NEW JERSEY -- New Jersey's elected leaders in Washington, DC, condemned the chaos in our nation's capital on Wednesday when pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the U.S. Capitol Building to express their disagreement with the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, NJ-12), who was at the Capitol Building, tweeted to let constituents know she was safe:
While this is an ongoing incident I want to first let everyone know that I am safe. This is not a mere protest, this is a disruption of democracy. And it is the direct result of incendiary rhetoric from the president and members of his party. It’s the last gasp of a party that has abandoned its commitment to our country’s ideals. When we have resolved the destruction, violence and chaos in the Capitol, we'll go back to the business of confirming the votes of the American people.
The President's actions and rhetoric lead us to this point. I'm joining my colleagues in renewing my call to immediately impeach Donald J. Trump. At every step of the way he has sought to undermine our democracy and overrule the will of the people in a free and fair election. This behavior cannot be forgiven or ignored.
Congressman Tom Malinowski (D, NJ-7) tweeted that he is "back in the House chamber continuing the work of the people to certify this election... We're not going to let these thugs intimidate us."
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), who was set to vote to certify the election, tweeted: "On August 24, 1814, the British stormed our Capitol and set fire to it. Now the Capitol has again been breached and sieged. Donald Trump incited this. He is responsible for this. And he is silent as this tragic moment continues. We brought this hell upon ourselves."
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who also voted to certify the election, also took to Twitter: "Today, I shed a tear for our country, which for centuries has inspired the world through its commitment to democracy and the rule of law. Read my full statement."
Meanwhile, local and state leaders also spoke out against the events in Washington:
We are witnessing one of the darkest days in American history. The President must immediately condemn the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol and deploy the National Guard to keep Members of Congress safe and allow a peaceful transition of power. -- Governor Phil Murphy (D) via Twitter
The actions of protesters in Washington threaten our democracy. The Courts have reviewed the election results and have rejected the claims of election fraud. The Judges who made those decisions were both Republican and Democrats. Breaking the law by entering the Chambers of our Capital is unacceptable and should be rejected by all law abiding Americans. It is a very sad day for our Country when we disregard the rule of law. -- Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R, LD-21) via Twitter
This is not who we are as a people or a country. We are better than this. As an elected leader I feel strongly to call for an end to the violence that we saw today and vocalize the support of the peaceful transition of presidential power. Now is the time to come together to strengthen our exceptional union. -- Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr (D) via phone interview with TAPintoSPF
There is absolutely no excuse to take over the Capitol and disturb the people's business.. Our country is firmly based on democracy; and voters have cast their ballots through an open and fair democratic process that has been consistently upheld. I agree with Joe Biden in saying enough is enough is enough. -- Scotch Plains Mayor Josh LoSardo (D) via phone interview with TAPintoSPF
My values and those of my party require me to speak out against violations of the American ideal, regardless of which side they are on, and I could never in good conscience support this. Peaceful protest is a guaranteed right under the Constitution, but disrupting the legitimate transition of power as also defined by our Constitution is not acceptable and must be curtailed. -- Former Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith (R) via a Letter to the Editor in TAPintoSPF