Notable Asian American and Pacific Islander politicians have spoken out against the actions of some Trump supporters who stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday as Congress prepared to certify the electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden.
Fueling the rage
After spending weeks spouting baseless claims that the election was allegedly stolen from him, outgoing President Donald Trump urged his supporters on Wednesday morning to fight against the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes, as reported in the New York Times.
Thousands of pro-Trump rioters responded by proceeding to the Capitol, eventually getting into the building. Rioters carrying pro-Trump paraphernalia vandalized Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, looted art and took over the Senate chamber as Congress members evacuated the establishment for safety.
At the height of the chaos
During the mounting violence in Capitol Hill, several lawmakers and politicians voiced their concerns.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris took to Twitter to call for an end to “the assault on the Capitol and our nation’s public servants.”
Speaking with KWQC, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), called the incident “an attempted violent overthrow in our nation’s Capitol.”
“I will tell you this, these protestors will not stop me from carrying out my duty. If we have to be here all night and all day tomorrow and the next, we will continue to carry out the work that needs to be done,” said Duckworth.
Addressing a joint session of Congress later in the evening, Duckworth called Trump a “petty, insecure, wannabe tin-pot dictator.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) noted a “very scary moment” when she got trapped in the House gallery overlooking the House floor among other members of Congress as Trump supporters entered the building, according to The Seattle Times.
“We were there when shots began to be fired into the chamber, we saw, from where I was sitting, I could see Capitol Police with their guns drawn,” said Jayapal.
She said she could not contain her anger towards Trump and Republicans who “invited, incited, and fueled” the incident.
Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) echoed similar sentiments on Twitter, saying: “He told them to come to the Capitol. He invited violence and put our colleagues, staff, Capitol police in harm’s way. There is no greater interrupter of peace and democracy than him.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) held the president and his supporters responsible for the violence, saying they “need to put an end to this incitement.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) termed the incident a “coup attempt” and called on Vice President Mike Pence to start proceedings to remove Trump from office.
While the Capitol was eventually secured and the Senate was able to reconvene late on Wednesday evening, the breach resulted in the death of four people, which included one woman who got shot, CNN reported.
Shortly before 4 a.m. on Thursday, a joint session of Congress presided over by Pence confirmed Biden’s victory.