WASHINGTON — Youngstown Congressman Tim Ryan is promising a House subcommittee investigation into events surrounding Wednesday's violence at the U.S. Capitol and what went wrong.
Violence erupted outside and inside the complex during a protest by Trump supporters challenging the results of the November election leaving one person dead and others injured.
Ryan chairs the House subcommittee that oversees funding for Capitol police and says he was assured the day before that the demonstration would be handled appropriately — only to witness the chaos that ensued.
"We must get to the bottom of these breakdowns and prevent them from ever happening again," said Ryan, who is particularly concerned over why Capitol Police were not reinforced sooner and the length of time it took for National Guard to be deployed.
"We recognize the bravery of the Capitol Police and law enforcement officers who protected us," said Ryan. "At the same time, it is obvious there was a severe systemic failure."
Meanwhile, the Chief of Police for the United States Capitol Police said his department will investigate what transpired in what he called a "valiant" response when faced with thousands involved in "riotous" actions.
Ryan also expressed concern over the role President Trump may have played earlier during a rally of supporters.
"He whipped that crowd into a frenzy in the morning and sent them down to the Capitol and said, 'You gotta be strong and not weak if you want to take over your country,'" said Ryan.
He also questioned the continued support of five Republican Congressmen who, just hours after the violence, voted to decertify the election results.
"To me, this is perpetuating the lies that President Trump has told," said Ryan.
Here in Ohio, House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) called it an "attempted coup" and called on "every Republican leader to immediately condemn Donald Trump and call on the domestic terrorists to leave the U.S. Capitol immediately."
Three of the five Republican representatives from Ohio who voted to object to the counting of the Electoral College votes provided statements to News 5 about their decisions.
Representative Jim Jordan, a ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee who represents Ohio's 4th district, stated, "Americans support peaceful protests, First Amendment activity, and the men and women of law enforcement. What happened today is wrong and is not what America is about."
Eighth District Representative Warren Davidson provided this statement:
“There is no excuse for rioters’ actions yesterday, and their actions are rightly condemned. The Constitution protects peaceful protest, not riots or rioters.
"After ensuring that my staff in the D.C. office returned home safe, I returned to the business of the House, to join debate on election integrity in Arizona and Pennsylvania. I’m disappointed that Senators withdrew principled objections, preventing further debate.
“In Congress, we fight with reasoned arguments and recorded votes. The debate remains essential to properly safeguarding the hard-won principle that all citizens have equal protection. That is violated when elections fail by law or practice.
“I voted with my district, representing the concerns of Ohio’s 8th District residents. I objected to electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania, where numerous systemic issues threatened to undermine the equal protection principle of ‘one person, one vote.’ No debate was permitted on other states, so they were accepted without debate or recorded vote.”
Congressman Bill Johnson, a Republican representing Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, stated:
"America solves problems transparently and democratically. There were several widely reported irregularities and unconstitutional actions taken by partisan officials in battleground states during last year’s election. Around 250,000 people that voted for President Trump in my district feel their voices were disenfranchised because of the unconstitutional acts of officials and judges in other states. The Constitution demands that state legislatures (not elected officials, judges, or voting officials) make state election laws, and it demands that Congress look at those issues and bring them to light. That would have happened yesterday whether the violence occurred or not. It is critically important for the American people to believe that election outcomes are fair and just.
"Yesterday’s certification was a necessary process, and I believe there were constitutional violations that occurred. That’s why I voted to object to the certifications of Pennsylvania and Arizona - the only states that had the necessary Senate support requiring a vote. This was not an attempt to overturn the Electoral College. It was about bringing light to the fact that some states violated their own constitutions, thus the US Constitution – and that is wrong, and it must be remedied in future elections."
Claims of voter fraud in other states have been widely discredited by both Republican and Democratic election officials in their respective states, and when various legal challenges by Trump's legal team were thrown out of court.