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Quad-Cities legislative delegation decry mob violence at U.S. Capitol

Quad-Cities legislative delegation decry mob violence at U.S. Capitol

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Trump supporters storm US Capitol, clash with police

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier Wednesday at the Capitol in Washington. 

U.S. Senators and Congress members sheltered in place Wednesday after a mob of Trump supporters broke through police barricades and made their way into the U.S Capitol Building as the House and Senate debated objections to the certification of Democrat Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. Some in the crowd were shouting “traitors” as officers tried to keep them back. The skirmishes came just shortly after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud at a rally near the White House on Wednesday ahead of Congress' vote.

Both chambers abruptly went into recess and the building went on lockdown. 

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, and Iowa Republican, evacuated with his usual capitol police protective detail, according to an aide. Grassley is third in line to the president.

Grassley's Twitter account later tweeted, "Thank you for your concern. Senator Chuck Grassley is in a secure location."

Later Wednesday afternoon, Grassley tweeted his thanks to Capitol police and condemned the rioting.

"Today’s violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was an attack on American democracy itself. I condemn today’s violence in the strongest terms & perpetrators deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Grassley tweeted.

Colleague Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, tweeted she and her staff were also safe, calling the riot "anarchy."

"I served in uniform to defend the right to peacefully protest," Ernst, the first female combat veteran to serve in the Senate, tweeted. "What's happening at the Capitol right now is not peaceful nor a protest. It's anarchy, & a betrayal of the American ideals we all hold dear."

Republican 2nd District U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks said she and her staff were safe, and locked the doors to her office inside the Longworth House Office Building.

"This is a sad day for all of us ... and many of us see this as a sad day in our democracy," Miller-Meeks told reporters on a Zoom call, calling the situation at the U.S. Capitol "frightening," but that people were "remaining calm, and the Capitol police have done an outstanding job."

Miller-Meeks said she was strongly encouraging people to disperse and to peacefully protest away from the Capitol grounds, and said it is "incumbent" on Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to do the same "and to decry and denounce any violent activities that are going on on the Capitol grounds."

While "strongly in support of the Constitutional right to protest, protesting should be peaceful and should not be breaching buildings or storming the Capitol," Miller-Meeks told reporters. "People are angry. They're frustrated. They're disappointed. All of that is understandable. ... People can be engaged. They can be passionate, but should not rise to the level of destroying property" and let Congress "get back to the business of trying to resolve these very important constitutional issues."

Republican Party of Iowa state chairman Jeff Kaufmann, who has been a staunch supporter of Trump throughout his presidency, tweeted his opposition to the rioting.

“We are the Party of law and order. This is NOT a peaceful protest. What is happening in Washington, D.C. is utterly unacceptable,” Kaufmann said. “I condemn any and all violence toward on our government officials and law enforcement and encourage others to do the same.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who also has been a steady supporter of and campaigned for Trump’s re-election, also issued a statement about Wednesday’s events.

“Standing with and praying for the brave men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police and all who have been endangered by the violence and unrest happening at our nation’s capital,” Reynolds said. “This behavior is unacceptable and not who we are as Americans.”

Illinois

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, tweeted her thanks to capitol police for helping evacuate members of Congress.

"Earlier today, I was on the House floor for the beginning of the debate. I, and other House members on the floor, are safe in a secure location. Thank you the Capitol Police for their actions in protecting us and our country today," Bustos tweeted.

Less than an hour later, Bustos followed up with another tweet. 

"Today, the U.S. Capitol was breached and our nation faced violence as we tried to fulfill the will of the American People. But no angry mob can stop us from doing our Constitutional duty. Democracy will prevail and we WILL complete the count," Bustos tweeted.

Shortly after being moved to a secured location, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., held a phone call with reporters.

"I will not yield to these protesters who are attempting a coup," she said. 

Duckworth followed up with a statement from her Twitter account.

"I have spent my entire adult life defending our Constitution and people’s rights to peacefully demonstrate. I never thought I’d need to defend democracy from an attempted, violent overthrow in our own nation’s Capitol. I will not yield to those who seek to harm our democracy," Duckworth tweeted.

Minutes later, Duckworth followed with another tweet.

"As Donald Trump continues to lie about attacks on our democracy and fan the flames of debunked conspiracy theories, his supporters carrying Confederate flags are literally breaking into the U.S. Capitol to prevent elected representatives from casting their votes," Duckworth tweeted.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., issued statements from his Twitter account, holding Trump accountable for encouraging his supporters to riot.

"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," Durbin tweeted.

Illinois State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, issued a statement late Wednesday. 

"I condemn acts of violence and those who coordinated today's acts," McCombie said. "Acts of violence in the name of a cause is horrible, disgraceful and unAmerican. This is not what we should allow ourselves to become."

Gov. J.B. Pritzker called for Trump's impeachment, saying "Two weeks is too long for Donald Trump to remain in office, where he can continue to incite more untold violence."

-- The Associated Press contributed to this article

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