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“Just unacceptable”: Wisconsin lawmakers react to chaos at U.S. Capitol

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 2:31 PM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C., Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin lawmakers, some prepared to challenge the results of the election before chaos broke out at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, have all spoken out against the violence that left several people dead as Trump supporters stormed the building.

“It’s not like anything I’ve seen in my four years in Congress. Honestly the closest parallel is some of the stuff I saw in Iraq, and the political disorder there. I mean it’s just unacceptable,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin).

The Green Bay Republican, while in lockdown, quickly urged President Donald Trump to call off his supporters as they breached the building Wednesday.

“Mr. President. You have got to stop this. You are the only person who can call this off. Call it off. The election is over. Call it off. This is bigger than you. It is bigger than any member of Congress. It is about the United States of America, which is more important than any politician,” said Gallagher in a video posted to Twitter.

Gallagher called the violence “absolute banana republic crap.”

CLICK HERE for coverage of the U.S. Capitol breach.

Four people died and at least 52 people were arrested. Stunning video from inside the House Chamber showed police with guns drawn, trying to keep the rioters out.

Gallagher said this is the result of President Donald Trump’s continued claims that the presidential election was stolen.

“This is the cost of this effort. This is the cost of countenancing an effort by Congress to overturn the election and telling thousands of people that there is a legitimate shot of overturning the election today, even though you know it’s not true,” Gallagher said.

In an interview with Action 2 News Wednesday afternoon, Wisconsin’s Sixth District Congressman Glenn Grothman stated:

“Like most of the rest of America I’m watching on TV what’s going on. Obviously it’s a tragedy. I think a lot of people came out here. I think people tried to raise expectations and created a confrontation which really shouldn’t have been necessary. It’s a tragedy. We heard someone was shot which was horrific. And it’s kind of hard to believe this is happening in America.”

Grothman also said he isn’t worried about his own safety.

“People have raised tensions here irresponsibly. I will put it that way. Normally, when this happened four years ago I’m sure we had a day in which Donald Trump’s victory was confirmed and nobody remembers it. I don’t remember it, because it’s just an automatic thing. That’s what should have happened here,” said Grothman.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) called the violence “un-American.”

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) asked for crowds to respect Capitol police and “peacefully disperse.”

Later in the evening, Senator Johnson issued a statement, saying he “condemns the lawlessness and mourn the loss of life that occurred in the Capitol. I believe the sentiments expressed below are valid concerns of the millions of Americans who also condemn today’s illegal activities in the Capitol.”

Following that statement, he sent out the speech he was going to deliver on the Senate floor regarding his concerns about the election in Arizona, but said that protesters entered the Capitol and by consensus, the Senate decided to expedite the proceedings.

Johnson says neither he or Trump are responsible for the events of the day.

Both Johnson and Baldwin voted no to objecting to the election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Below is Senator Johnson’s full speech he said he was going to give Wednesday:

I refuse to dismiss the legitimate concerns of tens of millions of Americans who have lost faith in our institutions and the fairness of our electoral process.

Those who have lost confidence are not crazy. They are patriots who dearly love America and are alarmed by what they have witnessed over the last four years: a thoroughly corrupt FBI investigation of a duly elected president; a grossly biased media that has chosen sides and uses its power to interfere in our politics to a far greater extent than any foreign entity could ever hope to achieve; an increasingly powerful social media that censors news and conservative voices; and courts and election officials that usurp the constitutional authority of state legislatures in setting the times, places, and manner of holding elections.

Prior to election day, these patriots were reminded of the Carter-Baker Commission’s caution regarding absentee balloting: “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud,” and then they saw Covid being exploited to dramatically increase the use of absentee voting and extensive efforts to simultaneously weaken the controls governing it. They also hear that one of the social media moguls, Mark Zuckerberg, spent almost half a billion dollars to increase Democrat turnout in Democrat-controlled jurisdictions, and they wonder, “Is that even legal?”

Then on election day, they saw poll watchers being thrown out or obstructed from observing. They heard reports of dead people voting, votes being cast by people who have moved out of state or reside at vacant addresses, people voting twice, once by absentee ballot and once in person, of large Democrat-controlled counties waiting until after Republican counties have reported and then dumping their vote totals in the wee hours of the morning, election officials and others refusing to turn over evidence to those investigating irregularities, and courts refusing to hear what evidence was obtained and instead dismissing election challenges on procedural grounds.

Is it any wonder that so many have lost confidence in the fairness of our election system and question the legitimacy of the result?

The first step in solving any problem is admitting you have one. My support for a bipartisan commission to address electoral concerns is meant to acknowledge the problem and highlight that having a large percentage of Americans questioning the legitimacy of our elections is a dangerous reality that must be addressed.

This is not a problem that can be swept under the rug with the hope it will somehow solve itself. I recognized this early and held a hearing in December, but was only able to scratch the surface of the issues involved. Unless the election irregularities are fully investigated and explanations provided, I fear this problem will fester within the body politic and could lead to even greater rancor and division.

While I am sympathetic and agree with many of the constitutional concerns raised by people on both sides of the political spectrum, I sincerely hope this debate will serve as a wake-up call to state legislatures to recognize the legitimacy of these concerns, fully investigate the irregularities in their states, reassert their authority over federal elections, and establish controls to restore confidence in our election system. The solution lies in the states, not with the federal government.

For the future unity of our nation, it is crucial that states properly shoulder their responsibility, take the action required, and alleviate any doubt that future elections will be fair and legitimate.

Sen. Ron Johnson

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, who represents Wisconsin’s Second District. Pocan posted two videos to Twitter Wednesday - one from a rooftop view, and one from his office, which was posted later in the afternoon.

A third tweet posted by Pocan shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday discussed removing Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment.

After the building was secured, lawmakers returned to the floor and counted the Electoral College votes. They confirmed Joe Biden as the nation’s next president.

U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wisconsin) and U.S. Rep Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wisconsin) joined the objections to the results in Arizona and Pennsylvania. Again, no Wisconsin senators joined that objection.

President Donald Trump was locked out of both his personal Facebook and Twitter accounts Wednesday night.

Officials with the social media companies issued a temporary lock on Trump’s accounts Wednesday following a day of chaos at the U.S. Capitol.

Facebook followed up in the evening, announcing that Trump wouldn’t be able to post for 24 hours.

According to Twitter officials, the lock will be in effect for 12 hours following the removal of the tweets, and cited they repeatedly and severely violated their Civic Integrity policy. Trump’s account deleted those posts; had they remained, Twitter had threatened to extend his suspension.

The company went on to say that any future violations of the Twitter Rules, including the Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of his personal account, which is @realDonaldTrump.

Twitter stated they will continue to evaluate the situation in real time, and will also examine activity on the ground and statements made off Twitter.

President Donald Trump posted a video to Twitter and Facebook Wednesday afternoon, telling those who have breached the U.S. Capitol to go home.

The video was almost immediately flagged by Twitter, which put a disclaimer on the video saying it couldn’t be replied to, liked, or retweeted due to a risk of violence. Later in the afternoon, Guy Rosen, a Facebook official, said the company decided to remove the video. Their decision was made due to their belief it contributes to, rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.

In the video, Trump said to “go home, and go home in peace”, adding there needs to be law and order and “we don’t want anyone hurt.”

Those words were said after the beginning of the video started with “I know your pain, I know your hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us, it was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side.”

Below is a transcribe of the entire video, which was eventually deleted:

“I know your pain, I know your hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us, it was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now, we have to have peace, we have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time. there’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us - from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home, we love you, you’re very special, you’ve seen what happens you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. So go home, and go home in peace.”

President Donald Trump, telling those who breached the U.S. Capitol to go home in a video posted to Twitter

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