Indiana News

Indiana’s congressional delegation prays for safety, condemns violence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana’s congressional delegation reacted on Twitter to Wednesday’s unrest at the U.S. Capitol, where supporters of President Donald Trump mobbed the building and in some cases turned violent.

Sen. Todd Young, one of Indiana’s two Republican senators, wrote, “In America we have a right to peacefully protest, but what has occurred today goes against everything we stand for as a nation. This is not a peaceful protest – it is violence and it is reprehensible. This must stop.”

Sen. Mike Braun tweeted, “What we’re seeing at the Capitol is wrong, hurts the cause of election integrity, and needs to stop immediately. Rioting and violence are never acceptable.”

Just after 11:30 p.m., Braun tweeted again: “Today’s events changed things drastically. Though I will continue to push for a thorough investigation into the election irregularities many Hoosiers are concerned with as my objection was intended, I have withdrawn that objection and will vote to get this ugly day behind us.”

Rep. André Carson, a Democrat from Indianapolis, said, “Everything that’s happening in DC today — from the political theater inside the Capitol, to the unruly protests outside of it — is an insult to our Democracy. Congress is here to serve the people. The people chose Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and we must uphold their choice.”

In another tweet at 6:28 p.m., Carson said, “I’m currently safe. What we are witnessing today is domestic terrorism and armed insurrection. President Trump has fanned these flames. He and all of his allies must immediately condemn this violence and end their effort to overturn our government and the election results.”

Rep. Victoria Spartz, a Republican from Noblesville, wrote, “We are a country of laws and the lawlessness in and around the U.S. Capitol today is unacceptable. The actions of those who have stormed the #Capitol only hurt their cause. Please let the democratic process play out peacefully.”

Rep. Jackie Walorski, a Republican from Jimtown, wrote, “Every American has the right to exercise their First Amendment rights, but violence and destruction are never the answer. Stop these attacks on our country now and keep the protests peaceful. Grateful to the U.S. Capitol Police for protecting everyone in our Capitol.”

Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican from Columbia City, wrote on Twitter, “Please pray for our country,” followed by emojis of a U.S. flag and a set of praying hands. He also tweeted, “Peaceful protest is healthy, but what is happening at the U.S. Capitol right now is unacceptable and un-American. Those participating in lawlessness and violence must be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, a Republican from Jeffersonville, said, “My thoughts on what happened at the Capitol this afternoon: ‘The day started with democracy at the Capitol, people debating and asserting the views of millions of Americans. But what happened this afternoon at the Capitol is not democracy and not reflective of the ideals we hold so dear. There is no space in our system of government for violence or vandalism, and none should be tolerated here or anywhere in our great land.'”

Rep. Larry Bucshon, a Republican from Newburgh, tweeted, “Supporters of the @realDonaldTrump please stand down and leave the Capitol. I do not condone any form of violence. A peaceful protest is your Constitutional right but what is happening now is not lawful. It is un-American.”

Vice President Mike Pence, an Indiana native who was presiding as head of the Senate as it discussed election results Wednesday, also sent tweets. “Peaceful protest is the right of every American but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” A second tweet said, “The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.”

The protestors’ entry into the Capitol halls happened as Gov. Eric Holcomb was broadcasting his weekly coronavirus briefing. Asking about the situation, Holcomb noted he had not watched the action unfold on television.

The governor said, “I’m of two minds about this time in history. I’m reminded about in the ’60s and early ’70s, we were going through a pretty rough patch as well. And when you think about Martin Luther King, and RFK and JFK, Vietnam, the ’68 Democratic convention, Kent State … there’s a string … I’m pretty thankful my parents were optimistic about the future, and I maybe get it from them. This country is strong and resilient. And to me, this is a reminder for all of us that we can ourselves model good conduct. We can still fight for our country in a very responsible and compassionate and heartfelt way, and we should. But we’ve been here before — we were here in the 1860s, we were here in the 1960s — and maybe we’re just a little premature a hundred years, a century later. But we’re going to get through it. But it’s going to require folks to step up and show there’s another way and there’s a productive way, and that we need to stick to those principles that made this country great and unique and exceptional in the first place.”

About 1 hour, 45 minutes after the governor ended the coronavirus briefing, he issued this statement: “It’s both saddening and sickening to watch a mob devolve into thinking their rules would ever replace the rule of law. I unequivocally condemn the violence at the U.S. Capitol that we are now witnessing.  Passion, patriotism and love for our nation should always and only be expressed in constructive ways that seek to honor the ideals on which our nation was founded. Any means of violence runs counter to who we are and is never acceptable.”

Former Sen. Joe Donnelly said on Twitter, “I am praying for the safety of all the people who work in the Capitol, the Senate and House members, and the police who are working to protect them. The thugs who have stormed the Capitol grounds are terrorists attacking our Country.”

Pete Buttigieg, a former South Bend mayor and Democratic presidential candidate who is slated to become President-elect Joe Biden’s transportation secretary, said, “Words have consequences, especially the words of a president and his allies. Today those consequences include violent rioters attacking our Capitol to overthrow the American democratic process. This must end, and democracy must prevail.”

This story has been updated to indicate Donnelly is no longer an Indiana senator.