Headline, Politics

Lawmakers safe after Capitol overrun by Trump-supporting mob

Law-enforcement officials in riot gear guarding the Capitol Hill building on Wednesday evening after it was overran by Trump supporters. Image via C-SPAN
Law-enforcement officials in riot gear guarding the Capitol Hill building on Wednesday evening after it was overran by Trump supporters. Image via C-SPAN

Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal blame Trump for the violence.

A mob supporting President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Hill on Wednesday afternoon, in an effort to overturn the results of presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden. Many lawmakers condemned the violent protests, among them all four Indian American members of Congress.

Rioters, many of them holding confederate flags, entered both the House of Representatives and Senate chambers. Although shots were apparently fired in the Capitol, no lawmakers were harmed in the siege thus far.

Rep. Amir Bera tweeted that he and his staff were safe.

“Sheltering in Cannon,” fellow Californian Ro Khanna tweeted.

“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,” he added.

Illinois Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi tweeted: “I’m sheltering safely on the Capitol grounds as we’re witnessing the current acts of mob destruction and violence which followed the President’s urging and his refusal to accept the result of our fair democratic election even as the courts and senior Republican leaders have.”

Indian American lawmakers were quick to condemn the violent mob that stormed the Capitol building and blamed Trump, who earlier in the day addressed the tens and thousands of his supporters that descended on Washington to protest against the certification of results by Congress.

“The storming of the U.S. Capitol is dangerous and disgusting and needs to stop, immediately,” Bera, the longest-serving Indian American lawmaker, wrote.

“I can’t contain my rage at Donald Trump and Republicans who invited, incited, and fueled this terror,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA, tweeted. “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.”

Khanna tweeted, “Trump was rejected in courts by people his party appointed, rejected by states where his party was in power & now by his party’s Senate leader & VP. Democracy is still sacred for Americans. That spirit will overcome today’s violence. Prayers for the injured.”

Krishnamoorthi added, “Our country is better than this, our democracy is stronger than this, and we will move forward. But this is a dark day for our country.”

Jayapal urged people to stay calm. “We will get through this because we are strong and resilient,” she tweeted. “Stay calm, we will too, and justice and peace will prevail. We WILL preserve and protect our democracy. I promise you that.”

President-elect Biden, in an address to the nation from Delaware, called the riot an “insurrection” and an “assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people’s business.”

Saying “enough is enough,” he asked Trump to “go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”

Later Trump, who was heavily criticized for inciting his supporters, called on the mob to go home. In a pre-recorded video message, he said. ““It’s a very tough period of time. There has never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us– from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election. But we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace.”

“So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens, you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel, but go home and go home in peace,” he said.

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