WASHINGTON — The fiasco that saw a siege on the nation’s Capitol on Monday saw some from the area calling for the removal of Donald Trump as president, while others defended the actions of protesters.
Ohio Northern University Professor of Political Science Rob Alexander is an expert on the Electoral College and watched in horror as the Capitol was stormed.
“It’s truly wild, and it’s hurting my brain watching all of this unfold today,” Alexander said.
With only a few days remaining in President Trump’s term, an impeachment of the president is not out of the question.
“I’ve seen some calls for immediate impeachment, so I don’t think it’s too late to do it,” Alexander said. “One of the arguments that’s being made is that one of the sanctions of impeachment is you can no longer hold public office. That is kind of being thrown out as a means to say that Donald Trump should never serve in public office again.
“Another thing you’re seeing on the social media feeds is the call for the 25th Amendment to essentially have the Vice President take over and say that Donald Trump is not fit mentally to be president of the United States,” Alexander said.
Not everyone saw it that way.
Bud and Laurie Smith, of Waynesfield, and Tony Homan, of St. Marys, marched at the Auglaize County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon in support of the protesters in Washington.
“If this election is allowed to stand, it means that our Constitution will no longer have the bearing it does. It is a violation of Constitutional Law … and if it is allowed to stand, our Constitution is going under,” Laurie Smith said.
She added, “Free and fair elections are what keeps us free and fair. If this election is not declared fraudulent, then we will have lost that ability.”
Allen County Republican Party Chair, Keith Cheney, who was one of Ohio’s electors for the Electoral College, agreed with the right of protesters to gather but acknowledged things went too far.
“They had a permit for a peaceful march, and to march to the Capitol is one thing. When some individuals decide that they’re going to take it to another level and commit what I consider crimes, then obviously, as I’ve stated, I don’t condone those activities,” Cheney said.
Reaction across the rest of Ohio was swift.
“The situation at the U.S. Capitol is an embarrassment to our country,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement. “This must stop immediately. The President should call for the demonstrators to leave our Capitol Building. The final step in the constitutional process of electing our president has been disrupted. The stopping of the count of the Electoral College votes has occurred because the security of the U.S. Capitol has been breached by a violent mob. As a nation of laws, this is simply not acceptable. Lawlessness is not acceptable.”
Republican Senator Rob Portman issued a statement via Twitter: “The right to protest peacefully is protected under the Constitution but the actions by violent mobs against our law enforcement and property at the @USCapitol building today are not.”
Rioters occupied the U.S. House of Representatives, and members had to take cover.
U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, condemned the attack on the Capitol in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
“These attacks on our democracy, our nation’s Capitol and Capitol Police are abhorrent and must stop. This is not how the Constitution has guided our country and citizens over the past 232 years. My eternal gratitude goes to the men and women who protect us 24 hours a day at the Capitol. I pray for their safety,” Latta stated.
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, tweeted, “Stop the violence. Support Capitol Police” then later issued a statement saying “Americans support peaceful protests, First Amendment activity and the men and women of law enforcement. What happened today is wrong and is not what America is about.”
President Trump issued a video Wednesday afternoon on Twitter reiterating his claims of election fraud but did call for protestors to “go home.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.