Local expert: ‘This is sedition,’ calls for impeachment

Local Trump campaign official says president isn’t responsible for ‘ridiculous’ violent actions at Capitol.

The shocking breach of the U.S. Capitol by violent rioters on Wednesday was denounced by elected officials and political experts.

“This is sedition, a violent attempt to disrupt the constitutional functioning of our government. It harkens back to the Civil War, or the War of 1812,” said Mark Caleb Smith, director of Cedarville University’s Center for Political Studies. “The difference, of course, is that a sitting president fed the narrative, encouraging resistance, telling his followers to be strong, and even calling on a march to the Capitol. If I were a sitting member of Congress, I would act to impeach and remove the president based on the totality of these circumstances.”

ExploreRetired congressman: ‘A day that people are not going to forget for a long time’

Supporters of President Donald Trump who believe his unfounded claim that the election was stolen from him converged on Washington D.C. as members of Congress began counting the Electoral College vote that awarded the presidency to Democrat former Vice President Joe Biden.

Kettering City Councilman Rob Scott, a part of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign teams and a member of the Ohio Electoral College, argued that Trump is not responsible for his supporters storming the U.S. Capitol.

ExploreOur View: Anarchists invaded our democracy and we all should be outraged

Scott said he doesn’t condone Wednesday’s actions, calling them “ridiculous” and “out of hand.” But asked if President Trump’s frequent outbursts on Twitter or elsewhere caused or contributed to the insurrection, Scott said, “No, I honestly don’t.”

“He’s certainly expressing frustration with our states and our courts, and how there are a lot of irregularities that have gone unanswered in election,” Scott said. “There are a lot of people who won’t stand up for what they’re viewing as fraud in the system.”

ExploreLocal Republicans to object as Congress tallies electoral votes giving Biden the presidency

Not since the British forced their way into the Capitol during the War of 1812 in 1814 that anyone has forcibly entered the building, said Glen Duerr, associate professor of international studies at Cedarville University.

“So when you think about the Capitol, it is a truly global symbol of democracy that belongs to the people,” he said. “The electoral system will play out, and those that are invited, that win office that go through the proper procedures, get to do. So this is a very sad day, given that that’s changed, and the world is really watching.”

“There are a lot of countries that look to the United States and know that our system has flaws,” Duerr said. ”But they are looking at this, and it could have repercussions not just for the country, but the entire world.”

ExploreLawmakers horrified as violent protestors take over U.S. Capitol

While the violence on Wednesday is not going to change the fact that Biden will become president, it “is likely to change many things about the way that we see our political system going forward. For one thing, we see how fragile the electoral process and the transition of power can be. And we see that violent and hateful rhetoric can have serious, even deadly, consequences,” said Christopher Devine, assistant professor of political science at the University of Dayton.

“The storming of the Capitol is just the logical extension of a party and a president who would rather undermine democracy than accept defeat,” said David Niven, a University of Cincinnati political science professor. “Defeat is a foundational part of democracy. John Adams gracefully accepted the end of the Washington/Adams reign in 1800. Of course, he also said, ‘There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.’”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, all condemned the violence.

“This is an embarrassment to our country. This must stop immediately,” DeWine said, calling the violence an affront to the Constitution.

“The stopping of the count of the Electoral College votes has occurred because the security of the U.S. Capitol has been breached by a violent mob,” DeWine said. “As a nation of laws, this is simply not acceptable. Lawlessness is not acceptable.”

LaRose said what protestors did was “un-American.”

“What’s going on inside the U.S. Capitol looks like what would be seen in a third-world nation, tweeted Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. “It does not look like America. It is not patriotic. The constitutional peaceful transfer of power is what makes America special. What’s happening right now is a sad day for America.”

“President-elect Joe Biden is absolutely right: the words of a president matter. For too long, this president’s words have fanned the flames of hatred, chaos and racism, and for four years, Ohio Republicans have cheered him on or shrugged their shoulders and pretended to be ‘late for lunch,’” said Rhine McLin, chairwoman of the Ohio Democratic Party and former Dayton mayor. “We will continue to pray for our nation and for our nation’s leaders.”

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said in a tweet that “history will not look kindly” on those who didn’t have the courage to stand up to Trump.

“This is a shameful moment in our nation’s history,” Whaley said in a tweet. “Every elected official — including, unfortunately, many in Ohio — who fanned the flames of President Trump’s lies or failed to condemn them shares responsibility.”

ExploreDC Protests: ‘I am appalled at what is occurring in the US Capitol,’ Turner says

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken said, “The riots taking place in our nation’s capital do not reflect America as I know it. We are lucky to live in a country that allows its citizens freedom of thought, expression and speech, but today’s lawlessness cannot be tolerated.”

She said she is praying for the nation’s law enforcement officials and “for our nation to heal and find peace in such difficult times.”

Former congressman Dave Hobson said in an interview with the Dayton Daily News Wednesday that in his 18 years in the capitol he never imagined anything like this.

“This is going to be a day that people are not going to forget for a long time when a group of people descended on the Capitol,” the Springfield Republican said as he watched the situation unfold on TV at his home in Ohio.

Hobson said the Capitol was always maintained to balance safety with the sense that their government was accessible, allowing people to access and assemble on the grounds without a threatening security presence.

ExplorePHOTOS: Protests cause lockdown of U.S. Capitol

“Every time you walk over to a vote — I was there 18 years — there’s somebody complaining about something and there are groups there of people complaining,” he said. “I’ve never seen this many people — it’s hard for me to judge exactly what they are doing.”

He was there during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which he said was a scary day that led to additional security measures at the building and this will likely as well.

The Springfield Republican said the president and his supporters need to accept that they lost.

“It’s a difficult day for the country and we have to get through this,” Hobson said. “We’re going to have to accept that there was a defeat and you need to move on.”

Follow Lynn Hulsey on Twitter and Facebook

ExploreSee more stories by Lynn Hulsey
Explore8 Dayton Daily News investigations that made a difference in 2020
ExploreBusiness leaders bullish on Dayton region’s 2021 economic prospects
ExploreInspire Dayton: Air Force ‘gave me a gift that was just unbelievable.’ Now that family wants to help other vets
Explore‘I couldn’t find the balance.’ Impact of women leaving workforce will ripple through economy
ExploreJobsOhio boosting efforts for federal installations like Wright-Patterson Air Force Base