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Higgins calls for investigation into Capitol riot, Reed denounces 'mob rule'

Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press
Rioters climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol.

Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) wants an investigation into what happened Wednesday as a mob broke into the nation's Capitol and disrupted the last stage of the Electoral College process to elect a president of the United States.

The process eventually resumed, hours later in a guarded building, and Joe Biden was certified as the nation's next president.

Higgins said he was making his way into the Capitol when protesters stormed the building, sparking a day of unprecedented chaos at the epicenter of the federal government. He said there obviously was a security breakdown, which led to "unacceptable" mob behavior.

"His supporters are out of his control, but he has no incentive to stop this. He has no sense of decency in him. This is wrong. It should not be tolerated," Higgins said. "If you look at the film footage of what was going on in the United States Capitol today, it’s disgusting and it’s humiliating and every American should be concerned about this."

He pointed at the wider opposition to Biden, led by Republican lawmakers.

"Some members of the House and some members of the Senate couldn’t help themselves but to grab another opportunity to get more face time, because they’re afraid of the president and they are disrespectful of their constitutional responsibility," he said. "It is is the states’ responsibility to conduct elections."

Higgins said President Trump’s objections to the election results are outside the pattern of peaceful departure after losing, a pattern that began when John Adams lost to Thomas Jefferson.

"John Adams, he played out what we have come to know as the peaceful transition of power. Yeah, he didn’t want to be defeated by Thomas Jefferson. He was grumpy, along the way. He left Washington, DC the morning of the inauguration, but he left. There was no violent protest," Higgins said.

Higgins said several Republican senators and representatives who supported the president’s objections want to run for president in 2024 and want the Trump base in that election.

Southern Tier Republican Tom Reed also denounced what he called 'mob rule' and attempted to calm the chaos when it broke out.

"Violence such as what we are seeing at the Capitol if absolutely unacceptable. We must de-escalate the situation immediately. We are Americans and please do not do this," Reed said. "Our Constitution calls for the civil transition of power and though we may not agree with the election results, we must agree to always act with honor and civility toward all."

Reed also acknowledged the right to peaceful protest, but he condemned "physical attacks on our governing institutions" and urged protesters to "let democracy proceed."

He later made an impassioned speech on the floor of the Capitol Wednesday about the takeover and the transition of power (below):

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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