Manhattan elected officials react to attack on U.S. Capitol, blame Trump for inciting violence

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in Washington
Police officers stand guard as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

New York lawmakers were at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 for a joint session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College, but they were caught amid the siege that developed in the afternoon by a mob of angry Trump insurrectionists.

Congress gathered Wednesday to count elector college votes from the Nov. 4 presidential election but had to stop the process and retreat to chambers in order to shelter in place after pro-Trump rioters pushed past capitol building barricades and police. The attack resulted in one woman being shot and a handful of others were injured. 

As the attack on one of the nation’s most prominent symbols of democracy occurred, elected officials took to social media to provide updates on the situation inside while others responded in outrage over the historic event unfolded. 

“The coup attempt initiated by outgoing President Trump has been despicable,” said Attorney General Leticia James in a statement.  “Today, it became violent. If blood is shed, it will be on his hands. These actions, fueled by lies and wild conspiracy theories espoused by President Trump, must be unequivocally condemned by every corner of our society.” Ultimately though, James believes that the rule of law will prevail and the domestic terrorist attack will not derail democracy and Joe Biden will assume office later this month.  

The police response to the attempted coup was slow but eventually, the National Guard was called to control the attempted coup and Maryland and Virginia governors have said they will send additional guard troops to aid Washington. 

As attackers flooded the capitol, President Trump tweeted for his supporters to “stay peaceful.” Shortly after, President-elect Joe Biden held a press conference calling on Trump to go national television and order the attack to stop saying it “borders on sedition.”

Meanwhile, in New York City, elected officials called for peace while blaming President Trump and other Republican lawmakers for inciting the attempted coup. 

“Every Republican who enabled and encouraged Donald Trump’s unhinged and anti-democratic efforts to overturn the results of November’s election owns responsibility for the violent coup attempt the world is witnessing in horror. The members of the New York Congressional delegation who have carried Trump’s water– including Chris Jacobs, Nicole Malliotakis, Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin–have failed the people of our State. You broke it, you own it,” said state Senator Brad Hoylman. 

“This attempted coup is the direct result of incitement by Donald Trump and his allies. It is the predictable culmination of the toxic, anti-democratic movement that is Trumpism,” Manhattan Councilmember Mark Levine told amNewYork Metro. “Every single leader who has aided and abetted this over the past four years is culpable. No phoney [sic] expressions of shock and disapproval now will exonerate them.”