SUBSCRIBE NOW

LaMalfa: 'The actions at the Capitol today hurt our country.' North State politicians react

Michele Chandler David Benda Damon Arthur
Redding Record Searchlight

As President Donald Trump encouraged supporters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday to “remain peaceful" without calling for them to disperse, several California lawmakers weighed in on social media about the chaos gripping the U.S. Capitol.

North State Congressman Doug LaMalfa said he and other House members were safe and in secure locations, while thanking Capitol police.

In a statement, LaMalfa (R-Richvale) said violence for any reason is “inexcusable” and must be dealt with “immediately, forcefully and with the full force of the law."

LaMalfa added: "The actions at the Capitol today hurt our country. We intend to resume our duties soon. The voice of the House of the People will not be silenced for long by a small group that violates the goodwill of all Americans to the right to redress their grievances.”

In this image from video, Rep. Doug LaMalfa. R-Richvale, speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, April 23, 2020.

The Associated Press characterized the crowd as thousands of supporters of the president who occupied the Capitol complex as lawmakers were beginning to tally the electoral votes that will formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

On Tuesday, LaMalfa had said he would challenge the certification of Biden’s Electoral College win, joining some other elected Republicans.

In the days after the Nov. 3 election, LaMalfa has questioned the results without citing specific evidence. But LaMalfa has said that thousands of his constituents have "serious questions" about the election that should be answered.

Read More:Biden calls Capitol riot ‘insurrection,' Trump tells mob to 'go home' - live updates

More:Pro-Trump rioters breach Capitol, forcing lockdown; one person shot; Pence evacuated, Senate chamber cleared out

Meanwhile, Congressman John Garamendi, D-Davis, took to Facebook on Wednesday about the Capitol breach and lockdown, calling the situation "a blatant attack on American democracy."

In his post, Garamendi said: "We will have a transfer of power on January 20th, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will become President and Vice President on that day. American democracy has survived over 200 years, and it will survive Donald Trump.”

U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, a Democrat representing coastal Northern California, also  tweeted Wednesday about events unfolding in the Capitol.

Trump supporters flock to Capitol Hill, protesting Biden election victory

“Trump's Coup Mob has stormed into the Cannon House office building, overwhelming Capitol Police and forcing my colleagues to evacuate. This is unprecedented,” Huffman tweeted.

“Right now in the Capitol, the Trump mob is screaming and chanting, sirens are blaring everywhere and there are lots of explosion sounds, which I assume is gas grenades. Cannon building was initially evacuated but that was just lifted,” Huffman tweeted.

“OK threshold crossed — it's time to criminally prosecute Donald Trump for sedition. This has gone way too far,” Huffman wrote. “Never imagined I would be locked down in the US Capitol trying to ride out a violent coup attempt led by an American President.”

In a post on Twitter made early Wednesday afternoon, House Republican Tom McClintock called what was happening an "attack" and "an outrage."

“The attack on the Capitol strikes at the most sacred act of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power. It is an outrage and a threat to our most fundamental principles as a free people,” McClintock posted.

McClintock had made his position against overturning the results known earlier. On Sunday, McClintock was one of seven House Republicans who broke with colleagues and released a letter saying current efforts to overturn the Presidential election results were wrong and the authority of the states must be respected.

Protesters gather in Washington, DC as the U.S. Congress meets to formally ratify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 Presidential election on Jan. 6, 2021.

“The text of the Constitution is clear. States select electors. Congress does not,” said that letter, which was signed by McClintock along with Representatives Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas).

The  group’s letter said that “If we perpetuate the notion that Congress may disregard certified electoral votes — based solely on its own assessment that one or more states mishandled the presidential election — we will be delegitimizing the very system that led Donald Trump to victory in 2016, and that could provide the only path to victory in 2024.”

The elected officials’ letter concluded, “We must respect the states’ authority here. Though doing so may frustrate our immediate political objectives, we have sworn an oath to promote the Constitution above our policy goals. We must count the electoral votes submitted by the states.”

Election results:Rep. Doug LaMalfa will join some Republicans challenging electoral college certification

LaMalfa appeared on CNN last month, hours after the Supreme Court's decision not to let Texas challenge the presidential election results in four states, a lawsuit that LaMalfa and more than 100 other House Republicans had backed.

On that program, LaMalfa reiterated his doubts about the Nov. 3 election. He also has used his social media accounts to repeat unfounded allegations about election irregularities.

The seat of democracy descended into chaos when protesters overwhelmed police and bullied their way into the Capitol, forcing a delay of the joint session of Congress where lawmakers were counting electoral votes that will affirm Biden's White House victory, two weeks before Inauguration Day.

Trump offered only a muted response to the violence as loyalists brandishing his paraphernalia clashed with police, occupied the Capitol and even stormed the Senate chamber.

Under growing pressure from allies to condemn the violence, Trump tweeted, “No violence!” adding: “Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue.”

The commander in chief did not ask supporters to vacate the area as the unrest continued.

At a rally earlier, Trump had encouraged supporters to march on the Capitol and suggested at one point that he would join them on Capitol Hill. In his remarks, he used incendiary language with violent undertones.

Trump had urged his supporters to “get rid of the weak Congress people” — presumably through primary challenges. He said “get the weak ones get out. This is the time for strength.”

Republican lawmakers pleaded with Trump to do more to stop the violence. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California said he told the president to “calm individuals down.”

“I’ve already talked to the president," MCarthy told Fox News. "I called him. I think we need to make a statement, make sure that we can calm individuals down.”

A Senate ally, Republican Marco Rubio of Florida, appealed directly to the White House: “Mr. President @realDonaldTrump the men & women of law enforcement are under assault. It is crucial you help restore order by sending resources to assist the police and ask those doing this to stand down."

Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., posted a video message urging Trump to “call it off.”

“This is Banana Republic crap that we’re watching right now,” said Gallagher, who had spoken out against objections from fellow Republicans to certifying the Electoral College vote that Biden won.

Hospital COVID surge:California orders hospitals to accept transferred patients, delay nonessential surgeries

Vice President Mike Pence, who was ushered out of the Senate chamber to a secure location as protesters breached the building, tweeted for protesters to disperse.

“The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now,” he said. “Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.”

1,100 DC National Guard members being mobilized

The Pentagon says about 1,100 D.C. National Guard members are being mobilized to help support law enforcement as violent supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol.

Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said Wednesday afternoon that defense leaders have been in contact with the city and congressional leadership.

A defense official said all 1,100 of the D.C. Guard were being activated and sent to the city’s armory. The Guard forces will be used at checkpoints and for other similar duties and could also help in the enforcement of the 6 p.m. curfew being implemented tonight in the city.

The officials said the D.C. request for National Guard was not rejected earlier in the day. Instead, according to officials, the Guard members have a very specific mission that does not include putting military in a law enforcement role at the Capitol. As a result, the Guard must be used to backfill law enforcement outside the Capitol complex, freeing up more law enforcement to respond to the Capitol.

Hoffman said the law enforcement response to the violence will be led by the Justice Department.

Associated Press writers Zeke Miller, Jill Colvin, Alexandra Jaffe and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.