WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lawmakers representing western Pennsylvania were among those shuffled out of the U.S. Capitol complex when supporters of President Donald Trump who were protesting outside stormed their way into the Capitol building.
Debate was underway on an objection to the electoral vote count that would certify the election for President-elect Joe Biden.
Eight of Pennsylvania’s nine Republican congressmen planned to object the results.
Congressman Mike Doyle, a Democrat, was in his office waiting to go to the House floor for debate when the breach happened.
“We’ve already had two bomb scares and already evacuated. I’ve been here 26 years, been through four presidents. This is not what Americans voted for. This is not what Americans want, Democrats or Republicans,” Doyle told Rick Earle.
Democratic Senator Bob Casey was at the U.S. Capitol complex today when the protesters broke in. He’s safe and taking direction from Capitol Police. His staff was working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Republican Senator Pat Toomey said he’s also safe. He tweeted, “This is an absolute disgrace. I appreciate the work of the United States Capitol Police under difficult circumstances. I am currently safe as are the few members of my staff that are currently at the Capitol complex.”
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald addressed the violence in Washington before the county’s weekly briefing on COVID-19.
“I never thought I’d see the day of an attempted coup against our government,” Fitzgerald said. “Anarchists who want to do violence and damage our democracy and our society.”
Fitzgerald said there were no reports of anything locally related to the events at the Capitol.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, also weighed in via social media. He wrote, “What we’re seeing today is not democracy—it’s an attempted coup. We had a free and fair election. The results were clear. Republicans from Pres. Trump to PA legislative leaders need to stop the disinformation and tell their supporters the truth before there’s further violence.”
He went on to say, “Eight of the nine Republican members of Congress from Pennsylvania lied about our election in an attempt to pledge fealty to President Trump. Republican legislators enabled this every step of the way. They’ve held show trials to gin up President Trump’s supporters. They’ve intentionally spread disinformation. The actions of Republicans in Pennsylvania and across the country have led to violence. It is their fault. There should be no equivocation. It is past time for Republicans to stop lying and tell their supporters the truth. President Trump lost. The election was fair. President Trump received fewer votes. That’s it. We have had a peaceful transfer of power every election cycle in our nation’s history but because of the actions of Republicans, we can no longer say that. I am disgusted but I will keep fighting to make our democracy stronger.”
Former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum called Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol “heartbreaking.”
“If you love America, you understand the greatness of our country is the great institutions we have and we defend those institutions, you defend our Constitution,” Santorum told CNN. “We don’t try to overturn through violence and protests the things that you say you value.”