Missouri lawmakers react to Capitol riot

House+Speaker+Rob+Vescovo%2C+R-Arnold%2C+speaks+with+House+Budget+Chairman+Cody+Smith%2C+R-Carthage%2C+during+the+Nov.+10%2C+2020+special+session+%28photo+courtesy+of+Tim+Bommel%2FHouse+Communications%29.

House Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, speaks with House Budget Chairman Cody Smith, R-Carthage, during the Nov. 10, 2020 special session (photo courtesy of Tim Bommel/House Communications).

By Tessa Weinberg, Missouri Independent

Outside the Capitol walls as the Missouri Legislature convened for the 2021 legislative session, protesters objecting to the certification of the results of the presidential election gathered while nearly 1,000 miles away rioters in support of President Donald Trump forced their way into the U.S. Capitol, causing it to be locked down.

The effects of the riot could be felt in the state capitol, where Rep. Ingrid Burnett, a Democrat from Kansas City, called for a moment of silence in support of the country and Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, a Democrat from Independence, canceled a scheduled press conference Wednesday afternoon in light of it.

In a statement, Rizzo called rioters “domestic terrorists” who are committing “an act of modern treason against the United States of America.”

“I am calling on all Republican office holders in Missouri to denounce this terrorism and the inflammatory rhetoric spewed from the President of the United States that has led to this moment,” Rizzo said.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley has led the effort to oppose the election results’ certification and all but one of Missouri’s GOP members of the House, Rep. Ann Wagner, have said they intend to object.

In her speech declining her nomination as speaker, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade said that if Missouri House Democrats were to assert that they won a majority of House seats in the November election, “you would call us delusional, and you would be right.”

In a press conference, Quade described the mob at the U.S. Capitol as an “armed insurrection” and “violent coup attempt.” Objections to the presidential election results aren’t just delusional but dangerous, Quade, a Democrat from Springfield, said.

In a joint statement, House Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann, R-O’Fallon, and Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher, R-St. Louis, condemned the violence in D.C.

“The violence and destruction that occurred today in our nation’s capital is unacceptable,” the statement read. “Peaceful protests are an important part of free speech, but violence can never be tolerated.”

“Refusing to accept the outcome of an election you lose isn’t an American value. It isn’t a conservative value,” Quade said. “It’s what totalitarian regimes do, and embracing that mindset will destroy our country.”

Last month, the House Special Committee on Government Oversight approved a resolution asking Congress to reject the electoral votes of six states won by President-elect Joe Biden if claims of fraud are not investigated. However, the resolution is unlikely to be debated before the full House as the chairman of the House Rules-Legislative Oversight Committee said he would not convene the second necessary hearing.

This article is from the Missouri Independent. The Independent’s Rudi Keller contributed to this story.