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Idaho Congressional Delegation Denounces Capitol Riot, Silent On Trump

Emilie Ritter Saunders
Boise State Public Radio
Congressman Russ Fulcher, seen here in this file photo, was among Republicans who planned to object to the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Idaho’s congressional delegation condemned the violence at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday as a mob of pro-Trump extremists staged an insurrection while lawmakers debated the electoral college vote.

The violent storming of the building, home to the nation’s top legislative bodies, forced lawmakers to flee to safety and left the Capitol in a state of mayhem for hours. One woman was fatally shot.

Congressman Russ Fulcher said the violence was “unacceptable” while comparing it to the social unrest this summer over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck.

Fulcher was one of several Republicans who planned to object to the vote certifying Joe Biden as America’s next president. He told KIDO radio host Kevin Miller this week that he objected to how battleground states held their elections and that Congress has an authority to provide oversight.

“That’s our job, that’s our responsibility, that’s where we’re going to attempt to go, but it will be constructive,” Fulcher said. “It will be on solid ground.”

President Donald Trump’s team has failed more than 50 times in court trying to overturn his lost election.

Fulcher was the only member of Idaho's congressional delegation to object to at least one state's electoral college votes for Biden Wednesday, according to the Washington Post. 

Sen. Mike Crapo called the actions of the pro-Trump mob “wholly unacceptable.” “It must be stopped immediately and all perpetrators prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. God bless the Capitol Police, National Guard and other law enforcement on the scene here and at other sites.”

“We have a constitutional right to peaceful protests but the clashes with police and destruction of property must stop now. We can disagree in a better way,” said Congressman Mike Simpson.

Sen. Jim Risch, a staunch ally of President Trump, said, “This nonsense and violence must stop.”

Gov. Brad Little also weighed in on the chaos in Washington, D.C., calling it “inexcusable.”

“In Idaho, we uphold the tenets of the First Amendment, but what we are seeing in D.C. is not peaceful expression. Idahoans stand up for law enforcement and respect the rule of law,” Little wrote on Twitter.

None mentioned Trump's stoking of unfounded conspiracy theories that the election had been stolen from him, or his continued embrace of the insurgents who blitzed the Capitol Wednesday.

"We love you, you're very special," Trump said in a video posted to Twitter, which has since been taken down by the social media service. "Go home in peace."

Fulcher, Simpson and Little joined a failed lawsuit spearheaded by the embattled Texas attorney general to overturn millions of votes in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin last year, something Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden refused to do.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected that effort last month.

In an editorial published by the Idaho Statesman Wednesday, the newspaper said Simpson assured them there would be a peaceful transfer of power if Trump were to lose the election during an interview in September, even though Simpson said he had concerns about mail-in ballots and whether the American people would accept the outcome.

“But once the determination has been made, whether courts have to make decisions on what’s valid, and what’s not valid, and so forth and so on, the president will, it will be a peaceful transfer of power,” Simpson told the newspaper’s editorial board at the time. “There’s no, there’s not a doubt in my mind about that.”

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

Copyright 2021 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.

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