OLYMPIA — In Washington, D.C., pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol, overtaking the House and Senate chambers, pausing the 2020 presidential election certification and leaving one woman dead.

In Olympia, pro-Trump protesters climbed the fence of the governor’s mansion, running to the door and chanting “Open up.” No one was hurt.

The events that unfolded Wednesday shocked the country, leading many Washington lawmakers on both sides to quickly condemn the violence.

Rep. Keith Goehner, R-Dryden, said he was dismayed after seeing the violence in Washington, D.C.

“I ... just couldn’t believe that this was happening in the United States,” he said. “And I felt that way throughout this year; we’ve had so much disrespect for the process and the rule of law and it’s troubling for me to see people expressing themselves in a violent manner in the United States.”

Goehner said it’s important to follow the established processes — and return to a level of civility.

“I know we’ve had times throughout our country where we’ve had discourse and all, but civility needs to return to the public arena and we need to be able to dialogue with each other and reach a meaningful path forward,” he said. “What I mean by that is being able to respect each other’s opinions and still come to a conclusion. We have a process in place and it’s served us well.”

Rep. Mike Steele, R-Chelan, also condemned the violence that occurred in Washington D.C. Wednesday. 

"I’m absolutely saddened and disappointed and appalled at the behavior displayed in our nation’s capital. I find it to be un-American and I do not believe there is ever a place for violence," he said. "I believe that we have always stood as an example for peaceful transition of power and certainly that is not occurring. I’m truly, truly disappointed and saddened by what we witnessed yesterday."

State Sen. Brad Hawkins, R-East Wenatchee, said the range of political violence across the political spectrum throughout the year has been “disappointing.”

“It was totally unacceptable and wrong. We are a country of laws based on our freedoms,” he said. “Peaceful protests are welcome and protected, but violence of any kind on any side of the political spectrum is never acceptable.”

Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said the violent protests at the U.S. Capitol should be denounced by both sides, just as last summer’s violent protests in Seattle and Portland should have been.

“There’s never an excuse for any event to turn violent by anybody,” Schoesler said. “We all have to say ‘No’ to violence and destruction.”

Schoesler said he was involved in several meetings and other activities Wednesday and only heard some of Trump’s remarks before and during the protests.

“Whether he went over the top, I don’t know,” he said. “But you have to condemn violence.”

Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, said in a statement that he understands that some question the legitimacy of the most recent election.

“The U.S. Constitution guarantees them the right to have their voices heard through peaceful assembly. They even have the right to challenge the election process in a court of law,” his statement read. “But nothing grants anyone the right to storm the Capitol building and terrify those inside.”

Some Democrats took it a step further, criticizing Trump and other Republicans who refused to stand up earlier against the president’s claims about election fraud.

In a statement, state Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, D-Spokane, said he was glad to see prominent Republicans speaking out against the violence. However, he called on elected officials to denounce the day’s actions, adding the election was “fair and secure.”

“I am disappointed that it took violence at the United States Capitol Building for them to finally condemn what has been manifesting for years under this president and in recent weeks through the support of conspiracy theories designed to undermine our democracy,” Billig’s statement read.

Gov. Jay Inslee said the siege was fueled by “the unrelenting and totally discredited lies of Donald Trump and his lackeys in Congress.” He called the siege “an attack on democracy itself.”

In a video address Wednesday, Inslee called on all leaders, especially Republican leaders, to “do some serious soul searching” and get “disinformation out of our public discourse.”

Spokane Democrat Rep. Marcus Riccelli called out U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Twitter after the congresswoman urged protesters to stop the violence. On Tuesday, McMorris Rodgers said she would challenge the certification of president-elect Joe Biden’s win.

“You did this and you are part of this. Make no mistake. This is your legacy,” Riccelli wrote in a tweet. “You have put not only the lives of the Capitol Police at risk, but our democracy. Instead of showing leadership to put a stop to this months ago you have helped lead this insurrection.”

World staff writer Reilly Kneedler contributed to this report.

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