CAPITAL REGION — Local elected officials condemned the extremist attack on the nation’s U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, even calling to advance articles of impeachment, after Trump supporters breached security and stormed the building. The gathering, encouraged by the president, was intended to disrupt the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory.
The event left one fatally shot and a nation paused. The day’s events were described by local leaders as “unacceptable” and “anti-American,” and both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko labeled the attack on the Capitol as an attempted coup.
“We won’t let President Trump, those in Congress who enable him, or the lawless mob that stormed the Capitol steal our democracy,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter on late Wednesday afternoon, four hours after Trump supporters began gathering around the Capitol. “The election results are clear and the will of the American people will be carried out.”
Late Wednesday, Tonko released a statement “calling on the House to advance articles of impeachment to remove President Donald Trump from office immediately for his role in inciting a riot that led to one death and numerous injuries in the U.S. Capitol.”
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, who called the event “anti-American,” denounced the groups’ actions Wednesday afternoon on Twitter.
“I believe the President must deliver a speech and speak directly to the American people condemning these violent acts,” Stefanik told WRGB Channel 6. “I am publicly calling on the President to deliver remarks directly to the American people condemning this violence.”
She thanked the U.S. Capitol police for protecting “the People’s House.”
“Americans have a Constitutional right to protest & freedom of speech, but violence in any form is absolutely unacceptable & anti-American,” Stefanik wrote.
Despite the breach of the Capitol by Trump-supporting extremists, Stefanik was still expected to contest the results of the presidential election in Congress later Wednesday night.
Similarly, U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado denounced the actions of the Trump supporters who stormed the building, but added that “the president must halt his baseless campaign to undermine the election outcome.”
“Today’s unprecedented attack on our US Capitol is what happens when our leaders propagate hate and division and sow distrust in our most basic democratic norms,” Delgado wrote on Twitter. “Enough is enough.”
U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko tweeted that he and his staff were safe at 5:35 p.m., adding that Wednesday was “an incredibly sad day for our republic.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted that the storming of the Capitol building “will not change the fact that Joe Biden will be the President of the United States on January 20,” and Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Nancy Pelosi called on Trump to “demand that all protesters leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol grounds immediately.” Trump later urged his supporters to “go home” at 4:40 p.m. via a video message.
A busload of Trump supporters reportedly traveled from the Capital Region Wednesday to the site of the insurrection. Attempts to reach people connected to the trip were unsuccessful.