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Oregon politicians react to US Capitol chaos

Area politicians are reacting to today's chaos at the US Capitol when Trump supporters stormed the building as lawmakers counted the electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election.

Posted: Jan 6, 2021 4:52 PM
Updated: Jan 6, 2021 5:38 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Area politicians are reacting to today's chaos at the US Capitol when Trump supporters stormed the building as lawmakers counted the electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election.

One woman is dead and multiple officers were injured, according to CNN's report. The building has been cleared.

Below are statements from several Oregon politicians.

SEN. RON WYDEN: 

“What's happening today in our nation’s Capitol is a direct assault on democracy, a riot by insurrectionists that caps off four years of Donald Trump fanning the flames of fanaticism. Every Republican lawmaker who supported his efforts to overturn a legitimate election shares responsibility for the violence at the heart of our democracy.

"All Americans must be able to elect House and Senate members safe in the knowledge that their views will be represented in civil debate here in Congress without mob rule ever squelching that discussion.

"As a steadfast defender of the First Amendment, I will always support peaceful protest even if I disagree with the views that are expressed. This is far from peaceful protest. But I thank the Capitol Police for their courage protecting all elected officials from criminals bent on destroying democracy. And I very much look forward to resuming the urgent work for our country, as soon as possible.”

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY:

“Americans have witnessed many foreign strongmen ignore elections to cling to power. I never thought we would see this kind of attempted coup in our most hallowed temple of democracy, but that’s exactly what’s happened today. The American people have rejected Donald Trump’s failed leadership, but he and his loyalists were trying to find any means by which to keep him in power. That is unacceptable in our republic.

“There is no evidence of any systemic fraud in any of the six states Republicans planned to challenge. All such claims were examined not only by respective state authorities, but by the courts. But the failure of Republican leaders to stand up and speak the truth and dismiss the false claims and conspiracy theories promoted by President Trump fueled today’s attempted insurrection. When a president attempts to deceive the public and inspire an anti-democratic revolt, it’s the responsibility of all to stand up, set the record straight, and protect and defend our constitutional republic.

“We now have a tremendous amount to do to restore our institutions so deeply damaged over the last four years. We have pressing challenges in our nation, and we need to have everyone engaged in addressing them. The point of serving in a republic is to produce solutions and remedies to the issues people face, not to hold power for power’s sake.

“I look forward to serving in the Senate while Joe Biden and Kamala Harris lead our nation. We must immediately address the economic and health care issues raised by the pandemic. We need to invest in the foundations for families to thrive, which means health care, housing, education and good paying jobs. We need to restore our democracy and take on voter suppression, gerrymandering, and dark money, the real issues corrupting our election system. And we need to take on the biggest issue facing our planet: climate chaos.

“We have much work to do, and we need to get to that work right away. I hope that a few hours from now, the Senate will be able to return to the floor of the Senate to complete its debate on whether to accept the electoral votes from Arizona, and then to join with the House to complete the counting of electoral votes from across the nation. That is our responsibility under the Constitution. Let’s get it done tonight, and then let’s go to work on these important issues facing our democracy.”

REP. PETER DEFAZIO:

“What happened today at the U.S. Capitol, in no uncertain terms, was an attempted coup by insurrectionists who were encouraged by Donald Trump’s violent, destructive, and treasonous rhetoric and behavior.

“For 245 years, the peaceful transfer of power following a free and fair election, as dictated by our Constitution, has been a bedrock of our representative democracy. Today’s events were an assault on that foundation, and on the will of the American people, spurred on by a sitting president intent on sowing chaos and the destruction of our democracy for his own personal gain.

“There has been zero evidence of widespread fraud in the November elections. This accusation is an outright lie which has been promoted by President Trump and has been overwhelmingly rejected and disproven by state and local election officials across the country, the federal courts, the Supreme Court, as well as President Trump’s own Justice Department and election security officials.

“I strongly believe President Trump should be impeached and legally removed from office for his seditious actions and violation of his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution—the very same oath that I and every other Member of Congress have taken.

“What has happened at the Capitol is unprecedented and dangerous, but I will stand firm and perform my constitutional duty to ensure our representative democracy will survive. Congress will certify the Electoral College votes tonight and ensure that President-elect Joe Biden is peacefully inaugurated. The will of the American people will prevail, as our Constitution intended.

“I call on all Members of Congress, the President, and Vice President to stop promoting the lie that the election was fraudulent, denounce the destructive behavior by the insurrectionists, and honor their oath of office by upholding the will of the people and supporting the peaceful transfer of power.

“I am looking forward to working with the incoming Biden administration and am hopeful that we can get back to fighting the COVID-19 crisis, creating jobs, and providing real relief for America’s working families.”

LANE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS CHAIR JOE BERNEY AND MAYORS OF EUGENE, SPRINGFIELD, COTTAGE GROVE AND OAKRIDGE: 

"There are certain principles and rights that we, as Americans, have established. Those include the right to peacefully assemble and our right to dissent – both of which are critical to our democracy. We cannot mistake what is happening today in Washington, D.C. for lawful or peaceful assembly.

"The actions that occurred at the U.S. Capitol today are an assault on our Republic and our Constitution; it goes far beyond the partisan politics that have so divided our nation in recent years.

"We denounce these actions.

"We can and must do better. Please join us in committing to working together to ensure our communities continue to participate in civil democracy where we come together to improve our communities for everyone."

OREGON REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN BILL CURRIER:

“Today was a day to follow the Constitution and address the very legitimate concerns of tens of millions of Americans with the fairness of the 2020 Presidential election. The electoral college certification challenges and peaceful protests should have reminded us that we live under the rule of law, not the rule of the news media or big tech companies, and absolutely not under the rule of violent mobs. Instead, violence derailed that process, and the perpetrators, whoever they are and no matter what they think they represent, must be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We condemn all the violent acts today, and in the strongest possible terms.”

“Antifa-like political violence should never happen in this country, no matter the political cause or grievance,” said Currier. “We join President Trump in calling for the violence to cease and for protesters to disperse. We urge everyone to cooperate with law enforcement and help restore law and order.”

“We believe that the Presidential election fraud was real and pervasive,” said Currier. “It is the fault of those committing violence that Congress and the American people didn’t get to hear and debate this today. Peaceful electoral college certification challenges must proceed. Civilized debate and a thorough, relentless, and serious examination of the facts are needed now more than ever to restore voter confidence in our election process and our institutions.”

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