U.S. Capitol violence: Gov. Tom Wolf, Pa. state lawmakers speak out

By: - January 6, 2021 4:27 pm

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

This breaking story will be updated. 

Gov. Tom Wolf:

State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster: 

State Sen. Ryan Aument, R-Lancaster:

State Rep. Benninghoff, R-Centre, and House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster: 

“Any act of violence or destruction is a crime and should be treated as such.

“Peaceful transitions of power are something our country has responsibly proceeded with since our founding and should serve as an inspiration to the rest of the world.

“An objection to the electoral process is within the rights of members of Congress and has been exercised by members from both sides of the aisle at different times in our nation’s history.

“However, that process leads to debate and dialogue, not violence and mayhem.

“We strongly condemn any act of violence and destruction and pray for all those impacted today.”

State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta 

Central Pa. GOP lawmakers

House State Government Chairman Seth Grove (R-Dover) and Reps. Kate Klunk (R-Hanover), Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland) Mike Jones (R-York Township), Dawn Keefer (R-York/Cumberland) and Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam); and Sens. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), Dave Arnold (R-Lebanon/Dauphin/York) and Mike Regan (R-York/Cumberland) issued the following statement:

“The storming of the U.S. Capitol by protesters has absolutely turned our stomachs and just as we condemned the multiple violent protests over the summer, these actions cannot be tolerated. It cannot be tolerated and those involved must be swiftly brought to justice.

“Naturally, we don’t always agree when it comes to politics, and that is the case now more than ever. However, that is absolutely no reason for the disgusting events in Washington, D.C., to occur. As Americans, we pride ourselves on civility. On the ability for two sides to come together and discuss matters in a meaningful and respectful fashion. This display is neither of those things. Rather, it is a mob raiding a United States government building that houses our elected members of Congress. It must be stopped, and cooler heads must prevail for the sake of our nation and our future.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre 

Treasurer Joe Torsella 

“As an elected official, and American citizen, I am calling—as every elected official should—for an immediate and complete end to the violent insurrection currently underway at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., and to the reprehensible incitement of it by President Trump.

“Included in the personnel locked down in the Capitol, we have elected officials—and their respective staffs—that have been sent there by Pennsylvanians through peaceful and fair elections. They are there to do the People’s business, to serve their constituents—our friends, neighbors, and families – and today, to discharge their Constitutional duty.

“These public servants are currently under siege by those who have abandoned peaceful protest and have turned to violence to subvert democracy, incite fear and threaten the safety of those they disagree with.

“These people need to immediately leave the United States Capitol. The President of the United States needs to demand that they do so and say clearly at long last to his supporters that no election was “fraudulent” or “stolen.” The only attempt to subvert an election is the shameful events we are seeing today, and have seen for past weeks. As the person most responsible for inciting this violence, he needs to end it, and should bear the consequences of his actions.

“When building the National Constitution Center and filling its halls, I never thought I would witness a moment like today, an attack not just on our institutions, but on the idea of our democracy itself. Our future is supposed to be better than the darkest days of our past, and it will be again. This should never have happened. All American leaders at all levels of government should do everything they can to put a stop to it, resolve that we will never allow it to happen again, and reclaim our identity as a constitutional democracy that is better than this disgraceful scene.”—

Joint statement from Senate Democrats

The First Amendment is one of our most sacred. It is not political and it is not partisan. The rights to free speech, assembly and petition are what allow this country to flourish. However, those rights do not permit the violence we are seeing today in the nation’s Capitol building and in state capitols across this country.

We held an election in November, and now – like every four years – we must have a peaceful transition of power. Our form of government cannot survive without it.

Without qualification or equivocation, we condemn the actions at the US Capitol Building today. We are asking protestors to stand down and leave peacefully.

Joint statement from House Democrats

“For numerous weeks, leaders have failed to speak in a unified bipartisan voice that America respects the rule of law, the peaceful transition of power and the will of the voters to decide our elections. From our state Capitol to our nation’s Capitol, people have been cavalier with our democracy, and now we have violence in an attempt to overturn our elections through force.

“We are calling on our Republican colleagues, starting with Speaker Bryan Cutler and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, to immediately and unequivocally denounce this violence and support the rule of law and the peaceful transition of power. It’s time for all of us to do our part to lead. It’s time for all of us to stand together and urge peace and respect. We demand Republicans will do the right thing and join us today and in days to come to restore the people’s faith in their democracy.”

“For numerous weeks, leaders have failed to speak in a unified bipartisan voice that America respects the rule of law, the peaceful transition of power and the will of the voters to decide our elections. From our state Capitol to our nation’s Capitol, people have been cavalier with our democracy, and now we have violence in an attempt to overturn our elections through force.

“We are calling on our Republican colleagues, starting with Speaker Bryan Cutler and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, to immediately and unequivocally denounce this violence and support the rule of law and the peaceful transition of power. It’s time for all of us to do our part to lead. It’s time for all of us to stand together and urge peace and respect. We demand Republicans will do the right thing and join us today and in days to come to restore the people’s faith in their democracy.”

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared. Follow her on Twitter: @Wordsby_CassieM.

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