Indiana & Michigan Politicians React To Protests At U.S. Capitol

Jan 6, 2021

U.S. Capitol Police hold protesters at gun-point near the House Chamber inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.
Credit (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The U.S. Capitol was engulfed in chaos on Wednesday, as supporters of President Donald Trump, responding to his call to head there, breached the complex, resulting in violence in the seat of America's federal government.

The surreal and dangerous scene interrupted proceedings in the House and Senate, as members of Congress were taking up President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

As Trump called for peace but did not condemn the chaos at the Capitol, Vice President and former Indiana governor Mike Pence tweeted out a plea for the pro-Trump extremists to leave the building.

 

Screenshot via Twitter

At around 4 p.m. EST, Trump tweeted a 60-second video statement, during which he refused to accept the result of the election but called for the mob to leave the area.

"Go home, we love you, you're very special," Trump said, appearing to address the people whose actions had violently halted the democratic process earlier in the day. 

Trump's video statement has been flagged by Twitter as a disputed claim. It is not possible to interact with the tweet "due to a risk of violence."

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) released a statement addressing the actions of pro-Trump extremists via email.

"What we’re seeing at the Capitol is wrong, hurts the cause of election integrity, and needs to stop immediately," the statement read. "Rioting and violence are never acceptable."

Earlier in the day, Braun joined several other Republican senators in refusing to vote to certify the result of the presidential election.

 

Screenshot via Twitter

Here is a statement on Twitter from Indiana Sen. Todd Young, who did not plan to join Braun in objecting to any of the Electoral College results. 



 

Screenshot via Twitter

Indiana Dist. 2 Rep. Jackie Walorski planned to object to the certification of electoral college results from select states. That's in spite of the fact that earlier she had indicated to constituents that she considered the election results to be final. Here is what she had to say about the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.

Screenshot via Twitter

Michigan Congressman Fred Upton from Berrien County was also outspoken on Twitter about the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Screenshot via Twitter

Gov. Eric Holcomb, when asked about the chaos in D.C. during the state's weekly COVID-19 press conference, referenced the civil unrest of the 1960s.

In a statement released Wednesday evening, Holcomb called the group a "mob" and condemned the violence.

"It’s both saddening and sickening to watch a mob devolve into thinking their rules would ever replace the rule of law," Holcomb's statement said. "I unequivocally condemn the violence at the U.S. Capitol that we are now witnessing. Passion, patriotism and love for our nation should always and only be expressed in constructive ways that seek to honor the ideals on which our nation was founded. Any means of violence runs counter to who we are and is never acceptable.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder issued a joint statement saying, "What is unfolding today in our nation’s capital is truly appalling. Violence, vandalism, and insurrection have no place in this great country of ours. We are a nation of laws, not mobs,” Whitmer said. 

  

“While we come from different backgrounds and political parties, Governor Whitmer and I share a deep love for our country,” Snyder said. “We must always remember that we are Americans first, and we are not one another’s enemy. That’s why I join with Governor Whitmer in calling on people of goodwill across America to pray for peace, calm, and healing.”  

  

“Now is the time to put this election behind us once and for all,” Whitmer added. “We must unify as one nation to defeat our real enemy, which is the pandemic that has taken far too many of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. As Americans, there is no problem we can’t solve, and no challenge we can’t meet. Let's all stay safe. Let’s take care of each other. And let’s move forward together, as one United States of America.”

 

This post has been updated. NPR contributed to this post.