‘We are in throngs of a coup’: NY, NJ political leaders react to DC protest

National News
protesters storm capitol

People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.

WASHINGTON — Local leaders in Washington, D.C. for the certification of the Electoral College vote took to social media Wednesday as chaos descended on the U.S. Capitol.

Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol and marched through the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags and forcing a halt to congressional deliberations over challenges to President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

Timeline of Electoral College certification, Trump backers breaching Capitol

Some House lawmakers tweeted they were sheltering in place. Senators and Vice President Mike Pence were evacuated.

Newly sworn-in Rep. Ritchie Torres spoke with PIX11 News Wednesday while he sheltered in place at an undisclosed location within the Capitol.

When asked if Trump can end the violent occupation at the Capitol, Torres said, “the damage has been done. Never in the history of our country has there been an attempt by a sitting president to instigate a violent mob to storm into the Capitol and disrupt a presidential vote count. This is the greatest assault on American democracy in the modern history of our country.”

“When you’re interfering with a presidential vote count and when you’re interfering with what should be a peaceful transfer of power, I would certainly describe that as a coup,” he added.

Full interview with Rep. Torres

Rep. Yvette Clarke called the events “domestic terrorism,” and alleged the nation is “in throngs of a coup.”

New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg issued a joint statement.

“What we are witnessing in Washington is not how our democracy is supposed to function,” they said. “The protestors who have breached the United States Capitol building illegally should go home immediately or face the full force of the law.”

Below are more reactions from local leaders.

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