President Donald Trump supporters rally at statehouses across the U.S. to protest against the counting of Electoral College votes.
For months, the outgoing Republican president falsely claimed that there was election fraud. Trump supporters stormed statehouses in Georgia, Washington, Ohio, Michigan, California, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and other states.
Trump urged Capitol Hill protesters to “go home” through a video on Twitter. However, he did not address demonstrations at state buildings. Still, he repeatedly claims the election was stolen from him.
Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger left the state capitol building Wednesday afternoon, according to NBC affiliate 11Alive. Raffensperger has been criticized by the president due to election integrity.
“It is unimaginable that we have people in our state & country who are undermining public safety, attacking law enforcement, & breaking into gov’t buildings. This is not the GA way & it’s not the way of our country. These activities are a disgrace & quite honestly un-American,” Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp said on Twitter.
In Washington, Chris Loftis, director of communications for the Washington State Patrol, told CNBC, said that people went through the gate at the governor’s mansion in Olympia after protesting at the capitol.
Loftis said there have been no charges yet and that the governor and his family were already in a safe area. There were no reported injuries or property damage.
Trump supporters went to the Kansas statehouse in Topeka for a scheduled rally on Wednesday afternoon, NBC affiliate KSNT reported. The rally was peaceful and dispersed afterward, KSNT said.
“They showed up at their scheduled permit time, they had their rally, it was peaceful, nobody went where they weren’t supposed to be, nothing was done out of the ordinary and they left on time,” Don Hughes, a public information officer for the Kansas Highway Patrol, told CNBC.
Trump supporters and the neo-fascist group Proud Boys had a chaotic gathering at the Ohio Statehouse, encountering Black Lives Matter protestors, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
Hundreds of the president’s supporters gathered outside the Michigan State Capitol on Wednesday, the Detroit Free Press said. But the demonstrations have been peaceful, Michigan State Police reported.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom canceled his scheduled coronavirus update on Wednesday out of “an abundance of caution.”
“We are concerned for the safety of California’s congressional delegation and U.S. Capitol staff, and are reaching out to offer support in every way possible,” the Democratic governor said in a statement, saying he was concerned about the safety of his own staff.
Meanwhile, government offices in Denver closed early on Thursday and nonessential workers were allowed to leave work early due to the protests, according to a report by The Denver Post.
“The United States of America is resilient. It has weathered many storms because of our form of government and our remarkable Constitution. The violence that we are witnessing in the U.S. Capitol dishonors our legacy and denigrates the ‘Shining City on the Hill’ Ronald Reagan spoke of,” Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said in a statement. “Interfering with the peaceful transfer of power is an affront to the very Constitution that has made our country what it is.”
Gordon urged the country to follow Wyoming’s example in a “proper and peaceful expression of dissent – the cornerstone of free speech.”