Boehner says 'GOP must awaken' after Capitol incursion

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Former House Speaker John Boehner lamented the Capitol Hill violence on Wednesday and encouraged his political part to undergo an awakening.

The onetime Republican lawmaker from Ohio issued a statement as authorities in Washington, D.C., work to identify the rioters who breached the Capitol building in an unprecedented incursion as Congress met to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Boehner, who served as speaker from 2011 to 2015, said Thursday morning on Twitter that the mob that attacked the building was a “disgrace.”

“I once said the party of Lincoln and Reagan is off taking a nap,” Boehner said. “The nap has become a nightmare for our nation. The GOP must awaken.”

“The invasion of our Capitol by a mob, incited by lies from some entrusted with power, is a disgrace to all who sacrificed to build our Republic,” he added without specifically referring to President Trump, who held a Wednesday rally near the White House and called on supporters to march to the Capitol to protest its official count of the Electoral College votes.

Only after the storming of the Capitol did Trump change his tune and urge his supporters to go home peacefully, adding that he understands how they feel and that he loves them.

Police said four people were killed in the violence, including a woman who was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer while inside the Capitol complex. Three others died from other medical emergencies, although their exact causes of death have not been revealed.

Police begin clearing angry protesters from the Capitol building in Washington by using tear gas on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Demonstrators responded by taunting and yelling at law enforcement before retreating from the toxic gas and the officers with riot shields.

(Zachary Halaschak/Washington Examiner)

After law enforcement was able to push back the pro-Trump crowd and create a perimeter, which it succeeded in doing by about 6 p.m., Congress reconvened and worked late into the night and early morning, certifying Biden’s victory just before 4 a.m. Trump then promised a peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 20.

Following the fracas, political leaders on both sides of the aisle have roundly condemned the violence. On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office and expressed support for impeaching Trump a second time.

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