WATCH: Chaos in US Capitol unfolds on social media
RELATED: Shots reportedly fired in US Capitol as lawmakers evacuate, pro-Trump protesters swarm
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who represents Illinois’ 16th District, stated it plainly on Twitter: “This is a coup attempt.”
The unprecedented scene and breach of the Capitol building took place as the Senate and House held debate during the certification of the Electoral College results, which affirm that Joe Biden has won the election and will serve as the 46th president of the United States.
After President Trump tweeted that Vice President Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution,” after Pence confirmed he did not have the power to overturn the Electoral College results and would not do so, Kinzinger replied, saying, “You are not protecting the country. Where is the DC guard? You are done and your legacy will be a disaster.”
Kinzinger also released a video statement on Twitter, saying in part, “The storming of the capitol was a coup attempt, with the purpose of overturning the election of a newly-elected president. The current president incited this coup, encouraged it, and did little to protect the Capitol and the Constitution. I stand to reject this chaos and to condemn the president for allowing it to happen.”
He continued to say, “This authoritarian bully is what the founders feared, and it’s not what the GOP stands for. He is no longer the leader of our party, and our party must reject his treasonous acts if we are ever to win back the trust of a majority of this country.”
WATCH: Lawmakers huddle as police stand-off with mob at House Chamber door
Kinzinger called on the leaders of his party, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Mitch McConnell, to “forcefully denounce his actions and their consequences.”
Speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos live during special coverage, Kinzinger did not back away from that stance, condemning the actions of both the president’s supporters and the president himself, and offering a dark view of the repercussions of this day for the Republican party.
“If we continue down this road of culture war, own the left, you know, storming the capitol, I figure we will be a failed party in the not too far future,” he said.
Rep. Raja Krisnamoorthi (D-IL 8th) was locked down in the capitol with Texas Democrat Rep. Joaquin Castro after being evacuated from the House chamber.
“They recessed House until things get sorted out, but they’ve evacuated Mike Pence to a secure location within the capitol and basically everybody has been asked to find an office and shelter in place, so that’s why I’m barricade in with my good friend Joaquin Castro in his office,” Krisnamoorthi told Stephanopoulos.
WATCH: Video shows Trump supporters scaling US Capitol Building
Bill Foster (D-IL 11th District) said he was on his way to the capitol but not there yet when the mob breached the building. He said he was sheltering several blocks away.
“This is something that, really the responsibility for this lies at the foot of every politician who’s tolerated lies, and threats of violence, really over the last decade or more,” Foster told ABC7 Eyewitness News. “
Foster said he had not yet gone to the capitol because Democrats had requested they limit the number of people on the floor to only those speaking due to COVID-19 safety concerns. He said while Democrats largely respected the request, Republicans “saw fit to pack the realm.” As such, he believes the majority of people present when the lockdown went into effect were Republicans.
Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth said she was also on her way to the Senate floor to speak when she was told to turn around. She said she is safe in a “secure location,” and blamed President Trump for the unrest.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin also tweeted about the riot at the Capitol, saying “President Trump incited his followers to violence. They stormed the Capitol and stopped the House and Senate in session. We do not know at this point the extent of the damage or injuries they have caused. This shameful chapter in our nation’s history is the real legacy of Donald Trump. On January 20, we can begin the process of healing the wounds of this country and start to put this national nightmare behind us.”
Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-IL 4th District) said he was also sheltering in place in his office, but had not gone to the House floor before the mob stormed the Capitol.
“I think that there certainly are grounds for impeachment, maybe for other measures,” Garcia said of the unprecedented situation. “I think the most important thing is for this newly sworn Congress, we took the oath to protect the Constitution, to continue with its work of consideration of the certification of the Electoral College results, and to be done with it.”
“This has been an attempt to create anarchy to create chaos, to create confusion. And it’s so unfortunate,” said Rep. Danny Davis (D-Chicago).
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted Wednesday afternoon that she is drawing up Articles of Impeachment as a result of the riot, saying of Trump, “We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath.”
Freshman Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL 3rd) tweeted that she and her staff were safe and sheltering in place.
My staff and I are safe and currently sheltering in place. I urge everyone to stay calm as this situation continues to unfold. I’m praying for the safety of all my colleagues, their staff and for this entire nation.
We will continue to provide updates as necessary.
— Congresswoman Marie Newman (@RepMarieNewman) January 6, 2021
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL 10th District) released a statement to confirm he’s safe, saying, “This afternoon, as I was in the House Chamber for the counting of the electoral college ballots, protesters breached the security areas and entered the Capitol. After briefly sheltering in place we have been safely evacuated from the Capitol building. I am currently safe and secure. I am grateful for everyone’s due concern and for the actions of the US Capitol Police. Pray for our nation.”
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL 5th District) released a statement confirming he’s safe, saying, “First and foremost, I want to thank Capitol Police for keeping us safe today. Make no mistake: President Trump and his enablers are personally responsible for inciting this violence and he must immediately and unequivocally condemn it and urge his followers to stand down. This clear act of domestic terrorism may have succeeded in delaying President Elect-Biden’s certification, but there should be no doubt that he will indeed be President on January 20th.”
Quigley described what he saw before being hustled to safety: “About 20 members in the upper corner of the balcony, laying down, crouched down. Capitol Police crouched in front of us with their guns drawn. At some point, you know, they’re barricading the only entrance from there to the House floor. I swear with, makeshift furniture, the six Capitol Police holding back the mob with guns drawn, the glass was broken. There at that point, I assumed the sense that they were going to get through, so they made a break for it with us.”
“This has been an attempt to create anarchy, to create chaos, to create confusion,” said Rep. Danny Davis
(D-Chicago). “And it’s so unfortunate.”
“There is no question that this was a coup attempt,” said Rep. Sean Casten (D- IL 6th) “This is an ongoing coup attempt that we’re sitting in the middle of right now. What do those people want? What are they doing here. Look at what the banners they’re holding up. They are asking to install someone as president who did not win a democratic election. And they are being egged on by that same individual.”
Before all the chaos began, Senator Mitch McConnell – one of the President’s fiercest allies – issued a sharp rebuke to Trump and Republicans challenging the Electoral College results based on false claims of widespread fraud.
“If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our Democracy would enter a death spiral,” McConnell said.
“On what should be largely procedural – the day that happens with every election – it is turned into a disgraceful and very sad events today,” said Rep. Marie Newman D- IL 3rd). “These people want to come here and overturn the Constitution. It’s sickening. It’s disgusting.”
In a statement Wednesday evening, Illinois Governor JB Pritkzer called on Congress to impeach and remove President Trump from office immediately.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also tweeted about the president, writing, in part: “President Trump and his enablers incited this violence.” and “This is not democracy. This is a disgrace.”
The indictments came amid calls for finishing the business of the day.
“I think it’s paramount that we certify the election results today,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois. “I would not be deterred from doing my, from carrying out my constitutional duties by a mom by a violent mob that chooses to intentionally try to storm the Capital.”
WATCH: Peaceful protest in Chicago outside Trump Tower
Deep divisions among Americans have been laid bare on the streets as President Trump’s most dedicated detractors say his entire term built up to the violent run on Capitol Hill.
A small group of about 20 peaceful protesters gathered near Trump Tower in Chicago Wednesday night. They said the events in Washington were a culmination of a president who continues to stoke violence.
“The Black Lives Matter protesters, they brought in the military and they crushed them and did everything they could and then Donald Trump’s MAGA thugs stormed the Capitol,” said Dee Williams. “They had license. The authorities did not stop them.”
As Americans watched fellow citizens shatter windows at the center of democracy and send powerful politicians running for protection, people wondered if it’s ever been this bad.
“I think it will be remembered a little bit like the 1968 Democratic Convention here in Chicago, which was also called at the time a police riot,” said Dick Simpson, a political science professor at UIC. “It was a serious clash between protesters and Mayor Daley and the Lyndon Johnson and Democrats.”
That was not a proud moment for the country, and historians say, this isn’t either.
“It was a turning point in American history and this will be a turning point in American history. It will be remembered as the Trump era, but a symbol of the end of the Trump era,” Simpson said.
Many Americans blame the president personally.
“He certainly bears a lot of moral responsibility. I mean, there’s a direct line between what he said and what’s happening now,” said Jonathan Masur, a law professor at University of Chicago. “He probably doesn’t bear any sort-of legal responsibility. Typically, the first amendment requires that before you can hold someone liable for incitement to riot or anything like that, they have to much more directly tell people, you know, ‘Let’s go and riot.'”
With two weeks remaining in President Trump’s presidency, today’s violent takeover will be studied as the Coda to a tumultuous term.
The protesters outside Trump Tower said they plan to return on Thursday and hope more people will join them.
While all is calm in the city, Chicago has deployed salt trucks around the Loop in case the situation in D.C. leads to any issues here.
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