Members of Maine’s congressional delegation called Wednesday’s mob violence at the U.S. Capitol shameful and dangerous, with one representative accusing President Trump of “inciting a riot” and calling for his immediate impeachment.

Hours after pro-Trump rioters broke through security and stormed into the Capitol on Wednesday, Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, said it is “hard to imagine that we are in the United States.” Pingree was not on the House floor at the time because of pandemic-related capacity limits, but described a frightening, chaotic scene as buildings were locked down and then evacuated by Capitol police.

“This doesn’t happen,” Pingree said in a phone interview. “It’s America.”

Pingree also laid blame for the rioting and mob chaos squarely at Trump’s feet.

“I listened to the president’s remarks this morning at the rally and he very clearly said, ‘I am not accepting this, I want you to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue'” to the Capitol building, Pingree said in reference to Trump’s remarks to supporters gathered outside the White House. “This is the president of the United States not accepting the peaceful transfer of power and inciting a riot.”

Later Wednesday night, Pingree took an even harder line in a post on Twitter that called for Trump’s removal from office following the violence that left four people dead and halted Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.


“Pres. Trump lit the match that started an attempted coup in the Capitol,” Pingree tweeted. “Congress must immediately impeach and remove this dangerous man from office. He is a threat to our national security and I support the Cabinet invoking the 25th amendment.”

Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat representing Maine’s 2nd District, where Trump won the popular vote and one electoral vote, also condemned the president’s actions and called for him to be held accountable for the violence.

“This is a sad day for our country. Donald Trump called for these rallies, and he helped incite them to riot with his speech today. While we should not be surprised by the president’s actions – he has been signaling his intentions for months – he should be held accountable for today’s violence,” Golden said in a statement Wednesday night. “But regardless of whether or not Congress can agree to act to hold the president accountable, make no mistake: he will be removed from office on January 20, and Joe Biden will assume the presidency.”

Maine Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, were among a bipartisan group of 13 lawmakers who issued a statement condemning the actions of the president’s supporters.

“The behavior we are witnessing in the U.S. Capitol is entirely un-American. This is not a peaceful protest – this is an insurrection. These individuals should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” the statement said. “The American people can rest assured that we will finish our work, certify the results of the 2020 election, and ensure a peaceful transition of power. Our democracy is stronger than the destructive behavior of any mob and will survive today’s egregious behavior.”

Other lawmakers who signed the statement included Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Mark Warner, D-Va.; Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Mitt Romney, R-Utah; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; and Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J.; and Tom Reed, R-N.Y.


Later, King issued a statement calling on Republicans and Democrats alike to oppose Trump and his efforts to delegitimize the election.

“President Trump cannot be verbally or silently enabled any longer by my good faith colleagues – whomever does not speak out is complicit,” King said. “It is crystal clear that his current agenda is not to serve the nation in the slightest, but to serve and elevate himself.”

Collins didn’t mention the president in a statement she issued after the rioters had assaulted the Capitol.

“The lawlessness and violence on Capitol Hill today was a dangerous, shameful, and outrageous attack on our democracy,” she said. “But this attack will not deter Congress from performing our constitutional duty. We will affirm the certified results of the presidential election.”

Pingree, who is a vocal supporter of President-elect Joe Biden, was unsure how Congress might respond to Trump, noting that a proposed resolution of censure over the president’s attempt last week to pressure Georgia state officials to “find” votes for him seemed mild by comparison.

Reaction to the unprecedented events in Washington began to flow in from other political figures and parties in Maine.


Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, condemned the violence and destruction at the U.S. Capitol.

“Our country has conducted a free and a fair election in which the American people have spoken, and now the peaceful transfer of power – a hallmark of our democracy – must proceed,” Mills said in a statement. “I do not believe what we are seeing today is sanctioned by most Americans; nor do I believe it represents the true character of the American people. But it is a clear and troubling reflection of our fractured nation.”

“The violence must end, and all leaders, of every political stripe, including the president, must forcefully denounce these actions and defend our democracy,” Mills said. “All Americans, regardless of politics, must work to restore the honor, decency, and integrity that is truly reflective of the character of our people and our country.”

The Maine Republican Party called the rioting “unacceptable.”

“We believe in peaceful protest,” the party said in a tweet. “The activity seen at the United States Capitol today is completely unacceptable and an affront to our Republican values. Republicans believe in law and order, our constitution, and our country, not rioting and violence.”

Former Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin said: “It’s wrong for any American to engage in violence or property destruction, no matter the reason. What’s going on at the Capitol complex is wrong and must stop IMMEDIATELY. Violence is not constitutionally protected speech.”

All four members of Maine’s congressional delegation planned to vote against efforts by some Republicans to contest the Electoral College results from some states.

“American democracy is unique in world history, which is typically defined by dictators and despots,” King said in a Twitter post before Wednesday’s tumultuous events. “Today, I will do my part to protect our nation’s experiment in self-government by voting to certify the election results.”

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