COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Rep. Steve Stivers (R-15th District) took President Donald Trump to task for failing to calm protesters who overtook the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday during a joint session of Congress.
“I think the president should have done much more to stop this and, unfortunately, he did not do enough to stop this, and in some cases, encouraged it and that’s unfortunate and I think that is absolutely wrong,” Stivers said.
Congress was meeting to ratify the electoral college vote certifying Joe Biden as president. Several Republican congresspeople announced previously they would oppose the certification of the vote with much public encouragement from Trump.
While Stivers supported Trump during the election, he sided with former U.S. Attorney General Willam Barr when Barr said he investigated the claims of voter fraud and found nothing that would overturn Biden’s victory.
“I do not see any widespread evidence (of voter fraud,” he said.
Stivers told NBC 4’s Colleen Marshall that Congress will complete its business of certifying the election results.
“It will happen,” he said. “They’re in the process of clearing the Capitol chamber now and we will reconvene and we will complete our work.” Stivers added that this will happen “as soon as it is clear.”
Stivers said he left the House chambers at approximately 1:30 p.m. for a meeting, and when that meeting concluded 30 minutes later is when he realized the complex had been breached.
“It’s a sad day for our republic, though,” he said. “The last time the Capitol was breached was 1814 and that was by British soldiers and we were at war, the War of 1812.”
The Congressman said he is optimistic the protest can lead to bipartisanship among Congress.
“Sometimes it takes something like this to make people realize that we agree on much more than we disagree on,” Stivers said.
Stivers said derogatory terms used by politicians to describe their opponents often encourages constituents to do the same, which leads to more divisiveness.