On Jan. 6, Utah lawmakers condemned the violence which halted a joint session of Congress as lawmakers were beginning to count electoral votes certifying the election of President Joe Biden.
“This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection,” Utah Sen. Mitt Romney commented to The New York Times.
President Donald Trump has refused to concede his loss in the November presidential election. At a rally on Jan. 6, he urged protestors to march to the Capitol, where rioters overtook security barriers and gained entrance into the Senate chamber. Tear gas was used in the Capitol Rotunda, as reported by the Associated Press, and legislators had to evacuate the building.
Other Utah politicians took to Twitter to assure constituents of their safety and condemn the violent riots.
“The violence at the United States Capitol is completely unacceptable. It is time for the protesters to disperse,” wrote Sen. Mike Lee on Twitter. Despite his political opposition to the incoming President Biden, Lee also stressed the importance of reconvening the Senate and certifying the election.
“This outrage cannot be allowed to disrupt that work for a minute longer,” Lee wrote.
Utah Rep. John Curtis thanked the Capitol Police for ensuring the safety of his staff and called the day’s events “totally inappropriate.”
Rep. Chris Stewart and Rep. Burgess Owens, who joined other Republican representatives in challenging the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, both condemned the violence with Stewart calling the riots “un-American.”
Multiple Utah politicians criticized President Trump for not interceding early in the unprecedented assault.
“In any other country, we would be condemning these actions and calling for their leaders to stop the violence,” tweeted Rep. Curtis. Trump tweeted a restrained call for peace but did not call on his supporters to leave until releasing a video message two hours after protesters stormed the Capitol.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that staffers in the Utah State Capitol were ordered to evacuate the building as a precautionary measure due to protests in downtown Salt Lake City.