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Local lawmakers respond to storming of U.S. Capitol by demonstrators

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Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 10:02:18-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Demonstrators who are supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon following a rally held by President Trump in Washington D.C.

Several local lawmakers have released statements in response to the storming of the Capitol.

Congressmember Brian Higgins (D)

“The US Capitol is a sacred space - a building at the literal center of our capital and central to our democracy. The actions of protestors today, egged on by the outgoing President to disrupt the certification of electoral votes of what is a ceremonial formality, should be seen by all Americans as a challenge to the legitimacy of our democracy. This is domestic terrorism, and it has no place in America.”

Jeremy Zellner, Chairman of the Erie County Democratic Committee

"This is shameful, cowardly behavior by people who claim to believe in law and order, all on behalf of an incompetent President who for the past 4 years has waged war on reality and our Constitution. Inciting a mob to storm the Capitol is a direct attack on democracy."

Senator Rob Ortt (R)

"As a veteran, I’ve proudly fought for American’s right to protest peacefully. There is nothing peaceful about the chaos in Washington today. This is NOT who we are."

Congressmember Tom Reed (R)

"Violence such as what we are seeing at the Capitol is absolutely unacceptable. We must de-escalate the situation immediately. We are Americans and do not do this. My heart breaks for our nation right now. Our country and its beautiful democracy is better than this. Our Constitution calls for the civil transition of power and though we may not agree with the election results, we must agree to always act with honor and civility towards all. We believe in the right to peacefully protest, but we must emphatically reject these horrible instances of physical attacks on our governing institutions and let democracy proceed."

Senator Chuck Schumer (D) on behalf of himself and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

"We are calling on President Trump to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Grounds immediately."

Nick Langworthy, Chairman of the New York State Republican Committee

"This is not what America or the Republican Party stands for. Our Capitol is a sacred symbol of our great nation. This violent, lawless and disgraceful behavior must end! Respect law and order and our police officers. Stop this mayhem now!"

Congressmember Chris Jacobs (R)

“I condemn the violence and destruction that is taking place in our nation’s capital in the strongest possible terms. While our country cherishes peaceful protest, this current behavior is unacceptable and has no place in a democracy. I urge all protestors to immediately and peacefully leave the Capitol building and the surrounding area and to follow the instructions of law enforcement personnel.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D)

"My staff and I are in a secure location and are safe. Today's events are disgraceful but will not change the fact that Joe Biden will be the President of the United States on January 20."

Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor of New York State (D)

"It’s more than an assault on the Capitol building. It’s an assault on democracy and America itself. Domestic terrorists who undermine our free and fair elections and attempt to sabotage the peaceful transfer of power must be brought to justice."

Carl Heastie, Speaker of the New York State Assembly (D)

"The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol and our democratic institutions that is occurring right now in Washington is deplorable. In the United States of America, we pride ourselves on a peaceful transition of power. This is domestic terrorism and it is an attempt to overthrow the elected will of the American people. President Trump needs to call on his supporters to end this assault on our democracy. And he must – he absolutely must – concede that Joe Biden is the President-Elect of the United States. This needs to end now. I am praying for all of those who work in the Capitol and the House and Senate office buildings – from our elected representatives and their staffs to the members of the media and those who go to work every day to keep the Capitol running."

Will Barclay, New York State Assembly Minority Leader (R)

“The situation unfolding in Washington D.C. is nothing short of tragic. What we’ve witnessed today has no place in our country and should be condemned by anyone who considers themself a true American. Protests have always been part of political discourse, but the events at the Capitol have crossed every line imaginable. As a nation, we are better than this - and we need to show it immediately.”

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, New York State Senate Majority Leader (D)

“Donald Trump began his presidency talking about ‘American carnage,’ and now that is how he is ending his time in office. People are storming the U.S. Capitol because the President has told them he has been wronged, despite there being no evidence to support that claim. Over the past four years, more than any other time, we have seen that elections matters, voting matter, and leadership matters. As President, Donald Trump has been a failure and the American people, our image, and our values have paid the price.”

Assemblymember Stephen Hawley (R)

“We have our First Amendment for a reason, violence is never acceptable regardless of what you believe politically. We are a people of one nation, regardless of political beliefs."

Assemblymember Pat Burke (D)

"Chris Jacobs participated in legitimizing attacks against a free and fair election. Those attacks against our democracy by Donald Trump and his followers led to insurrection and an attack against the United States of America. Chris Jacobs bears responsibility for his leadership failures. I am calling on Chris Jacobs to resign from Congress."

Stefan Mychajliw, Erie County Comptroller (R)

"Violence is never the answer. Whether it is Antifa attacking police and burning down buildings. Or protestors attacking police and military at our nation’s Capitol. It is time for our country to come together with what unites us and work together for solutions on what divides us."

Andrew Cuomo, New York State Governor (D)

"The cornerstone of our democracy is the peaceful transfer of power. We must call this what it actually is: a failed attempt at a coup. This is the final chapter of an incompetent, cruel, and divisive administration that has trampled on the Constitution and the rule of law at every turn, and we won't let President Trump, the members of Congress who enable him, or the lawless mob that stormed our nation's Capitol steal our democracy. The election results are clear and the will of the American people will be carried out."

Senator Sean Ryan (D)

“Today a mob invaded the U.S. Capitol, fueled by lies from Congressman Chris Jacobs and others about the 2020 election. By supporting the effort for Congress to overturn the election, Congressman Jacobs and those who joined him have betrayed their oaths and disgraced their offices. It is absolutely shameful. I do not even recognize the Chris Jacobs I used to know. Is this what Chris Jacobs really believes or is he just doing this to win votes from the extreme right of his party? With the election over, and Donald Trump on his way out of office, what is Congressman Jacobs' continued reasoning for supporting the despicable behavior of Donald Trump? Is the supposed "moderate" Chris Jacobs ever going to come back? Time will tell. Despite the efforts of violent terrorists who attacked the Capitol, Joe Biden will be sworn in as President and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as Vice President on January 20th. Democracy perseveres.”

Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive (D)

"The genius of our democracy is we do not subject ourselves to a person but to a set of ideals codified in our Constitution, the peaceful transfer of power being the most important. Today's treasonous insurrection in an attempt to prevent Congress from performing its constitutional duty to count the Electoral College votes failed. However, the risk to our republic still exists as long as President Trump retains power and promotes his own self-serving efforts to stay in office. The Constitution has a mechanism to ensure our nation's stability through January 20: Vice-President Pence and the cabinet must invoke the 25th Amendment to ensure the rule of law prevails during this tumultuous time."

Senator George Borello (R)

“There is no justification for the lawlessness and chaos that descended on our U.S. Capitol yesterday. The scenes of mayhem horrified me, as they did all law-abiding citizens. While peaceful protests are a constitutional right, violence and mob rule have no place in the United States of America. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones yesterday, those who were injured, and our congressional colleagues who were subject to an unprecedented assault. There will be time later on to examine what went wrong and why such a large segment of our electorate experienced such a dangerous level of disenfranchisement, but right now is a time to heal and move forward.”

Byron Brown, Mayor of the City of Buffalo (D)

"The acts of vandalism and violence that occurred in our Nation's Capitol today will be viewed as one of the most shameful attempts to undermine the principles and values of our democracy in American history. Tonight, however, I am proud of the public servants that returned to their Chambers to uphold their Constitutional responsibilities and fulfill their duties to the American people. After a very dark day, tonight the beauty and power of our American Democracy is shining through."

Senator Patrick Gallivan (R)

"While we defend peaceful protests as a cornerstone of our democracy, violence and attacks on our institutions can never be tolerated. There is no place for such fear, intimidation and vandalism. I call on my colleagues at all levels of government to respect the rule of law and defend the Constitution. We need to serve the American people with respect and civility and work together for the good of our country. There is much to do. We can, and must, do better."