Former Heartland politicians react to Wednesday riots on Capitol Hill

Former Heartland politicians react to Wednesday riots on Capitol Hill

CARTERVILLE, Ill. (KFVS) - On Wednesday, violence erupted on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and two former lawmakers who spent time in those halls said it felt personal.

“I never thought, in my lifetime, I would see anything like what happened yesterday, said former southern Illinois Congressman Glenn Poshard, who spent nearly 10 years on the hill.

He said the Capitol police felt overwhelmed.

“They were totally unprepared for the kind of crowd that came to the Capitol, it was a mob violence that just over ran the capitol,” said Poshard.

The Capitol building is typically one of the safest places in the world, but that changed Wednesday.

“I was very worried in the sense that this is, this could be reparable damage to who we are as a people, to our democracy,” explained Poshard.

Former Illinois Lieutenant Governor Shelia Simon said she was horrified by the scenes in D.C.

She spent a lot of time in those buildings. Her father is the late Senator Paul Simon.

Simon, now a law professor at southern Illinois University, questioned whether President Donald Trump can be removed from office by invoking the 25th Amendment.

“Even though these circumstances don’t fit, I don’t think removal of office through the 25th Amendment. I think everyone is watching that and to see whether president does cross the line,” said Simon.

One of the criteria is the president must be unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office.

“The president only has 13 days left in office, and that’s a fundamentally good thing, because we don’t want him to encite any other violence,” said Simon.

Simon said rioters violated countless laws while on Capitol Hill.

“One of the things that surprised me yesterday, was the number of people who were very plainly engaged in this behavior in front of cameras. They’re violating the law, their breaking windows, destroying property inside our nation’s capital and showing no fear or remorse,” she said.

Poshard said violence won’t solve America’s problems.

“I hope some good will come out of yesterday, in the sense that people see what happened and say to themselves, to each other we don’t want to go there again.”

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