The Center Square
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and legislative leaders condemned riotous behavior Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol by protesters from a pro-Trump rally.
Protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday as Congress was meeting to certify results of the Electoral College in the 2020 presidential election. The havoc caused both chambers to recess and drove members of both chambers to don emergency gas masks and take shelter.
“The violence happening in our nation’s capitol is inexcusable and an affront to our founding principles and freedoms,” Lee said in a statement. “I stand with our Tennessee delegation that order must be restored immediately and thank law enforcement for their professionalism.”
Both of Tennessee’s U.S. senators and six of the seven Republican House members joined an effort to object to Electoral College results. Tennessee Senate Minority Leadership condemned the rioters and the members of Congress behind the Electoral College challenge.
“Let’s be clear-eyed about what’s happening: the President incited a mob that has disrupted Congress in performing its constitutional duty and endangered the safety of people in the Capitol,” Senate Minority Leader Jeff Yarbro tweeted. “The Senators & Representatives who supported his effort aren’t fit to serve.”
“THIS is insane. All the elected officials who have encouraged this- (Sen. Bill Hagerty]) & (Sen. Marsha Blackburn)- are responsible,” Senate Minority Caucus Chairperson Raumesh Akbari tweeted. “You all are responsible for the violence, terrorism, and the crisis that our country is in right now. Blood is on your hands.”
Republican leaders condemned the violence and called for order to be restored immediately.
“Peaceful protest is one thing. But what is happening in Washington, D.C. is not that,” Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said in a statement. “I pray that order is restored immediately and that the constitutionally outlined certification process resume unimpeded.”
“Just like the events in Nashville last May, what is happening in Washington right now is chaos, it is violence, and it must stop,” House Speaker Cameron Sexton said in a statement. “Those who are defying our laws must be held accountable for their despicable actions.”
Tennessee GOP Chairman Scott Golden released a statement calling for law and order.
“We have the right to be heard, but not to the point of violence and destruction,” Golden wrote. “The Republican Party is the party that supports law enforcement, rights, and the rule of law, and not defunding the police. Today’s perpetrators will be brought to justice and the truth will come to light. For now, let’s act responsibly, pray for our country and our leaders, and get ready to Make America Great Again.”