WASHINGTON (KTXL/AP) — A violent group loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and forced lawmakers into hiding, in a stunning attempt to overturn America’s presidential election, undercut the nation’s democracy and keep Democrat Joe Biden from replacing Trump in the White House.
Several California House representatives joined FOX40 News to discuss the day’s events and what happens next.
Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock
Rep. Josh Harder was on the phone with FOX40 as the violence unfolded at the U.S. Capitol.
It’s horrific to watch. I think this is one of the most disappointing days in American history, frankly. To see a violent mob literally invade our Capitol should be shocking that every American and I hope this is a watershed moment. This is not who we are as a country; we don’t solve our disagreement with violence. And frankly, I don’t think this is representative of most republicans or even Trump supporters across our country.
And I hope we can all come together to look at this and say that this is not representative of the values that we hold as a nation and we seek to satisfy our disagreements at the ballot box, not through violence at the U.S. Capitol.Rep. Josh Harder, D-CA
The congressman said he and his staffers had to be evacuated or go into lockdown as rioters entered the building.
Rep. John Garamendi, D-Davis
Rep. John Garamendi spoke with FOX40 shortly after President Donald Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol.
The normal process of the American democracy was underway, certifying the election, certifying the Electoral vote. So that was underway. But Donald Trump has never accepted that and this protest is a direct result of what Donald Trump wanted to have happen.
In fact, an hour before the protesters arrived at the Capitol, he told all the protesters to march on the Capitol. For what purpose? To stop the vote. To stop the electoral process. But our democracy has survived more than two centuries, and it’s going to survive Donald Trump. It’s going to survive these rioters. It’s going to survive those who breached the Capitol. In a few hours, we will be back, certifying the election and on Jan. 20 will be a new president.Rep. John Garamendi, D-CA
He later spoke with FOX40 during a brief break from House proceedings.
“This is one of the saddest days I’ve had in my long career in public policy,” Rep. Garamendi, D-Davis, said. “But it’s also a day of determination. It’s a day where the Congress of the United States, Democrats and Republicans, just hours after the police were successful in clearing the rioters out of the Capitol, we have reconvened to carry on the work of this Democracy.”
“I want my constituents to know that they should have faith in our Democracy,” Garamendi continued. “We’ve been at this for 230 years. We’ve had civil wars, we’ve had riots, we’ve had troubles of all kinds. But always our Constitution and our democracy has endured and it will continue to endure.”
FOX40 also reached out District 4 Rep. Tom McClintock but he was unable to provide a comment at the time. He did send out a tweet.
“The attack on the Capitol strikes at the most sacred act of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power. It is an outrage and a threat to our most fundamental principles as a free people,” the Republican congressman wrote.
While some members disputed the presidential election results, many from both parties expressed a desire to work together moving forward and a belief that the country’s democracy remains strong.
“By returning here to complete the work we were sent to do, we are proving that our Democracy cannot be disrupted by criminal behavior,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield. “We will not falter, we will not bend and we will not shrink from our duty.”