All four members of Idaho’s congressional delegation took to Twitter on Wednesday to condemn the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol by rioters, which forced the halting of the certification of the presidential election results and the evacuation of both the House and the Senate.
Here’s what each tweeted out:
SEN. MIKE CRAPO: “The violence we are seeing at the Capitol is wholly unacceptable. It must be stopped immediately and all perpetrators prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. God bless the Capitol Police, National Guard and other law enforcement on the scene here and at other sites.”
SEN. JIM RISCH: “This nonsense and violence needs to stop now.”
2nd DISTRICT REP. MIKE SIMPSON: “We have a constitutional right to peaceful protests but the clashes with police and destruction of property must stop now. We can disagree in a better way.”
1st DISTRICT REP. RUSS FULCHER: “I will always respect our citizens’ First Amendment rights — and the rule of law. The violence seen today, and this past summer, is unacceptable. It does not move us closer to solutions.”
The Senate Wednesday night rejected the objection to Arizona's electoral college votes. Crapo and Risch were not among the six senators who supported the objection.
Below are additional statements issued by Crapo and Risch. Gov. Brad Little, Idaho Democratic Party Chairwoman Van Beechler and Idaho Republican Party Chairman Tom Luna.
U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho:
Today's events in the United States Capitol, meant to disrupt a process at the heart of our democracy, were unpatriotic and un-American in the extreme. Our republic has long been the envy of people all over the world, and we must stand united against those who wish to tear us apart. We are grateful to the law enforcement officers that placed themselves in harm’s way and kept those working at the Capitol safe today. I was proud to join my colleagues and reconvene at the Capitol tonight to prove that mob rule never prevails. Freedom and law and order will always triumph.
The business we conducted today showed there is deep distrust in the integrity and veracity of our elections. We need to restore American’s faith in our voting process. I am committed to pursue that so all of America has the benefit of what we enjoy in Idaho - solid confidence in the outcome of our elections. An open, transparent system with clear guidelines and rigorous safeguards is vital.
Now, we must come together as a country.
I am confident we will emerge from this challenge stronger, just as America has done so many times before.
U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho:
I stand by the First Amendment rights of Americans to peaceably assemble and demand redress for their grievances. What we witnessed at the U.S. Capitol today was not peaceful; such violence is wholly unacceptable. All perpetrators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Actions like today thwart the rule of law and could leave lasting, devastating consequences on our nation. I am truly thankful for the heroic actions by U.S. Capitol Police, the National Guard and other law enforcement officials on the scene here and at other sites to keep the public safe.
Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution is clear. Election laws are entrusted to the states. The Constitution and the statutory law of the United States give explicit jurisdiction over the certification of the Electoral College electors to the states. Through the Electoral College, the election of the president is entrusted to the states, not to Congress. When disputes arise, adjudication rests in the courts. Any effort by Congress to abandon the Electoral College’s constitutional significance for states to certify and send their Electors would set a dangerous precedent I cannot support. To undercut this system would inevitably lead to federalizing our election process and remove the authority of states under the Constitution. This is an outcome many have sought for years, but it would be a serious mistake. It would gravely diminish Idaho’s role in electing future presidents. I took a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, to bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and to faithfully discharge the duties of the office I represent. That is why I will not join efforts to have Congress reject validly certified Electoral College votes.”
During the course of our nation’s history, there have been occurrences of voting irregularities and fraud, including in this election. Unfortunately, that always seems to be the case. It is past time that this country thoroughly examine the election process, especially in states where the allegations of fraud are the strongest, uncover the facts, and develop reforms that make our election process trustworthy.
The integrity of our election process is critically important and vital to our republic. I support the establishment of a commission to study the last election and recommend meaningful reforms to protect the integrity of our elections. I will be highly engaged in any proposals put forth by Congress to ensure they adhere to constitutional principles of state sovereignty. It is imperative that states implement and enforce election policies that protect the integrity of all future elections and restore Americans’ faith in our electoral system. Americans deserve free and fair elections.
I will continue to fight for the principles of limited government, protection of the private sector, free market policies, and protecting personal freedoms as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little:
As I reflect on the events in our nation’s capital, multiple sad things come to mind. For all my many years, I've had an interest in how our citizens, especially our children, get to participate or observe our governmental, especially legislative, process. For generations, citizens and many students have traveled to Washington D.C., toured the U.S. Capitol, and observed. This is sacred to me and the success of our democratic republic. Confidence in government is best maintained if people can witness the process - whether in Washington D.C. or Boise. Today’s activities will undoubtedly bring a reaction - and for good reason. But as often is the case, the unintended consequences will be less access, fewer students, fewer citizens seeing the sometimes-messy constitutional process of government. I mourn for the lack of access that was there when I spent part of a summer in 1973 as a student with unfettered access to our congressional branch. We can replace unfettered access with technology, but there will be a loss. Unfortunately, there will be fewer students with a passion for the process because of their first hand exposure. Thus is the consequence of those who stormed OUR Capitol. It was a sad day.
We can do better. We must rededicate ourselves to making the process open to all, without intimidation of either the inside participants or the outside observers.
Idaho Democratic Party Chairwoman Van Beechler:
Because our Republican leaders in Washington have encouraged and refused to stand up to President Trump’s deliberate attack on the Constitution and the legitimacy of our elections, they are responsible for the unrest that is occurring. Congressman Russ Fulcher, Congressman Mike Simpson, Senator Jim Risch and Senator Mike Crapo all share responsibility for today’s events, along with every Republican official who chose to prioritize political power over preserving our democracy.
We hope Idahoans will stay safe and remain peaceful during this time, and that state officials are prepared to keep our legislators safe as we approach the legislative session.
Idaho Republican Party Chairman Tom Luna:
Yesterday in our nation’s Capitol, a lawful assembly of Americans objected to certifying the 2020 presidential election results. Sadly, the demonstration turned violent, ugly, and criminal. While many are angry and frustrated with our government and elected officials, violence is never the answer to our disagreements. A peaceful transfer of power should be cherished as an American ideal.
Today we are a nation that is deeply divided. We must find ways to accept our differences and unite. While it is obvious that our national wounds will not heal immediately, each of us, all of us, must be better if we are to expect better of others.