WV, VA lawmakers react to protest at U.S. Capitol building

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — As protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol building, lawmakers were forced to evacuate and seek shelter, including our own West Virginia and Virginia lawmakers.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he felt anxious as the the day began, and even told his staff not to come into work. He said his fears were confirmed when he heard sounds he had never heard before coming from down the hall.

“I kept thinking something is wrong, then all of a sudden police come in to our chambers. They started locking all the doors down immediately and we thought we were going to be locked in our chambers and they were going to get everything cleaned up pretty quickly,” Manchin explained.

Manchin tweeted earlier Wednesday: “We are okay and ready to get back to the senate chamber to finish our work. These thugs cannot and will not run us off. We will continue to govern.”

Congresswoman Carol Miller, who represents the U.S. House District 3 in West Virginia, was also in Washington D.C. She tweeted she was safe during the breach.

“There is no room in our democracy for that kind of violence and they should all be prosecuted,” Miller said.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) was also safe during while protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol. She tweeted: “This is the United States of America. This needs to stop right now. We don’t do this. It’s not who we are.”

Governor Jim Justice released a statement Wednesday.

“The violence that we are witnessing right now in Washington D.C. is absolutely unacceptable and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. People have every right to have their voices heard peacefully, but there is no place in our county for this type of activity,” Gov. Justice said.

The Governor also told 59News the country needs to come together during this time.

“I totally understand frustrations. We all need to be pulling this rope together, we got enough on our plate that is tough enough,” said Gov. Jim Justice.

Lawmakers in Virginia also reacted to Wednesday’s events.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner shared a picture as he looked out at the protestors from inside the capitol building. He then tweeted a statement thanking everyone for their concerns. He said he “is safe and sheltering in place with other senators, and asks everyone to join him in praying for our country and for our fellow Americans to do the right thing.”

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine tweeted “My staff and I are safe right now, following the instructions of capitol police and praying for the safety of capitol workers. Members of the press and all here in Washington today, this violence must end now.”

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