Gov. Ralph Northam said he was sending Virginia National Guard personnel and state troopers to help restore order in D.C. Wednesday after a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol. One person was reported shot.
The governor said he would be sending National Guard resources and 200 Virginia state troopers to assist with the situation, adding that his administration is “working closely” with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Democratic congressional leaders.
Federal lawmakers were sent scrambling for safety Wednesday afternoon after Trump supporters, some of them armed, overwhelmed police and broke into the Capitol building, halting the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
All four Virginia Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives had lent support to longshot efforts to challenge the election results, saying they intended to formally oppose some of the Electoral College results that cemented Biden’s win. After the Capitol was breached, some of them pleaded for calm.
State Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2021, had travelled to Washington for the rally, apparently addressing a crowd at one point Wednesday morning.
In the afternoon, she posted a video to Facebook from the inside of a car letting her supporters know she was safe and heading back to the Richmond area.
“Everything that I saw earlier today was very peaceful,” she said.
She also said she was “very disappointed” Vice President Mike Pence had not tried to block certification of Biden’s electors.
Virginia Democrats denounced the events Wednesday as a shameful day in American history.
“I’m a former intelligence officer,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Henrico, said in an interview with NBC News. “My whole background is understanding the challenges that foreign governments are facing. The scene that we saw on Capitol Hill – the banging, the yelling, the screaming, the demands to enter the chambers of the United States Congress – those are the sorts of things that happen in third-world nations. The sorts of places where our diplomats and intelligence officers write home to the United States and say this is a dangerous scenario, this is an endangered democracy.”