2021 | News

UPDATED: Elrich calls Capitol invasion ‘treason’: ‘They should impeach Trump tomorrow’

'If this had have been a Black protest, they would have all been dead by now'

Elrich-Trump

Montgomery County Marc Elrich (left), President Donald Trump

File photos

Elrich calls Capitol invasion ‘treason,’ says Trump should be impeached

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon that there was a double standard when a mob invaded the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

He said law enforcement and the National Guard pushed back on Black Lives Matter protestors more during the summer.

“If this had have been a Black protest, they would have all been dead by now …,” he said. “I hope they clean that place out this afternoon because Congress needs to go back and do what they need to do.

“Personally, I think they should impeach Trump tomorrow. … If that’s not treason, I’m not quite sure what is.”

People who gathered at the Capitol before breaking into the building were calling for Donald Trump to remain president, even though Joe Biden won the election.

Elrich said he was not surprised by the violence and it was exactly what he was afraid would happen.

“I’m not shocked,” he said. “What I am surprised at is that [law enforcement] should have been prepared for this and not allowed themselves to get overwhelmed. The National Guard should have been there and they should have been armed on day one.”

Elrich said protestors storming the Capitol seemed like an “attempt” at a coup.

“They’re clearly trying to intimidate the Senate and [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell into voiding the election. That was their plan,” he said. “These guys weren’t going to come here to have a demonstration and then go home.”

Elrich said he was glad it appeared from news coverage that most people were safe.

The Montgomery County Police Department will provide officers to assist as long as they’re needed, he said.

— Briana Adhikusuma

***

Raskin had family with him for election proceeding, gets standing ovation

In an appearance on C-SPAN at about 3:50 p.m. on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin said he was in the chamber when a mob entered the Capitol.

His family wanted to be together following the death of Raskin’s son, Tommy, on Dec. 31, he said. His daughter and son-in-law were with him for the vote to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

“I thought I could show them the peaceful transfer of power in the United States of America,” Raskin said. “… We are all back together and we are safe now.”

To protect their safety, Raskin declined to say where he was, but said he was sheltering “on the Hill.”

Raskin said Congress members are “determined to continue with the normal proceedings of the U.S. Congress.”

“Any violence … will be put down,” Raskin said. “The American constitutional democracy will prevail. We have no choice.”

When Raskin rose to speak in the House chamber Wednesday morning — before the invasion — during a debate over Arizona’s electoral votes, he thanks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and his colleagues for their “love and tenderness.”

Members of the House then gave Raskin a standing ovation before he continued with his remarks for the debate.

 

— Caitlynn Peetz

***

Metro service suspended

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced Wednesday that Metro trains would stop running at 8 p.m. and bus service would be suspended at 9 p.m. due to the siege at the Capitol.

Buses in service at 9 would continue operating to the end of the line, a press release stated. 

— Dan Schere

***

Montgomery County police called to D.C. after protest mob invades Capitol

Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti, a Montgomery County police spokeswoman, told Bethesda Beat Wednesday afternoon that officers were sent to D.C. in response to protestors invading the Capitol.

Innocenti said 53 officers from the department’s special events response team were sent as part of a mutual aid agreement with D.C. police. Under the agreement, one jurisdiction’s department provides backup to the other as needed. 

“It’s an agreement made with other jurisdictions that we will assist them when assistance is needed,” she said. 

Officers on the team are trained to handle large scheduled events and use shields, helmets and special padding..

“It could be a large golf tournament, civil disturbances and other hazardous situations,” she said.

— Dan Schere

***

Trone, Raskin finds safe ground as Capitol invaded

U.S. Rep. David Trone posted photos on Twitter on Wednesday of him wearing a gas mask, saying, “I am safe. We have been evacuated.”

 

Members of Congress were evacuated when a mob of protestors invaded the Capitol.

“Let me be clear: we will not be stopped by this lawless intimidation,” Trone posted with the photos.

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin posted two tweets to indicate that he was OK.

“I am now sheltering in a safe location on the Hill,” his first post said.

“American democracy will prevail,” he posted a few minutes later.

 

— Andrew Schotz

***

Hogan condemns ‘heinous and violent assault’

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a statement on Wednesday about the invasion on the U.S. Capitol:

“All Americans should be outraged by this attack on our nation’s Capitol. This is a heinous and violent assault on the heart of our democracy. I will not stand for this, and neither should any American.

“I am in close contact with congressional leaders about the situation inside the Capitol. At my direction, the Maryland State Police is sending in troopers to assist the Metropolitan Police Department and the United States Capitol Police. I have instructed the Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard to call up a rapid response force to support law enforcement and restore order.”

— Andrew Schotz

***

Franchot denounces ‘violent insurrectionists’

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that the “violent insurrectionists in the Capitol building today must be turned back and dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Today we reach a low point, as the reckless instigations of Donald Trump and the passivity of his enablers like Mitch McConnell have worn thin the very foundations of our Republic, stroking violence that reached inside the Capitol building itself,” he wrote.

 

— Briana Adhikusuma

***

On C-SPAN, Silver Spring resident denounces Capitol siege

On C-SPAN on Wednesday afternoon, a Silver Spring resident called in to share her thoughts about the attack on the Capitol.

She said she was “disgusted to watch this” adding, “It’s hard to believe our country has come to this.”

The caller said President Donald Trump should be held accountable, as should other Republican lawmakers who had not spoken out about Trump’s undermining of the election before Wednesday.

“We claim to be the beacon of light of democracy for the rest of the world,” the caller said. “Today, we have lost the right … This is a disgrace to our country.”

— Caitlynn Peetz

***

Council members speak out against Capitol attack

On Twitter, Montgomery County Council members shared their thoughts about a mob breaking into the Capitol on Wednesday:

• Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz wrote that he was “stunned and overwhelmed.”

“Praying hard for safety of staff of the [Capitol], first responders, and for our Country right now. Appreciate the MoCo Officers dispatched to help.”

• Council Member Nancy Navarro posted that the invasion was “anarchy” and questioned control of the situation.

• Council Member Evan Glass posted that the country’s democracy was “under assault”

• Council Member Andrew Friedson posted that Montgomery County police were sent to D.C. to protect the U.S. Capitol against “this violent assault and insurrection. Praying for them, our leaders in Washington, and for our country in this incredibly dark moment.”

• Council Member Will Jawando posted that the storming of the Capitol was “sedition and domestic terrorism plain and simple,” and that Trump incited the violence.

• Council Member Sidney Katz wrote that he was “deeply saddened and disturbed” by what happened at the Capitol.

— Briana Adhikusuma

***

County Republican chair criticizes rioting, violence, disruption

Montgomery County Republican Central Committee Chairman Reardon Sullivan issued this statement on Wednesday about the siege at the Capitol:

“Today’s rioting and violence in our nation’s capital is an absolutely devastating development during a time of historic upheaval and unrest.

“The Montgomery County Republican Party unequivocally and wholeheartedly condemns all acts of lawlessness, rioting, and violence and disavows the actions of those demonstrators who illegally entered the U.S. Capitol Building.

“While we support peaceful protest, we reject any attempt to disrupt Congress’s certification of the election results. Congress must be allowed to conduct its business uninterrupted.

“This is not who we are… ”

— Andrew Schotz

***

Educators react to Capitol invasion

Montgomery County principals and teachers took to social media on Wednesday afternoon to affirm that they are prepared to help students work through questions and emotions after a mob invaded the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Many — like Principals Kevin Yates at Damascus High, Mark Carothers at Poolesville High, Daniel Garcia at Ridgeview Middle and Rose Alvarez at Lakelands Park Middle — wrote that counselors and administrators will be available via Zoom on Thursday to talk.

Damon Monteleone, the principal of Richard Montgomery High School, wrote on Twitter that the country “witnessed one of the darkest hours in our history, fostered by hate, lies, and intolerance.”

“It was anathema to what we pride ourselves to be as Rockets,” Monteleone wrote. “Extremism is wrong, whether from the left or right. I have faith in you to make the world a better place.”

He added in a second tweet that he asked teachers to allow students to discuss the events during classes on Thursday.

“We must recognize the significance of these events. … This is bigger than schoolwork.”

Kenneth Smith, a Montgomery Blair High School teacher who in 2019 launched the region’s first hip-hop history and culture class, wrote that he plans to discuss the events with his students.

“Students will lead the discussions,” he wrote. “I will be the student. Shared power.”

MCPS spokeswoman Gboyinde Onijala said in an interview on Wednesday night that the district will release a statement regarding the invasion later in the evening or Thursday morning. Staff members are also working to compile educational resources for parents, administrators and teachers.

The district’s statement, Onijala said, “will reiterate our commitment to our core values, the importance of modeling civility and a respect for democracy.”

— Caitlynn Peetz