Opinion | Kirsten Gillibrand: ‘Yes, We Are Safe,’ I Texted From the Capitol

We have been escorted again to the Senate chamber, swept freed from damaged glass, and resumed our certification of the electoral votes. We held quick to the oath we swore to help and defend the Structure of the US in opposition to all enemies, international and home. State by state, we licensed the outcomes which were checked, rechecked and licensed by Democratic and Republican state officers alike. That’s how elections are performed on this nation — not by mob rule.

In contrast to the peaceable protesters who gathered in Lafayette Sq. or throughout New York Metropolis final yr for Black Lives Matter protests, the rioters on the Capitol weren’t met with overwhelming police and navy pressure. They weren’t stopped from storming onto the Senate flooring, taking a podium or defacing the speaker’s workplace. We must always all think about what that claims about our nation, how we see public security and racial biases in our regulation enforcement.

These rioters should be held liable for their felony actions. So ought to the president who incited them. Each possibility out there, from invoking the twenty fifth Modification to impeachment and removing to felony prosecution, must be on the desk. These choices would require the vp, cupboard members and Republican members of the Senate to carry the president accountable in a method they by no means have earlier than. After they fail to take decisive motion, historical past will choose them as complicit.

Congress and the Division of Justice should undertake a radical investigation of how this occurred, and why the planning for this protest and response to those white supremacist teams was so insufficient, placing lawmakers and the individuals who work in and preserve our Capitol constructing in danger. Extra broadly, we should assess the function of the extremely conservative media, which purports to be information however solely presents misinformation and division, in addition to the facility of unchecked social media to divide our nation.

I’m an individual of Christian religion, and my religion teaches me to like each other as ourselves. That’s a reasonably tall order given the place we’re. However, we will begin by figuring out the sources of the hate and division and addressing them by way of investigation, accountability and justice.

Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) is a Democratic senator representing New York.

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