Federal lawmakers safe; condemn violence

U.S. Rep Dan Meuser, a Republican from the 9th District, evacuates the floor as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Federal lawmakers from Pennsylvania strongly condemned Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol which halted the electoral certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Rep. Dan Meuser, a Republican who represents the 9th District that covers a part of Northumberland and all of Montour County, said he stayed behind to help Capitol Police as rioters broke into the House.

Pictures from The Associated Press and Getty Images show Meuser being escorted off the House floor by a Capitol Police officer as rioters tried to break into the chamber.

“The U.S. Capitol was stormed by rioters. I stayed back trying to help secure the doors,” Meuser said. “Capitol Police kept everyone safe, while putting themselves at risk. We must be grateful to our law enforcement and condemn violent lawlessness. God bless America. We will get through this.”

U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, a Republican from the 12th District, reported he was able to get out of the room where protesters were attempting to enter.

“The violence happening at the U.S. Capitol is shameful, completely unacceptable, and un-American,” he said. “This is not how our Republic should operate and the rioters must be fully prosecuted. God bless our Capitol Police and first responders.”

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, also condemned the protestors’ actions

“This is an absolute disgrace,” Toomey said. “I appreciate the work of the United States Capitol Police under difficult circumstances. I am currently safe as are the few members of my staff that are currently at the Capitol complex.”

A comment on Sen. Bob Casey’s Twitter account said he was the only member of his team at the complex: “He is safe and taking direction from the United States Capitol Police.”

Casey spoke on the Senate floor during discussion about an objection to Biden’s electoral votes in Arizona.

Casey said he wanted to speak to condemn “in the strongest possible terms this attempt to disenfranchise the voters of pennsylvania based upon a lie. A falsehood. That same lie sowed the seeds of today’s violence and today’s lawlessness here in the capitol.”

Wolf responds

Gov. Tom Wolf also condemned Wednesday’s actions in the nation’s capital.

“President Trump’s supporters attempted a coup,” Wolf said. “This was the direct result of a deliberate disinformation campaign by Republicans from the president down to legislators in Pennsylvania. They lied about the results of the election. They lied about voter fraud. They lied about my administration and other governors. They lied about the administration of the election here in Pennsylvania and across the country.

“Eight of the nine Republican members of Congress from Pennsylvania lied about our election in an attempt to pledge fealty to President Trump,” Wolf continued. “The actions of Republicans in Pennsylvania and across the country have led to violence. It is their fault. There should be no equivocation.

“It is past time for Republicans to stop lying and tell their supporters the truth. President Trump lost. The election was fair. President Trump received fewer votes. That’s it.”

Protests also formed at several statehouses across the country, including Georgia, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Ohio and California.

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