‘Entirely un-American’: Murkowski, Sullivan, Dunleavy condemn attack on Capitol

A protester in the U.S. Senate chamber. (Jan. 6, 2021) Image courtesy of C-SPAN

Alaska leaders condemned the Wednesday, Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

The National Guard and state and federal police were called to secure the Capitol after the building was invaded by rioters while Congress was in the process of certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. One woman, who was part of a crowd that was in the process of breaking down the doors to a barricaded room guarded by police officers, was shot in the chest and later pronounced dead at hospital, officials told the Associated Press. Three other people died due to unspecified “medical emergencies,” Washington, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said. Additionally, pipe bombs were recovered from outside the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee, police told the AP.

“The behavior we witnessed in the U.S. Capitol is entirely un-American,” read a Jan. 6 statement issued by a bipartisan group of 10 legislators, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. “This was not a peaceful protest – this was an insurrection. These individuals should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The American people can rest assured that we will finish our work, certify the results of the 2020 election, and ensure a peaceful transition of power. Our democracy is stronger than the destructive behavior of any mob and will survive today’s egregious behavior.”

Murkowski had previously condemned attempts to contest the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said that, when Congress re-convened hours after the event, it showed the resiliency of American democracy.

“The violence that transpired today in the U.S. Capitol building was a disgrace and will go down as one of the sadder and more dispiriting days in our country’s history,” Sullivan said in a statement. “But those who chose violence in order to disrupt our constitutional duties will not have the last word.”

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, echoed Sullivan’s condemnation and, in a tweet, urged rioters to voluntarily leave the building. In a tweet, Gov. Mike Dunleavy described the rioters as extremists who did not represent Republican “law and order” values.

William Deaton, head of the Cordova Precinct of the Republican Party, also denounced the attack, saying that the perpetrators should be considered domestic terrorists rather than protestors.

“It’s just un-American, and it’s disgusting,” said Deaton, who previously served as a U.S. Senate page. “I believe this opens up the United States to attacks from foreign enemies and domestic enemies, because the seat of our government, the United States Capitol Building, is under attack.”

Hours before the incident, Trump addressed a “Save America” rally in Washington, D.C., repeating unsubstantiated claims that Biden’s victory in the Nov. 3 election was the result of fraud.

“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical-left Democrats, which is what they’re doing, and stolen by the fake news media,” Trump said. “That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing. We will never give up. We will never concede.”

Following the attack on the Capitol, Trump posted a video to Twitter in which he encouraged protesters to withdraw, and suggested that they were playing into the hands of their opponents by using violent tactics. However, some Republican lawmakers directly blamed Trump for the incident.

“Lies have consequences,” wrote Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., in a statement. “This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”

Following the attack, Twitter and Facebook temporarily locked Trump’s accounts, with Twitter threatening a permanent suspension if he did not remove three tweets, one of which contained the video in which Trump encouraged protesters to withdraw.