Ohio politicians react to violent mob who stormed US Capitol

Updated: Jan. 6, 2021 at 9:36 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A disheartening scene unfolded in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday afternoon as supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol building while Congress attempted to certify the electoral results in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.

Rioters clashed with law enforcement before eventually making their way into the Capitol chambers, triggering a message from the president that was delivered nearly two hours after the unrest started.

Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a long-time advocate of President Trump, asked his supporters to “Stop the violence.”

Jordan was present and spoke in the Congressional chambers during the session to certify the election results before it was adjourned.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat representing Ohio, was also at the Capitol during the lockdown due to the destructive protests.

Other Ohio lawmakers, including Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, released statements in reaction to violence at the nation’s Capitol building.

“This is an embarrassment to our country. This must stop immediately. The President should call for the demonstrators to leave our Capitol Building. The final step in the constitutional process of electing our president has been disrupted. The stopping of the count of the Electoral College votes has occurred because the security of the U.S. Capitol has been breached by a violent mob. As a nation of laws, this is simply not acceptable. Lawlessness is not acceptable. This is an affront to our Constitution and everything we hold dear. Those who breached the Capitol breached the Constitution. Peaceful demonstrations outside the Capitol are an exercise of the demonstrators’ First Amendment rights. Stopping the constitutional process by which we elect the president is not.”

- Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

19 News later spoke with Gov. DeWine on Wednesday evening regarding the riots at the US Capitol.

When asked about Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine’s reactions to the insurrection considering the coronavirus crisis, Gov. DeWine shared an emotional response saying he and his wife were “horrified,” and felt like it was a “kick in the gut.”

Here is our full interview with Gov. DeWine:

“I condemn the violent and criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol today. These shameful actions to disrupt a session of Congress and vandalize the Capitol building should never happen in our great republic. The U.S. Capitol belongs to every American and is a symbol of the citadel of democracy. An attack on the Capitol building is an attack on every American. Likewise, an attack on our nation’s brave law enforcement officers is an attack on the rule of law and the safety and security of all Americans.

“It is time for President Trump to embrace the peaceful transfer of power, which is mandated under the Constitution and a hallmark of our democracy. The Senate should reconvene in our Chamber to get our work done. I urge the House and Senate to certify the electoral college results tonight.”

- U.S. Sen. Rob Portman

“This is a day that will live in infamy. The very people who believe they are protecting our country have succeeded in destroying it. This is a sad day in the history of this great nation’s democracy. This is not the way, even when we disagree. Violence is never the answer and order must be restored.”

- U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Ohio 11th District

Here is the full statement from the Office of Congresswoman Kaptur “amid the ongoing chaos by insurrectionists on Capitol Hill:”

“This is a horrific day for American democracy and liberty,” said Rep Kaptur. “My deepest gratitude goes out to the selfless men and women of the Capitol Police for keeping my colleagues and our public servants safe.”

“The attack on the U.S. Capitol today is an assault on democracy, decency and our Constitution. Those who have stoked and perpetuated this violence must be held accountable to fullest extent of the law.”

“Such lawless behavior will not be allowed to prevent our constitutional mandate. I look forward to Congress reconvening and completing its work to certify America’s vote and to doing the work we must to heal this nation.”

“Like millions of my fellow Buckeyes, I was disappointed in the 2020 election results and supported recounts in contested states as well as the President’s legal right to address reported irregularities in court. Unfortunately, my support for those efforts does not change the fact that over the last two months, not a single state recount changed its results and no court - including those of Republican judges appointed by the President - determined it had been presented with any evidence to sustain any of the dozens of lawsuits alleging widespread fraud.

“Americans deserve to have confidence in the free and fair election process that defines our democracy. They also deserve a government that fights to preserve the source of our freedoms: the Constitution.

“Should the issue of election integrity be examined by Congress? Absolutely. I strongly believe - not only as a lawmaker but also as a voting citizen - that any reports of violations of state or federal election laws must be investigated and those found to have committed related crimes need to be prosecuted. But should Congress override the Constitution and supersede the authority given to the states by our Founding Fathers? Absolutely not.

- U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce, Ohio 14th District

“What is happening in Washington, D.C. is appalling and unconscionable. The blame lies entirely with President Trump and his supporters, including the Republican elected officials who have defended him for the past four years, as he was breaking democratic rule after democratic rule.

“I woke up hopeful for America this morning after Georgia elected its first Black and its first Jewish U. S. Senators. Not in a million years would I have expected to see extremists invade the Capitol to stop the certification of the presidential election. This has to stop. We cannot let a violent mob disrupt our democratic process. I urge my Republican colleagues to condemn these riots and stop advancing dangerous conspiracy theories.”

- Ohio Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko of Richmond Heights

“The rule of law means the same rules for everybody. Those of us who called for prosecution of the people who stormed the federal courthouse in Portland must apply the same demand to those who stormed the Capitol today. The color of your skin or the slogan upon your banner must not change what is and is not acceptable.

Let all of us in Ohio remain peaceful. Do not let a sense of injustice produce more injustice.”

- Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

“These attacks on our democracy, our nation’s Capitol, and Capitol Police are abhorrent and must stop. This is not how the Constitution has guided our country and citizens over the past 232 years. My eternal gratitude goes to the men and women who protect us 24 hours a day at the Capitol. I pray for their safety.

“Like many Americans, I looked forward to four years of achieving our nation’s greatness together under conservative leadership in order to help America’s working men and women, farmers, veterans, and small businesses; bolster our defense; and ensure our leadership across the globe. To say I am disappointed in the election’s results is an understatement.

“The United States Constitution is the greatest document in self-government the world has ever known. There was great debate between the delegates as to what type of legislature we would have, what a judicial branch would look like, and of course, what kind of federal executive would be created and elected.

“As a constitutional conservative, I believe the first three words in the Constitution are bigger than everything else in that document. Those three words are, ‘We the people.’ The Constitution grants the American people the opportunity to vote for our nation’s President, and it provides a system for presidential electors from each state to formally elect the President. These presidential electors are collectively known as the Electoral College. Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 states that ‘Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors,….’ The Constitution’s 12th Amendment further defines this process when it states, ‘The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President… and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President.’

“As required, the presidential electors cast their ballots, forwarded those tallies to the President of the Senate, and those lists were being opened and counted in a joint session today. The Constitution dictates the person receiving the greatest number of votes will be the President. Under federal law, if at least one member of the Senate and one member of the House of Representatives object to the state’s certification of electors, a Congressional vote will be held to reject the state’s electors.

“I believe the President had the right to go to court to contest states where cases of election irregularities were presented. In the dozens of federal and state court cases that were filed on behalf of the President, the President did not prevail. I supported an amicus brief that was very narrow in scope. It asked the United States Supreme Court to answer the question of the Electors Clause in Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of whether only the state legislatures could set the rules for choosing the electors in their respective states, as is so clearly stated in the Constitution, or could other state officials or parties do so. The Court did not address the issue, and it will be a simmering problem in presidential elections in the future. As called on by Senator Rob Portman, I support the establishment of a blue ribbon bipartisan panel to investigate the 2020 election and to put those findings into practice into coming elections.

“While I believe these actions were taken appropriately, I have taken a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I take that oath very seriously.

“The Constitution does not grant Congress the authority to overturn elections and overrule state and federal courts. We must preserve the Electoral College as outlined in the Constitution because without it, the entire landscape of electing the president would be irreparably altered for the worse. It is for these reasons that I will cast my vote to uphold the Constitution, and I cannot support the objections.”

- Congressman Bob Latta, Ohio 5th District

“Americans support peaceful protests, First Amendment activity, and the men and women of law enforcement. What happened today is wrong and is not what America is about.”

- Rep. Jim Jordan, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee

“The attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol by terrorists is the direct result of Republicans undermining the very democratic institutions and principles that they were elected to and swore to protect and uphold. The shallow words from so-called ‘leaders’ like U.S. Senator Rob Portman, Gov. Mike DeWine, GOP Chairman Jane Timken, and all the others is nothing but a sham to cover their own complicity.

Anyone who has defended Trump and his extremist allies are the ones that have allowed this disgraceful attack to overthrow our government. I call on every Republican leader to immediately condemn Donald Trump and to call on the domestic terrorists to leave the U.S. Capitol immediately.”

- Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes of Akron

“It was frightening to see pro-Trump extremists storm the U.S. Capitol and disrupt the presidential vote count. It was shocking to see American lawmakers hide under their desk, shelter in place and wear gas masks. And it was appalling to see how differently these violent rioters were treated compared to the peaceful demonstrators who marched for racial justice and equality during the summer last year.

“Trump has been president for only four years but he has already caused great damage to our country’s democratic institutions. I ask Republicans to condemn Trump’s instigation of violence in the strongest terms and to finally distance themselves from the president.”

- Sen. Tina Maharath, Canal Winchester

This story will be updated.

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