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Iowa lawmakers react as chaos hits the U.S. Capitol building

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 3:01 PM CST
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WASHINGTON (KCRG) -Iowa lawmakers and political figures have spoken out from Washington D.C. as protesters supporting President Trump have breached security perimeters and forced members of Congress halt their session debating the electoral college count to make President-elect Joe Biden’s presidential win official and to evacuate with gas masks while law enforcement standby with guns drawn.

Senator Joni Ernst tweeted that she and her staff are safe, adding, “I served in uniform to defend the right to peaceful protest. What’s happening at the Capitol right now is not peaceful nor a protest. It’s anarchy, & a betrayal of the American ideals we all hold dear.”

Iowa’s Senior Senator Chuck Grassley was evacuated to a secure location, later tweeting “Today’s violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was an attack on American democracy itself. I condemn today’s violence in the strongest terms & perpetrators deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

2nd District Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks tweeted that she and her staff are also safe while sheltering in place, adding that “Storming government buildings and attacking law enforcement officers is unacceptable.”

1st District Congresswoman Ashley Hinson tweeted that “No matter the circumstance, this kind of violence & behavior is unacceptable. I don’t believe this is who we are as a nation, & I hope we can come together to heal the divisions gripping our country right now. Thank you to the law enforcement officers keeping us safe. #IA01.” Hinson is also calling on President Trump to “address the nation and call for an end to this violence.”

3rd District Congresswoman Cindy Axe tweeted that she and her staff are also safe and sheltering in place, adding that they’re being protected by U.S. Capitol Police and calling today “a dark day in democracy.”

4th District Congressman Randy Feenstra tweeted “It’s every American’s right to protest peacefully. Violence is never the answer...The world is watching.”

Meanwhile, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has tweeted “Standing with and praying for the brave men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police and all who have been endangered by the violence and unrest happening at our nation’s capital. This behavior is unacceptable and not who we are as Americans.”

Disputed Democratic 2nd District congressional candidate Rita Hart tweeted that “What we are seeing in our nation’s capital is a clear attack on our democracy & American values. This violence is the consequence of years of our leaders in Iowa & D.C. permitting intolerable rhetoric & this president to go unchecked.”

Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann tweeted that “We are the Party of law and order. This is NOT a peaceful protest.” Kaufmann later lashed out at Iowa Democrats’ Chairman, Mark Smith, after the Iowa Democrats’ twitter account after they tweeted “Too little, too late – you should be ashamed, Mr. Chair.”

Mark Smith, Chairman of the Iowa Democrats, issued a lengthy statement over a Twitter thread, saying that “Today is a very difficult day for our nation. I’m sad that our country has come to such a dark moment, but unfortunately, it was not without warning,” calling Wednesday’s riots “domestic terrorism” and calling out Senators Grassley and Ernst, Governor Reynolds and newly-elected Congressman Feenstra, who Smith says are “still standing in Trump’s corner by undermining our democratic processes.”

Former 4th District Congressman Steve King tweeted that “We the People have the right to “peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” But no right to violence, vandalism or criminal trespass. The system failed We the People. We must have a functional due process.”

Former 1st District Congressman Dave Loebsack wrote that “What is happening at the Capitol is beyond belief and utterly unacceptable in our democracy...President Trump needs to address this situation immediately and tell his supporters this is completely beyond the pale.”

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