U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) issued the following statement on the United States Capitol insurgence late on Wednesday:
Today, we saw a violent mob attack and occupy the United States Capitol. They did not come to peacefully exercise their right to freedom of speech and assembly. They used improvised explosives, smashed windows, broke down doors, violently fought against, and injured, our law enforcement officers, and tore down the American flag. All of this was done in an attempt to overturn an election and those involved in today’s attacks should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Their attempt to obstruct democracy was foiled.
Despite their attempts, their insurrection failed. We will press on and certify the will of the American people. This day was meant to symbolize our 230-year tradition of a peaceful transition of power, but, instead, what the country and the world saw was President Trump encouraging violence and insurrection against the United States government. In14 days, President-elect Biden will be sworn in. It is more important than ever for the United States to honor a peaceful transition of power — the very heart of our democracy, and what makes us the greatest country in the world. We will continue our responsibility tonight and certify the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
“In the coming days, months, and years ahead, it is more important than ever that lawmakers from both parties come together and commit to unity, civility, and a loyalty to truth; to fight disinformation, reject bigotry, and embrace our calling to a higher purpose and help America out of these dark days.”
U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherill (NJ-11) issued the following Tweets on Wednesday:
“Thanks to everyone who has reached out and expressed your concern. I was in the Chamber as people attempted to breach it. The Capitol Police barricaded the doors and we sheltered in place.
“Once we had a secure exit, we left the Capitol and I am now in a secure location. This has been an obscene attack on our democracy, but we will prevail.
“We are going to certify this election. And democracy will prevail.”
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) released the following statement:
“Today, I shed a tear for our country, which for centuries has inspired the world through its commitment to democracy and the rule of law. From Moscow to Beijing and beyond, autocrats are likely smiling as they witness America in disarray, at war with itself, and no longer a credible messenger for the democratic values that have always defined our great Republic.
“How we arrived at this moment, with domestic terrorists storming Congress and desecrating the Capitol, should be no mystery. This was not an act of patriotism, but an act of sedition. For months, President Trump has fed Americans a steady diet of lies and disinformation in an effort to overthrow the November 2020 election and cling on to power.
“This afternoon, the President poured fuel on that fire by inciting a lawless and violent takeover of the United States Capitol. But he alone is not solely responsible for today’s chaos and disorder.
“For weeks, the same Republicans behind a meritless effort to disrupt the constitutionally-mandated certification of President-elect Biden’s 306 electoral votes have parroted Donald Trump’s wild and baseless conspiracy theories. It is outrageous that some members of the House and Senate would spread lies instead of upholding their oath to the Constitution, to stand up for truth, democracy, and the rule of law.
“That is why as soon as the Capitol building is secured, we must immediately resume our constitutional duty, certify the Electoral College results, and reaffirm the will of the American people, who voted in unprecedented numbers for the Biden-Harris ticket. And if the results in Georgia are any indication, the voters have rejected the President’s poisonous effort to taint our democracy, and are ready for a new Democratic Majority in the Senate to get to work advancing President-elect Biden’s bold agenda.
“Accepting losses at the ballot box is never easy—but it is the American way. Should Americans lose their faith in the integrity of our elections, from the White House down to the school board, we may soon be left with nothing but the shadow of a once great Republic.
“On January 20th, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office in a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
“It is a dark day in our country’s history. But we will withstand it. We will return to the chambers. We will finish counting the Electoral College votes—no matter how long it takes—because our democracy is alive. And we will certify Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States.”