The storming of the capitol chambers is unprecedented in modern times, and in doing so prompted legislators to seek shelter, among them newly-installed Sen. Cynthia Lummis, who succeeded now-retired Sen. Mike Enzi.
In a statement provided by Lummis’ press secretary Abigail Cave, the freshman senator stated on Twitter:
“Call it what it is, an attack on the capital is an attack on democracy. Today we are trying to use the democratic process to address grievances. This violence inhibits our ability to do that. Violent protests were unacceptable this summer and are unacceptable now.”
Case was asked whether Wednesday’s event would prompt the senator to change her position re: challenging the electoral college vote to confirm Joe Biden as President.
“Senator Lummis is sheltering in place,” said Cave. She added that as a result, the matter has not been discussed.
Initial responses from Sen. John Barasso’s office, as well as from Rep. Liz Cheney have been terse.
“This violence and destruction have no place in our republic. It must end now,” stated Barasso.
“We live in a Republic that is governed by the rule of law...this cannot stand and will not stand,” Cheney stated. Thirty minutes later, Cheney’s office issued a more extensive statement.
“Today’s events at the Capitol were heartbreaking. We have deep political differences in this country, but we don’t resolve them with mob violence. Our Republic has survived for more than 240 years out of a fidelity to the Constitution and a recognition of the peaceful transfer of power. My colleagues in Congress and I are resilient and we have a bipartisan commitment to protecting and defending the rule of law. We will uphold our Oath and stand up for the principles that have made our country the greatest and most exceptional nation in the history of mankind.”
Cheney was not finished, and posted another statement.
“The President of the United States’s statement, now in my view, was completely inadequate in what he done and what he has caused here. It’s something we have never seen before in our history.
“No president has ever failed to concede after an electoral college has voted. I think what we are seeing today is a result of that, a result of convincing people that somehow Congress was going to overturn the result of this elections, suggesting that he wouldn’t leave office, and they are very, very dangerous things.
“This will be part of his legacy.”
Kathy Russell, executive director of the Wyoming Republican Party, said the party is preparing a press release.
As of 3 p.m., phone calls to the county Republican and Democrat party offices had not been returned; nor the state Republican party.
However, the Wyoming State Democratic Party did issue a statement from Party Chair Joe Barbuto.
“What’s happening right now in Washington, D.C. is the culmination of the Trump Presidency. These people are not protestors or patriots, they are domestic terrorists who were beckoned by the dog whistle of Donald Trump. The President of the United States is complicit in this violence, as are those who have enabled and defended his actions, conspiracy theories, and words over the last four years. That, unfortunately, includes our own federal delegation to D.C.”
“It’s particularly disturbing that Cynthia Lummis’s first action as a United States Senator was to join a small group of radical lawmakers in attempting to overthrow the results of a free and fair election. Her embrace of that rhetoric has only escalated this situation. It is a disgrace to democracy, it is a disgrace to our nation, and it is a disgrace to Wyoming. Senator Lummis has no choice but to publicly withdraw her involvement in encouraging the rejection of election results and fulfill her sworn oath and constitutional duties in the peaceful transition of power.”
According to Jim King, professor of political science at the University of Wyoming, today’s happening has never before taken place in the U.S.
“The events today certainly have been unprecedented,” said King. “There has never been a incident where the public attempted to disrupt the process of counting and confirming the vote.”
King was referring to the Electoral College vote that had gotten underway shortly before the storming of the Capitol Building. To his knowledge, as he stated he was not following the proceedings, a vote had yet to be taken.
Also commenting was University of Wyoming President Ed Seidel:
“I have been witnessing today’s event in Washington D.C. with dismay, as I am sure many of you have. Regardless of political position, perhaps the most important things that have held us together as a nation have been our embrace of the Constitution, the rule of law and a commitment to respectful discourse across many different points of view. I understand that emotions will be running high as a result of today’s events, and urge everyone in our community to continue to embrace these values that are so important in our UW community, and to the nation.”
Long-retired Sen. Alan Simpson also weighed in when asked.
“It’s appalling. Terribly, terribly sad,” said Simpson. “To see pictures with protestors outside the doors, and Capitol police ready to shoot…”[I]t was never like that when I was in office.” Simpson served 18 years.
“It just smacks of Banana Reputblic,” he said. “It’s a sad day for America.”
At the same time he expressed hope, especially based upon the runoff election in Georgia that saw Republican senators Loeffler and Perdue go down in defeat.
“Maybe this will force them to compromise,” Simpson said, speaking of both houses of Congress. “These have to happen.”
As for the protestors themselves, Simpson holds them in low regard.
“No one should have pride, on either side, watching monsters knock down police,” he said. “Let them go to another country.”
(Marissa Taylor and Ariel Bernath contributed to this article.)