WASHINGTON — Members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation made pleas for peace on social media, as protesters breached the U.S. Capitol building during Wednesday's debate over certification of the 2020 electoral vote count.
"Our Capitol has been breeched and I do not recognize what I see transpiring before us in our temple of democracy. Take heed, my fellow Americans, of our founders worst nightmare and the people enabling it," Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips tweeted.
"They’ve asked us to take cover on the House floor and get our gas masks ready," Phillips later added. "This is insane."
Republican Rep. Tom Emmer denounced violence tied to the protests.
"I support the democratic process that I have the privilege of engaging in today," Emmer wrote. "However, any violence against law enforcement goes completely counter to this process, and the rule of law that our police are sworn to protect."
Rep. Angie Craig spoke to KARE via telephone about being suddenly whisked to safety by Capitol Police after protesters breached the Capitol Building and headed toward House Chamber.
"I’m safe. I’m just shocked. I’m heart broken. I can’t believe the scene we saw unfold at the Capitol today," the 2nd District Democrat remarked.
"Capitol police got me out of where I was. They put us in a number of us in safe spaces. And we’re surrounded by law enforcement at this point."
She said she was grateful to the Capitol police, but it was clear they were outnumbered and couldn't have withstood the onslaught of demonstrators assaulting the historic building.
"I know they’re working hard to keep members and staff safe, I’m praying for their safety. But we need more help here."
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar replied to a follower that she is safe, but dismayed at what was happening.
"I am safe, but heartbroken about what we are enduring at our nation’s Capitol," Omar wrote on Twitter. "Running for our lives as Members of Congress in the United States is really devastating and totally shocking."
Republican Rep. Pete Stauber asked for prayers for law enforcement.
"Please pray for our very brave Capitol Police and our great nation," Stauber tweeted. "This is the People's House, but we as a nation MUST respect law and order."
"My staff & I are safe & following protocols, but I am very concerned for the safety of my colleagues, other congressional staff, & US Capitol Police," Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum tweeted. "This is a situation provoked by President Trump & Republicans that is rapidly deteriorating. It needs to end quickly & peacefully."
Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson urged protesters to leave.
"Please, if you are in or around the Capitol, respect law enforcement and peacefully disperse," Sen. Johnson wrote on Twitter. "The Capitol Police have acted with incredible professionalism. I sincerely thank them for their service and condemn all lawless activity."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who was a key figure in Wednesday's process to certify electoral votes, said that effort will be completed.
"Thanks to all who are putting themselves on the line to protect our democracy. I’m committed to finishing the job we started today, something I just said to the senators," Klobuchar said in a tweet. "Everyone agrees. We’ll do that as soon as it is safe. Anarchy will not prevail. Democracy will."
Minnesota Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn released a statement condemning the violence in Washington:
Many times, since being elected to Congress, I have voiced support for lawful protest, and have strongly condemned acts of violence and anarchy, routinely perpetrated by leftist activists.
Today’s protest in D.C., which led to a breach of the U.S. Capitol, brings the same response. What is being perpetrated by a forceful fraction of protesters is unacceptable and I condemn all illegal actions.
To maintain the rule of law and preserve a civil society, citizens must follow the lawful commands of our fine law enforcement officers and obey the law.
Storming the U.S. Capitol is not acceptable, and I condemn in the strongest possible terms those who have breached the area and disrupted House and Senate deliberations. As Americans, this is not how we settle debates and disagreements. It is time for calm and order.
The Minnesota GOP has released a statement on the violence at the U.S. Capitol.
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan released this statement Wednesday afternoon:
"The violence taking place at the United States Capitol is not American or representative of what we believe in, in our country. Peaceful protests are protected by our constitution, attacking police and breaking into the Capitol is not. It's important we remember we are all Americans. Hoping for peace, safety and positive forward path for all."