Tom Cotton on Protesters Overtaking Capitol: ‘Violence and Anarchy Are Unacceptable’

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) responded to the violence of protesters who entered the Capitol building, destroying property and causing chaos on the day a joint session of Congress was to certify the electoral college votes to make Joe Biden the 46th president of the United States.

The attack took place following a rally at the White House where President Donald Trump spoke.

“Violence and anarchy are unacceptable,” Cotton said on Twitter. “We are a nation of laws.”

“This needs to end now,” Cotton tweeted. “This violence is unacceptable and needs to be met with the full force of the law.”

“God bless the Capitol Police who are keeping us safe,” Cotton said.

Cotton announced he would not object to the electoral vote as some of his Republican colleagues in the Senate have backed the move, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and on Tuesday the Arkansas Democrat Gazette published Cotton’s commentary on the subject, which said, in part:

Objecting to certified electoral votes won’t give the president a second term. With Democrats in control of the House, Republicans have no chance of invalidating even a single electoral vote, much less enough votes to deny Joe Biden a majority in the electoral college. Instead, these objections would exceed Congress’ constitutional power, while creating unwise precedents that Democrats could abuse the next time they are in power. For these reasons, I will not oppose the counting of certified electoral votes.

Of course, I share the concerns of many Arkansans about irregularities in the election, especially in states that rushed through election-law changes to relax standards for voting by mail. Some states sent unsolicited ballots to their residents, opening the door to potential fraud. States also removed important safeguards, such as signature-matching and postal-marking requirements. I therefore support a commission to examine the last election and propose reforms to protect the integrity of our elections. After Republicans win in Georgia, the Senate should also hold more hearings on these matters. Arkansans deserve to have confidence in the elections that undergird our free government.

Nevertheless, the founders entrusted our elections chiefly to the states–not Congress. They entrusted the election of our president to the people, acting through the electoral college–not Congress. And they entrusted the adjudication of election disputes to the courts–not Congress. Under the Constitution and federal law, Congress’ power is limited to counting electoral votes submitted by the states. Congress doesn’t have to agree with the election practices of every state, nor dismiss the possibility of voter fraud. But the states have primary responsibility for the conduct of elections, and courts have the responsibility to adjudicate election disputes.

Cotton is just one of many Republicans who have denounced the protesters and their violent tactics.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter or send news tips to [email protected].


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