Colorado Elected Officials, Electors React To Violence At U.S. Capitol
Supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday in a chaotic insurrection, disrupting the work of Congress in certifying the results of the Electoral College vote from December. Lawmakers were interrupted by the protest and forced into hiding as the Capitol went into lockdown.
Trump issued a restrained call for peace but did not call on his supporters to leave. Earlier, in a huge rally near the White House, the president had egged his supporters on to march to Capitol Hill. One woman died from a gunshot wound, and more than 1,000 National Guard members were mobilized to help control things.
KUNC is following the situation in Washington D.C. and will post updates and statements here from Colorado lawmakers, electors and elected officials.
More coverage of events at the U.S. Capitol is available from NPR here.
Gov. Jared Polis and U.S. Rep. Ken Buck released this joint statement:
"In America, we hold free, fair, and secure elections and we honor the outcome. We respect the rule of law and an assault on our democratic republic is an assault on all of us who believe in our constitution and what makes our country extraordinary. We respect the peaceful transition of power.
"The alarming scenes that are unfolding in Washington are something you might expect to see in countries far from our shores, not in our nation’s capitol, and certainly not in the hallowed halls or on the floor of Congress. We are relieved that Colorado’s federal delegation is safe. We all must step up to protect the institutions of our republic, free and fair elections, and the rule of law."
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette made an additional statement on today's events:
We will return to the floor as soon as possible to finish certifying the results of the electoral college and declaring Joe Biden and Kamala Harris the next president and vice president of the United States.— Rep. Diana DeGette (@RepDianaDeGette) January 6, 2021
Republican Chris Holbert, Colorado's Senate Minority Leader, said, "As we prepare for the 2021 Colorado general session, I am grateful for the reports from the Colorado State Patrol that, thus far, protests at our state Capitol today have been peaceful.
"Watching from afar, it saddens me to see our great nation so divided as violence has erupted in Washington D.C. While I honor the people’s right to peacefully protest, I strongly condemn such violence and the siege upon our nation’s Capitol.
"I anxiously await confirmation that all nine members of the Colorado delegation to Congress, Republicans and Democrats, are safe. Let us all renew our allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and to the Colorado constitution and work together in the interests of the People of Colorado."
Colorado's presidential electors released statements Wednesday afternoon condemning the situation at the U.S. Capitol.
Alan Kennedy, an elector from Denver, said, "As a Colorado presidential elector and a veteran, I am appalled that Trump incited insurrection to prevent Pence from counting our certified electoral votes as required by the Constitution. Trump has pushed our democracy beyond the breaking point and we are seeing the consequences on live television. We are better than this. But make no mistake: We the People will prevail."
Judi Ingelido, an elector from Colorado Springs, said, "I am appalled that these mobs, spurred on by the President of the United States, are violently interfering and trying to stop the Constitutional process by which we elect our President and Vice President and continue the peaceful transition of power.
"It sickens me to watch Republican senators and representatives call into question the fair and free elections that took place and were supported through many Court decisions, all for their own political aggrandizement. They and Trump have unleashed this horrific mob that we are now watching throughout the country and throughout the world. May God protect our law enforcement."
Morgan Caroll, the chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, also released a statement: “The Colorado Democratic Party condemns the attempted coup and lawless behavior displayed at the US Capitol, carried out by domestic terrorists in the name of Donald Trump. This is the consequence of elected officials and political candidates entertaining harmful disinformation and unfounded conspiracy theories and spreading them to their followers.
“This is not a matter of political ideology. This is a matter of putting our country, and the laws on which it was founded, first. Elected leaders and officials from both parties must stand together against this unprecedented threat to our democracy.”
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, reported she and her staff are safe and denounced the violence at the Capitol today.
Thank you to everyone that has been checking in. My staff and I are safe and in an undisclosed location. I support peaceful protests and the rule of law, and denounce all acts of violence. I am grateful to the Capitol Police for their service. Thank you for keeping us safe.— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) January 6, 2021
Lisa Cohen is the chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat from Colorado’s 1st Congressional District. Cohen was on the phone with the congresswoman as police, with weapons drawn, escorted representatives to a secure room, away from the violent clashes.
"There were moments where she seemed a bit rattled. We were both on the Hill during 9/11 and she said 9/11 pales in comparison to what is happening today,” Cohen told KUNC.
Cohen said the congresswoman holds people spreading misinformation about the 2020 election responsible for this incident. "She thinks you can draw a direct line from those casting doubts to the incident at the Capitol now.”
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican representing Colorado's 4th Congressional District, released the following statement:
"What has happened at the U.S. Capitol today is disgusting and anti-American. The American people have the right to protest peacefully, but this is not peaceful and it's not a protest. I condemn this in the strongest terms and urge everyone to stop this madness immediately.
"I want to thank the U.S. Capitol Police for their service and work in keeping members and staff safe."
Shortly after he was told to put on a gas mask and escorted to a secure location out of the House chambers, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Windsor) filmed a video condemning those who had stormed the Capitol building and caused the lockdown.
Mayor Michael Hancock has closed Denver government buildings.
With the activities around the country and approximately 700 individuals downtown who have gathered at the State Capitol, out of an abundance of caution, I have instructed city agencies to close municipal buildings early. (2/3)— Michael B. Hancock (@MayorHancock) January 6, 2021
US. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Aurora, described the event as an attempted coup and shared photos of security guards aiming guns at the door to the House chambers as the extremists tried to break into the room.
I’m currently in lockdown in the House chamber as the President of the United States incites his supporters to violence and to storm the Capitol. This is the outcome of Trump’s presidency.— Rep. Jason Crow (@RepJasonCrow) January 6, 2021
The Associated Press contributed to this report.