Georgia lawmakers react to Capitol riots

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJBF) — Hours after law enforcement secured the U.S. Capitol, Congress returned to their chambers to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Several Georgia lawmakers planned to object to the Electoral College’s votes before Tuesday’s riots. After thousands of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler changed her stance.

“I cannot now in good conscience object to the certification of these electors,” Loeffler said.

However, six Georgia representatives, including Reps. Jody Hice and Rick Allen, stood firm and objected.

“Myself, members of the Georgia delegation and 74 of my Republican colleagues object to the electoral votes from the state of Georgia on grounds that the election conducted on November 3 was faulty and fraudulent,” Hice declared.

The objections sparked criticism from Democratic leaders in Augusta.

“I would never have imagined representatives to go after the basis of the institution that we have honored for centuries because their President lost,” Jordan Johnson, the chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party, said.

Lawmakers and the public are now demanding rioters be prosecuted..

“I think there will be a full investigation of the perpetrators involved,” Rep. Rick Allen said. “There are going to be some who are avid supporters of the President. Frankly, they’re angry. That’s no excuse for what they did.”

Joseph Watson, a Professor of Public Affairs Communications at the University of Georgia, believes January 6, 2021 will be an infamous day in American history. He says “everyone” who played a part in the riots “should be held accountable no matter how high or how low in terms of their office.” While historians and pundits analyze the day’s events for years to come, Watson says the biggest lesson the country can learn from the attack is that “words matter.”

“Extremism feeds off of very virulent rhetoric– the kind of rhetoric we’ve heard from the President and too many of the leaders of our country for too long,” Watson says. “I think it hurts our country, republic and relationships amongst each other.”

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