NEBRASKA — As the stunning scenes reached Americans of a pro-Trump mob storming the U.S. Capitol building, in an unprecedented attempt to overturn the election, Nebraska leaders issued statements denouncing the violence.
Congressman Adrian Smith, who said he would object to the Electoral College results, citing allegations which have been repeatedly rejected by both state and federal courts, issued the following,
“As Americans, we believe the rule of law and protection of civil liberties differentiate our nation as the greatest on earth. While many protestors are exercising their constitutional right to be heard peacefully, I urge all protestors to do so and to follow the directions of law enforcement. We are working to ensure concerns about the conduct of the presidential election in several states are heard through the existing legal process, and illegal disruptions of this process are unacceptable and not constructive.”
Even after the violence, Smith was the only member of Nebraska’s delegation to vote against formally approving Biden’s election victory.
His remarks were followed by Senator Deb Fischer, who chose not to reject the Electoral College results stating, “I will uphold my oath and vote to affirm the decision of the Electoral College.”
Fischer took a firmer, more pointed stance against the violence, stating “These rioters have no constitutional right to harm law enforcement and storm our Capitol. We are a nation of laws, not some banana republic. This must end now.”
Back in Nebraska, Governor Pete Ricketts weighed in, “What is happening at the U.S. Capitol is unacceptable. I condemn the violence in the strongest possible terms. Peaceful protest is the American way. Violence and destruction of property are not. I encourage the violent protestors in D.C. to leave and go home.”
Attorney General Doug Peterson also issued his own statement, “Today’s violent assault on our US Capitol is an afront to the principles of our Constitution. We are a nation of laws that are designed to maintain order and protect our freedoms. These freedoms include the right to peacefully protest, but lawlessness by any individual or organization cannot be tolerated. We as a people are better than this. We must live up to the greatness of this nation and not submit to lawless impulses.”
U.S. Attorney Joe Kelly stated, “If you traveled from Nebraska to D.C. to commit violent criminal acts, you will be prosecuted…to the fullest extent of the law. Our attorneys are sworn to uphold the constitution and law and we will do so.”
Senator Ben Sasse, who has criticized President Donald Trump in the past, issued the following rebuke,
“Today, the United States Capitol — the world’s greatest symbol of self-government — was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution.”
“Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”
“Americans are better than this: Americans aren’t nihilists. Americans aren’t arsonists. Americans aren’t French revolutionaries taking to the barricades.”
“This is not how we peacefully transfer power. The American people are tough, our Constitutional order is strong, and we will meet this moment with strength and grace.”
The certification of the Electoral College vote has been a procedure normally under the radar of most Americans, but the process exploded onto the scene as rioters broke through the police barricade at the U.S. Capitol and entered the building in a shocking challenge to the democracy of the United States.
Goaded by Trump, who has spent the last several weeks falsely attacking the legitimacy of the election, he urged his followers to descend on Washington to protest approval of President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory.
The political rancor and divide finally achieved the point of violence, as four people were killed during the swarming of the Capitol; one woman was shot and killed by Capitol Police, three others died after medical emergencies related to the breaching, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
The deaths and violence leave a black mark on the United States, which has been peacefully transferring power since 1788.
Elected representatives were forced to evacuate as members of the mob made it into the chamber itself. After the building was cleared, lawmakers returned on Wednesday night and finished confirming the Electoral College vote, which confirmed Biden’s win in the election, 306-232.
Biden is set to be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20.