Democratic Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria condemned violent protests in the nation’s capital Wednesday after she evacuated her Washington office amid reports of a pipe bomb outside during a debate on the 2020 Electoral College results.
“I don’t recognize our country today and the members of Congress who have supported this anarchy do not deserve to represent their fellow Americans,” Luria tweeted, taking a swipe at congressional Republicans who signed on to a longshot bid to challenge the certification of the Electoral College vote.
Several of those GOP members condemned the protesters’ behavior. President Trump, who encouraged supporters to show up en masse to protest the election, tweeted urging them to support the Capitol Police and “stay peaceful.”
Some protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol, creating a security risk that forced both houses of Congress into recess. This delayed the official electoral count and prompted authorities to lock down the Captiol complex.
Authorities reported finding multiple suspicious packages in the area — including at least one that looked like a pipe bomb, although authorities did not immediately confirm whether any contained live explosives.
Videos showed a large crowd of people, many of them waving pro-Trump banners or American flags, packing the Capitol steps Wednesday afternoon. A significant number of them entered the Capitol building and roamed through various parts of it, chanting and demanding to speak with lawmakers, videos on social media reveal.
There were reports of gas or pepper spray being deployed against protesters inside the Capitol Rotunda and House members putting on gas masks for protection.
“Domestic terrorists will not stop democracy,” Luria, a Navy veteran who represents Virginia’s 2nd District, wrote after they’d breached the Capitol’s doors.
The House and Senate already were expecting objections to the 2020 election results during a joint session Wednesday, but bipartisan majorities in both chambers were set to overcome them and certify a Joe Biden win.
Vice President Mike Pence oversaw the session. He was reportedly rushed out of the chamber by security officials amid the unrest.
Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., told Fox News in a phone call from the besieged House floor that “this is despicable.”
“This is not who we are as a country,” he told Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum. “We were debating this through debate and discussion for our interpretations of the Constitution…members were objecting to people’s concerns, but there is no place for violence.”
“I’ve served in places overseas, in Africa and Afghanistan, where violence is how we solve our disputes,” he continued. “Not here in America. We solve it through debate, discussion, courts and judges. I just wanna make sure everyone hears that today. This is unacceptable.”
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.
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