West Virginia's Congressional Delegation Reacts to Capitol Unrest
West Virginia lawmakers reacted with shock and disgust to civil unrest leveled at the U.S. Capitol in Washington where protestors rioted and entered the building in a shocking security breach that had members of Congress fleeing for safety.
“We are okay and ready to get back to the Senate chamber to finish our work,” U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, assured in a Twitter post Wednesday afternoon. “These thugs cannot and will not run us off. We will continue to govern.”
His Senate counterpart, Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, also called for peace as protestors breached the vaunted building that serves as the cornerstone of U.S. democracy.
“This is the United States of America,” the Republican tweeted. “This needs to stop right now. We don’t do this. It’s not who we are.”
The mayor of Washington, D.C. imposed a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, fearing a long night of violence as thousands of pro-Trump extremists continued to mill about after hundreds swarmed the capitol building a little after 1 p.m.
One woman was shot during the melee and reportedly died, and several others were injured.
U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, a Republican, tweeted that he was OK amid the chaos, which shocked the nation watching through the afternoon. “I’m safe,” Mooney wrote. “We’ve been equipped with escape hoods and we are being moved through the Capitol.”
U.S. Rep. Carol Miller, also a Republican and one who had planned to opposed the election results, tweeted that she, too, had escaped unharmed and was praying for Capitol Police.
“The actions of criminals who attacked the U.S. Capitol today are heartbreaking and unacceptable, there is no place in our democracy for violence. I again want to thank the Capitol Police for keeping us safe, they are heroes.”
Jeff Sandy, secretary of the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security, said his agency has been monitoring the unrest in Washington.
“Currently the W.Va. Department of Homeland Security agencies, including the Fusion Center, Division of Protective Services (Capitol Police), and the W.Va. State Police are working with our federal partners including at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to ensure that West Virginians are kept safe and that only peaceful events take place across our state,” he said in a statement. “As of 4:30 p.m. there have been no violent protests reported.”
Lawmakers, including Vice President Mike Pence, returned to the Capitol Wednesday night, surrounded by tight security, to preside over the certification results of the presidential election.