(The Center Square) – Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman called on President Donald Trump to condemn violence and vandalism that took place Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol.
Portman was joined by state and federal Ohio officials all taking to social media to condemn actions of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol and interrupted a joint congressional session taking place to confirm the Electoral College votes.
Hundreds of protesters were shown on television news coverage walking through Statuary Hall without having gone through any security checkpoints. Debate was halted, and lawmakers were ordered to return to their offices and shelter in place. Legislators were told they may need to hide under their chairs and to be quiet and not draw attention to themselves.
“The right to protest peacefully is protected under the Constitution but the actions of violent mobs against our law enforcement and property at the U.S. Capitol building today are not. [Trump] should condemn this unacceptable vandalism and violence,” Portman tweeted
Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown echoed Portman’s sentiments, tweeting “The violence at the Capitol needs to end now. The lives of countless workers -- journalists, staff and Capitol Police are being put at risk by this attack on our democracy.”
Vice President Mike Pence and some lawmakers were evacuated from the building, and media reports indicated there was an armed standoff between law enforcement officials and protesters. Photos and video from inside the House chamber showed police with guns drawn.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican who earlier this week touted the state’s election process and near flawless execution, tweeted the actions of rioters was unamerican.
“The violence and flagrant disregard of the law at the U.S. Capitol is unAmerican. It goes against our values as a nation. There’s not excuse for it. None,” LaRose tweeted.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called the actions embarrassing and said Trump should call on demonstrators to leave the Capitol.
"This is an embarrassment to our country. This must stop immediately. The President should call for the demonstrators to leave our Capitol Building,” DeWine said in a statement. “The final step in the constitutional process of electing our president has been disrupted. The stopping of the count of the Electoral College votes has occurred because the security of the U.S. Capitol has been breached by a violent mob. As a nation of laws, this is simply not acceptable. Lawlessness is not acceptable. This is an affront to our Constitution and everything we hold dear. Peaceful demonstrations outside the Capitol are an exercise of the demonstrators’ First Amendment rights. Stopping the constitutional process by which we elect the president is not."