicated that Congress would push for confirmation of Biden’s victory.
“We are not going to let today’s violence stop Congress from confirming the election,” said Daines. “We must restore confidence in our electoral process. We must and will have a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.”
On the floor of the Senate, Lankford said he acknowledged that the commission he and several colleagues had asked to review the electoral process would no longer take place. He added that Congress was moving towards Biden certification as president.
Loeffler, who forecast NBC News Wednesday would lose her election bid to Democrat Raphael Warnock, said she planned to object on Wednesday but “the events that happened today forced me to do it again to reconsider. “
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Said in a statement Wednesday that her plan to raise objections was to raise concerns about “changed electoral processes without the will of the people”.
“What we saw today is illegal and unacceptable,” she said. “I have decided to vote for the electoral college results, and I encourage Donald Trump to condemn and end this madness.”
Earlier in the day, the rioters paused the procedural session to count the votes when they violated the Capitol and sent lawmakers down.
President Donald Trump has stoked his supporters with false claims that the election was stolen from him. These claims were compounded by more than a dozen GOP senators and dozen other members of the Republican House who said they wanted to object to the certification of votes in key battlefield states. Still, Biden’s victory should be confirmed.
Others have not yet indicated a change of heart, despite condemning the unrest.
Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Who was the first Senator to say he would object to the election votes, said the floor of Congress was the appropriate place to raise such objections, despite condemning the violence that took place. He denied that Wednesday’s trial was just a formality.
“This is the right place where these objections should be heard,” he said.
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, opposed the confirmation of Arizona votes at the beginning of the joint session on Wednesday, and gave standing ovations from other members.
Later, as protesters stormed the Capitol, Cruz warned on Twitter: “Those who storm the Capitol must stop NOW. The Constitution protects peaceful protest, but violence – left or right – is ALWAYS wrong. And those involved in violence hurt them because they say they support them. “
Kevin McCarthy, minority chairman of the House of Representatives, R-Calif., Called the riot “un-American”.
“I condemn each and every one of the acts of violence that is taking place in the Capitol right now. I couldn’t be sadder or more disappointed with what our country is like right now,” McCarthy told Fox News during the riot on Wednesday. “This is not the American way. This is not protected by the first change. This has to stop now.”
On Sunday, McCarthy told The Hill that it was “right” to discuss electoral college votes at the joint session and said, “How else can we change the electoral problems?”
Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Who spoke out Wednesday, condemned protesters for “forbidding us from our constitutional duty. I condemn them in the strongest possible terms. We are a nation of law.”
“Let’s call it what it is: an attack on the Capitol is an attack on democracy,” Senator Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Wrote on Twitter. “Today we are trying to use the democratic process to address grievances. This violence hinders our ability to do this. Violent protests were unacceptable this summer and are now unacceptable.”
“I share the frustration many Americans have with the presidential election. However, what happened in the US Capitol today is unreasonable and unacceptable, and I condemn it at the highest level,” wrote Senator Roger Marshall, R-Kan., The Just was sworn in on Sunday and is expected to raise objections. He later tweeted, “We have to go back to the chamber to finish our work – TODAY.”
Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla., Who said he would “likely vote to uphold the opposition against Pennsylvania voters,” tweeted Wednesday that protesters storming the Capitol “are not what our country stands for.” “and urged them to be prosecuted.
Other senators, who were expected to object to the electoral college’s votes, posted statements condemning the violence on Twitter, and many praised the Capitol police force. These Senators included: Mike Braun, R-Ind., Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., John Kennedy, R-La., Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.
As of Wednesday evening, Senator Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., Who had been sworn in a few days ago but also wanted to raise objections, had not made a statement about his personal or professional Twitter accounts.
Other Republicans, who are Trump’s allies but have not gone so far as to support objections to the electoral college vote, also condemned the mayhem on Capitol Hill Wednesday night.
Trump’s former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney criticized the president for failing to make a more forceful statement condemning the rioters.
“The president’s tweet is not enough. He can stop this now and must do just that. Tell these people to go home,” he wrote on Twitter. Mulvaney told Yahoo Finance Live in an interview shortly after the election that attorneys attempting to prove electoral fraud on Trump’s behalf “must provide or silence the evidence in support of the lawsuits.”
Trump had tweeted on Wednesday: “Please support our police and law enforcement in the Capitol. You are really on our country’s side. Stay peaceful!”
He later added, “Remember, WE are law and order – respect the law and our great men and women in blue.”
Trump later re-released a video in which he did not call for violence, but also reiterated his unsubstantiated claim that the election was “stolen”.
Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Who was not among the known members expected to object to the results, also pleaded on Twitter for Trump to offer more support.
“Mr President @realDonaldTrump, the men and women of law enforcement are under attack. It is critical that you help restore order by sending resources to assist the police and asking those who do so to step down,” he wrote.
Rubio previously said that claims for electoral irregularities or fraud should be decided by the courts. Trump and his allies lost or withdrew dozens of legal cases during the election.
Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., A strong ally of Trump, tweeted Wednesday, “This violence is unacceptable and must be combated with the full force of the law.”
Cotton previously said he would not object to the election results but voiced concerns about “irregularities” in the presidential election without producing any evidence.
Cotton said in a statement before Wednesday that even if Republicans prevailed, it “would essentially end the presidential election and put that power in the hands of the party that controls Congress,” according to the Washington Post.
Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey, who confirmed Biden’s victory in the state, tweeted Wednesday, “In America we practice peaceful transfers of power. We respect the law and law enforcement. The scene in the United States Capitol is currently false and has No place in.” our form of government. Everyone should denounce and it should end now. “
Although Ducey attested Biden’s victory, he was criticized for failing to forcibly reject unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud.
Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube