Rioters took over the U.S. Capitol today in Washington, D.C. as Congress prepared to work on the certification of the November election. Many of them were seen sporting flags and other apparel in support of President Donald Trump, who has relentlessly contested the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. During a rally Wednesday, Trump encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol and pressure elected officials to challenge the election results.
They stormed inside as security barricaded the House and Senate chambers with members inside sheltering in place. A woman was shot in the neck in a stairwell of the Capitol and died shortly after. The D.C. National Guard is on the scene as rioters break a 6 p.m. curfew in place.
During a press conference Wednesday, Gov. Mike Parson was asked if the President or electoral college protests incited the mob.
“Absolutely not and here is why I say that – is that anytime you have had gatherings in Washington, D.C. – we’ve seen marches, we’ve seen different people go other there. Are they wrong to do that? No. Everybody has the right to protest,” says Parson. “When you try to blame the president or blame somebody else, my understanding is the president told them not to commit any crimes. But again, I haven’t read any of the details of this. You by far know more about the details of what’s going on out there right now than I do. My point of it is if they are doing things, violating the law, don’t do it. Go back outside. Protest.”
House Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, House Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann, R-O’Fallon, and Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher, R-St. Louis, issued the following statement:
“The violence and destruction that occurred today in our nation’s capital is unacceptable. Peaceful protests are an important part of free speech, but violence can never be tolerated,” they said.
House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, calls the event a GOP-instigated insurrection.
“The armed insurrection currently taking place in our nation’s capital is an affront to democracy and everything America represents. Although today’s events are shocking, they unfortunately aren’t surprising and are the inevitable outcome of months of Republican leaders – including many in Missouri – pushing the lie of a Trump victory and attempting to overturn a legitimate election. House Democrats strongly denounce this violent coup attempt and are deeply disappointed Governor Parson and other Missouri Republican elected officials won’t do the same,” Quade says in a written statement.
During a press conference today, Missouri Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, responded to the unrest.
“We’ve been divided for so long and I think everybody is to blame for completely different reasons,” he says. “But you know, leaders lead.”
Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence, cancelled a news conference planned today in light of the news.
“Domestic terrorists are waving Trump flags and storming the U.S. Capitol in an act of modern treason against the United States of America,” Rizzo says in a press release. “I am calling on all Republican office holders in Missouri to denounce this terrorism and the inflammatory rhetoric spewed from the President of the United States that has led to this moment.”
Congress has resumed its work on the election process.
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