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Government officials' responses to riots, impeachment

Story will be updated with additional comments


Last updated 1/8/2021 at 12:04pm

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With the riots at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and Olympia, as well as calls for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, dominating headlines, the Beacon reached to state representatives serving Edmonds for statements.

Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray – all Democrats – have already condemned the president and have asked for his impeachment under the 25th Amendment.

Their comments are included after statements from local officials.

We have reached out to state Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood), as well as Rep. Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds), and Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self (D-Mukilteo) in the 21st Legislative District; and Sen. Jesse Salomon (D-Shoreline), Rep. Lauren Davis, (D-Shoreline), and Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-Shoreline) in the 32nd Legislative District.

We will publish responses as they come in, and update this story for the Jan. 14 edition of the Beacon.

Sen. Marko Liias

“The right to protest is a core principle of American democracy. As someone who has participated in protests, I fully support the peoples’ rights to peacefully petition their government and elected leaders. But what occurred this week in Washington, D.C., crossed the line.

"This was an act of domestic terrorism incited by the president of the United States. And sadly, five people lost their lives as a result, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer. Federal authorities should conduct a full investigation and hold those who contributed to these acts of violence accountable.

"The rioting in D.C., and scaling of the governor’s mansion fence in Olympia, were illegal acts that I strongly condemn. Sadly, what happened this week in D.C. was entirely predictable given four years of this president’s words and actions. He has always been unfit for the office, and the riots at the U.S. Capitol proved just that.

"It is clear that the president should be removed from office, and I support the efforts of our Congressional delegation to protect the American people and our democratic institutions from further harm.

"Violence, fear, and intimidation will not deter us as Americans. And it will not stop us as legislators from doing the people’s work when the Legislature convenes next week.

State Sen. Jesse Salomon

"We've been living at the intersection of reality and satire, saturated with bitter irony, for four years.

"It's not hard to understand if you have read a book on political history where the Trump personality will go. What flabbergasted me is how eager Republicans have been to go along with his dictatorial madness. These events were a predictable outcome of the cult of personality and enabling that so many, but not all, Republican leaders have so willingly and disappointingly engaged in.

"When you see over half of Republican Congress members vote to delay certification of presidential results based on disproven conspiracy theories, you know they have cast away their number one duty – to think critically, and given into their unusual compulsion of submitting their minds over to fear and excitement in order to mindlessly follow a deranged strongman.

"Now these right-wing Trump thugs have beaten a patriotic Capitol policeman to death with a fire extinguisher. Is this the end of the deadly effects of this madness and casting aside of individual responsibility by so many Republican Party officials and the party's base or is it just the beginning?

"They must be stopped at the ballot box and the courts."

Concerning the impeachment of Trump:

"It's frustrating to me that instead of doing what they should to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment, so many of his Cabinet members are taking the cowardly way out and jumping ship.

"Not only have they collaborated with Trump's abuse of the Constitution, Sen. McConnell's destruction of Senate rules and norms, and our nation's uniting bonds of affection for the last four years, they now show a complete lack of loyalty to the leader that they so looked up to until this week. The lack of integrity truly frightens me. It reminds me of rats abandoning a sinking ship."

Gov. Jay Inslee

"The siege of the U.S. Capitol was an attack on democracy itself. It was fueled, precipitated and induced by the unrelenting and totally discredited lies of Donald Trump and his lackeys in Congress.

"The members of Washington's congressional delegation, their staff and all who serve in the Capitol should never fear for their safety in carrying out the people's work.

"But know this - democracy will not be denied. The ship of state will sail on. Our nation will persevere and a new president will take office.

"And it is our fondest hope that those who have enabled Donald Trump will be touched by the better angels of their nature, and find the courage to stand up for our most precious gift of democracy and the institutions that have preserved it for centuries."

On the events in Olympia:

"Here in our capital on a day that was to be dedicated to preparing for the opening day of our legislative session, so that we could address our challenges, including the pandemic, that work was forcefully interrupted by similar acts of attempted intimidation.

"But I have good news to share with my fellow Washingtonians.

"Those acts of intimidation will not succeed in any way shape or form. We will continue the work we are doing to protect the health of Washingtonians. In D.C., Congress will follow the will of the American people and take yet another step on the long march to protecting people's right to self-government that has so far succeeded through centuries of frequent tension in our politics."

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell

On Thursday, Jan. 7, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) of Edmonds released the following statement about efforts to remove President Donald Trump from office:

"I supported impeaching the President before for his misuse of his office.

"And I will support impeachment again for abusing power and attempting to interfere in the election results in Georgia. Promulgating misinformation as he did yesterday about our election system is a threat to our democracy. He is failing to uphold our Constitution.

"I would also support his cabinet in their measures to remove him from office."

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray

On Thursday, Murray issued the following statement on Congress resuming its constitutional duty to certify the election after a violent mob of President Trump's supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol, calling for the 25th amendment to be invoked immediately to prevent President Trump from inciting further harm in the days ahead.

"Congress is continuing the process of certifying the election, but only after a day of chaos and violent extremism in the Capitol where some of our worst fears about the harm this President is willing to incite were realized.

"We need questions answered about the profound breakdown in security and the stark difference in the treatment of this violent mob compared to legions of women, people with disabilities, members of the clergy, and activists of color who have peacefully protested in and around the Capitol complex.

"The insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol today should be held fully accountable for their actions under the law. So should the President. The most immediate way to ensure the President is prevented from causing further harm in the coming days is to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office. As history watches, I urge Vice President Pence and the President's cabinet to put the country before the party, and act.

"To families in Washington state and nationwide, please know that as frightening as this has been, there is reason for hope because of your participation in the very same processes the President is seeking to undermine.

"Because of you, we will soon have a president and Senate determined to protect and strengthen rather than jeopardize our democratic institutions. Continue to have faith in yourselves, each other, and our democracy, and we will get through this together."

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal

Jayapal tweeted the following:

"Trump incited and fueled this violent assault on our Capitol and our democracy that was carried out by domestic terrorists – many associated with White nationalist groups – with the intent to overturn the election.

"Congress must reconvene immediately and remove this president.

"Donald Trump incited and fueled a deadly and dangerous assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy.

"I refuse to just sit back and allow him to remain in office another week, another weekend, another day. Congress must reconvene immediately and remove this president."


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