capitol riot

State, Local Leaders Denounce Actions of Capitol Rioters, Trump

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Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday decried the actions of a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said Trump should be put on trial for sedition.

The House of Representatives was back in order following an afternoon of disarray as hundreds of Trump supporters breached the nation’s Capitol. Bay Area Congresswoman Jackie Speier was in the gallery outside the House chamber as rioters forced their way into the Capitol building. Sergio Quintana reports.

Supporters of the president overcame police and breached the U.S. Capitol earlier Wednesday as both chambers of Congress were in session to hold hearings on the certification of the Electoral College vote following November's election of former Vice President Joe Biden as president.

Local republican reaction to Wednesday’s riots at the Capitol ranges from outrage, to a far more nuanced response. Terry McSweeney reports.

"Peaceful protest is an important mechanism of our democracy but what we are witnessing in our nation's Capitol building is reprehensible and an outright assault to our democracy and Democratic institutions," Newsom said in a statement.

He canceled his regular update on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the state to make sure staff members of the governor's office were safe.

Members of Congress scrambled to stay safe during Wednesday's chaos at the U.S. Capitol. NBC Bay Area's Anoushah Rasta spoke with Rep. Anna Eshoo and Rep. Jared Huffman while they were in lockdown.

Newsom said the state's congressional delegation should not have to fear for their safety while representing their citizens, and his office was reaching out to help protect California leaders.

"President Trump must call for an end to this escalating situation, acknowledge the will of the people to bring President-Elect Biden to the White House and move immediately to a peaceful transition of power," Newsom said.

Shortly before Newsom issued his statement, President Trump went on Twitter in a recorded video and said, "I know your pain. I know you're hurt.

"We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election," he said. "But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order."

"Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order - respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue," he wrote on Twitter earlier in the day.

Liccardo said, "For this atrocious, dismaying display in our Capitol Building, Donald Trump should be tried for sedition. As a former federal prosecutor, I refer our next U.S. Attorney General to 18 USC Sections 2384 & 2385. 

"Under the Supreme Court's holding in Nixon v. Fitzgerald, the President is not immune from criminal prosecution, and this President has violated Section 2384 of Title 18 of the United States Code by publicly inciting the use of unlawful means to undermine the will of the electorate."

President-elect Joseph Biden struck a similar tone.

"Let me be very clear: the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not represent who we are," he said. "What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. It borders on sedition."

Photos: Pro-Trump Supporters Breach the Capitol Building

Bay Area congressional representatives also reacted to the chaos in Washington as it was happening by taking to Twitter to let others know their condition or speak out.

"My staff and I are safe," Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, said. "Praying for an end to this violence."

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, said, "I am currently sheltering in place in the Capitol at a secure location. I will give more updates. This is a very sad day for democracy."

"Never imagined I would be locked down in the US Capitol trying to ride out a violent coup attempt led by an American President," Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, said, referring to Trump.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said, "I am horrified that colleagues and staff are on lockdown in House office buildings as I tweet this.

"I am equally horrified that Trump and members of the GOP have called for this blatant attempt to disrupt & undermine our democracy. Please stay safe," Lee said.

"I join President-elect @JoeBiden in calling for the assault on the Capitol and our nation's public servants to end, and as he said, "allow the work of democracy to go forward," Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, an Oakland native, said on social media.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed also reacted on Twitter to the day's events.

"This is an attempted coup encouraged by the President of the United States. It's a dark day for our democracy, and the culmination of all of his anti-democratic words and actions from his campaign through his presidency. We are better than this," Breed said.

The Republican party in California also reacted, "The violent protests taking place today are unacceptable," chairwoman Jessica Milan Patterson wrote on Twitter. "As the party of law and order, I am deeply saddened and disappointed by these actions and condemn the violence."

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