Republican legislators call for prosecution of Capitol rioters

"Any threat made to intimidate democracy is reprehensible, no matter who it comes from.”

Image provided to Alpha News

Minnesota’s Republican legislators have unanimously condemned the violence and threats that occurred during last week’s “Storm the Capitol” protests.

Wednesday’s events caused six deaths and over 50 police injuries. During the D.C. attack, Minnesota protesters cheered at the mention of “casualties” and marched outside of Gov. Tim Walz’s house, where his 14-year-old son was evacuated by police.

“Today we learned threats against the Governor last week led to an evacuation of the Governor’s residence,” Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said in a statement. “We also learned there are threats targeting state capitols across the nation. Threats against elected officials, public or private property are not acceptable. Any threat made to intimidate democracy is reprehensible, no matter who it comes from.”

“That’s why I made comments this morning that we all must ‘lower the tone.’ You may feel angry, or feel you have been wronged, but that is never an excuse for violent language or destructive behavior.”

In addition to the majority leader’s comments, other Republican senators have made public statements against the “Storm the Capitol” violence.

In the House GOP Caucus, all 59 members signed a letter calling for the prosecution of those who assaulted law enforcement or destroyed property at the Capitol, along with an investigation into those who called for violence in Minnesota.

“Those who participated in the criminal destruction of property and assaults on our law enforcement officials at the United States Capitol should be arrested and prosecuted, and those who made threats of violence at the rally in Saint Paul should be investigated and held accountable,” reads the letter.

“We must all come together and affirm that violence, destruction, and threats — no matter the context — should be condemned and have no place in our political process.”

The New House GOP also released a statement condemning the violence and calling for the perpetrators to be “arrested, tried, and punished.”

However, the caucus disputed the claim that the rhetoric used during the St. Paul protest was intended to be violent or threatening. 

“The crowds were peaceful and stayed outside of the fences and on public sidewalks. The law enforcement standing guard were recognized and thanked for their service. It is worth pointing out that tens of thousands also peacefully protested in Washington D.C. and their participation should be noted as well,” the New House GOP said in its statement. 

“We do not condone violence and destruction, such as what happened last spring in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul riots. We do not condone the destruction of property, like that of those riots and the defacing and damage to the Columbus statue on the Capitol grounds. We do not condone threats of violence and the burning of effigies in front of the home of a public figure such as was done by a crowd led by now Rep. John Thompson in Hugo last summer,” the statement continued. “We agree that it is time that political leaders of all persuasions make it clear that these behaviors have no place in our political process.”