DeWine, Johnson, Brown react to violence in Washington, D.C.

Published 4:56 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2021

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a statement condemning the violence in Washington, D.C. as demonstrators stormed the U.S. Capitol building during a joint session of Congress to formally count the Electoral College votes on Wednesday.

“This is an embarrassment to our country,” DeWine said. “This must stop immediately.”

DeWine, a Republican, urges President Donald Trump to call for demonstrators to leave the Capitol building.

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“The final step in the constitutional process of electing our president has been disrupted,” DeWine said. “The stopping of the counting of the Electoral College votes has occurred because the security of the U.S. Capitol has been breached by a violent mob.”

DeWine said “as a nation of laws, this is simply not acceptable.”

“Lawlessness is not acceptable,” the governor said. “This is an affront to our Constitution and everything we hold dear. Those who breached the Capitol breached the Constitution. 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.”

The office of U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, who could be seen among lawmakers in the House in footage as demonstrators stormed the building, issued two statements.

“I’m shocked and dismayed by the violence here in the Capitol,” Johnson said in an initial statement, shortly after the Capitol was stormed. “This is not the way Americans solve our problems.”

In a later statement released in the evening, Johnson elaborated on his position.

“I swore an oath to protect the Constitution and the rule of law,” Johnson said in the second release. “I take that oath seriously. Whether it was the violent thugs who fought with police and stormed the U. S. Capitol building today or the violent thugs of Antifa and BLM who’ve been assaulting police and attacking government buildings for the last six months, this lawlessness is wrong and should be universally condemned. We’re all Americans, and we’re better than this. I thank all the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies who brought help for their service.”

Johnson had announced on Tuesday that he would join the House members objecting to the count of the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, posted on Twitter that he and his staff were safe during the siege.

“The violence at the Capitol needs to end now,” Brown said. “The lives of countless workers – journalists, staff, and Capitol Police are being put at risk by this attack on our democracy.”