Texas politicians in both parties pleaded for peace Wednesday afternoon after supporters backing President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, disrupting the Electoral College certification of his reelection defeat.
“I like many people voted for President Trump in the 2020 election and hoped for a different result,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin. “But violence and destruction is not the way to express your grievances. This is disgraceful and has to end.”
U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, was more succinct in a tweet, saying, “Stop this bullshit right now.”
The fracas began shortly after some GOP lawmakers, led by Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, launched a dispute to the certification of Arizona’s electoral votes. Over the ensuring hour, scenes emerged of Trump supporters storming barricades, breaching the Capitol and even reaching at least one of chambers.
By early afternoon, proceedings in the Capitol ground to a halt as security rushed Vice President Mike Pence out of the U.S. Senate chamber and the building was placed on lockdown. The mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser, ordered a curfew starting at 5 p.m.
“I’m currently sheltering in place. The Capitol building has been breached and both chambers are locked down,” wrote U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso. “This is the chaos and lawlessness @realDonaldTrump has created.”
“Those storming the Capitol need to stop NOW,” Cruz wrote on Twitter, adding that violence is “ALWAYS wrong” and that “those engaged in violence are hurting the cause they say they support.”
Among Texas Republicans in the House, the strongest condemnation came from retiring Rep. Will Hurd of Helotes. He wrote in a tweet: "This is an attack on our democracy and domestic terrorism to try to stop certifying elections. This should be treated as a coup led by a president that will not be peacefully removed from power."
There were also denunciations from Texas Republicans who had resisted objecting to the Electoral College certification, including U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Austin.
“To those storming the Capitol — I am on the House floor and I will not be deterred from upholding my oath, under God, to the Constitution by mob demand,” he wrote.
Texas Democrats, meanwhile, were explicit in linking the harrowing scene to Trump’s refusal to accept the election outcome and belligerent rhetoric.
“This is what Trump wanted,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin. “Trump’s sedition: determined to keep us from doing our constitutional duty.”
Trump previously called on his supporters to rally in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. At a protest earlier in the day, Trump acknowledged that rallygoers were going to march toward the Capitol to encourage lawmakers not to certify the vote.
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically, make your voices heard today,” he said.
Trump later encouraged his supporters to remain peaceful.
“No violence!” he tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”