U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Spokane) called the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday “thugs” and said their actions were “disgraceful and un-American.”
“To anyone involved, shame on you,” she said.
Her statement came, however, just one day after she said she would be backing an effort to stop the counting of votes from the Electoral College.
On Wednesday, though, she said, “What we have seen today is unlawful and unacceptable. I have decided I will vote to uphold the Electoral College results and I encourage Donald Trump to condemn and put an end to this madness.”
Hallowed spaces of American democracy, one after another, yielded to the occupation of Congress on Wednesday, staff for The Associated Press wrote.
“Guns were drawn. A woman was shot and killed by police, and three others died in apparent medical emergencies. A Trump flag hung on the Capitol. The graceful Rotunda reeked of tear gas. Glass shattered,” Thursday morning’s report from AP said.
The pro-Trump mob took over the presiding officer’s chair in the Senate, the offices of the House speaker and the Senate dais, posed for photos in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Their aim was to stop proceedings to certify the Electoral College vote and the confirmation of Joe Biden as the next president.
That certification would eventually take place, but not until well after midnight.
U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Sunnyside), who represents a small portion of western Walla Walla County, tweeted during the riot, “I wholeheartedly condemn this violence. This is not who we are, and this needs to stop immediately.”
Newhouse was on the House floor Wednesday listening to members’ objections over electoral votes from Arizona when he received an email about the evacuation of the Cannon House Building, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic.
Newhouse, along with his wife and staff, took shelter in the Longworth House Building, where they remained for several hours while the Capitol was in lockdown.
In the call with reporters, Newhouse said he was in a “state of disbelief” about what was occurring and was also “disgusted and horrified” by how things unfolded Wednesday, the Yakima Herald reported. Newhouse said he supported people’s right to protest and freedom of speech but felt rioters crossed a line.
“This has gone beyond that,” he said. “It’s truly unfortunate for our country.”
Some members of the U.S. House were barricaded in the very chambers where they conduct political affairs, and others were taken to unspecified, secure locations according to multiple news sources.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) tweeted that she was safe along with all of her staff. She then called on Congress to resume Wednesday evening and certify the election results. She later gave a statement urging that Trump be immediately removed from office.
“The insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol today should be held fully accountable for their actions under the law. So should the president,” she said. “The most immediate way to ensure the president is prevented from causing further harm in coming days is to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office. As history watches, I urge Vice President Pence and the president’s cabinet to put country before party and act.”
Other local politicians weighed in on the melee at the nation’s capital without pulling punches.
State Rep. Skyler Rude (R-Walla Walla) tweeted, “Breaching capitol security and use of weapons to interfere with a constitutional process is disgusting. Absolutely shameful.”
On his official Facebook account, Rude called their actions ”clearly domestic terrorism” and called for all involved in the violence to be prosecuted.
As elected officials were trying to make sense of what was happening, including Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, another protest erupted outside the governor’s mansion and eventually gained access to the grounds there, according to Washington State Patrol and the Governor’s Office.
Multiple news outlets were on hand as dozens of protestors stormed the gates of the mansion, chanting “USA” while holding both Trump and American flags.
Troopers said Inslee and his family were moved to a safe location. The Seattle Times reported a “standoff” happened between protestors and law enforcement before the pro-Trump demonstrators eventually left the lawn of the house, which is right next door to the Washington State Capitol.
State Sen. Perry Dozier (R-Waitsburg) said he didn’t know enough about the events in Olympia to make a fully informed statement yet.
He said that, on the surface, it’s obviously been a “pent up” year for everyone, but anything besides a peaceful demonstration was out of bounds.
Dozier also said he felt some of the aggression from people in Washington may be coming from the governor’s newest reopening plan, which he said is “not based on science” and will tank the state’s economy.
Rude and Rep. Mark Klicker (R-Walla Walla) could not be reached for comment regarding the Olympia protest.
Oregon State Police said two opposing groups got into a fight. One man was arrested, but more charges were possible following investigation, according to a release from state police.