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CNY’s Congressional Representatives have Different Reflections on the January 6th Capitol Riots

Chris Bolt
Congress Member Claudia Tenney denounces violence of January 6th protestors, while calling congressional investigation into the incident a sham.

The anniversary of the January 6th attack on the Capitol in Washington DC did not go unaddressed by Central New York’s federal elected officials.

Congress Member Claudia Tenney (R-NY-22) recalls the attacks as “unacceptable scenes of violence and destruction at the US Capitol.” She adds it was an abuse of the peaceful right to assembly, and that using violence for a political cause is wrong.

Tenney, a supporter of Donald Trump when he was President, went on to criticize efforts to investigate the incident.

“I can sadly report that under Democrat leadership, we are no closer to understanding why the Capitol was left so vulnerable or to preventing such events from occurring again. Instead of seeking the facts and identifying the solutions to strengthen the Capitol’s security vulnerabilities, Speaker Pelosi and congressional Democrats chose a path of harmful partisan showmanship. Their focus is on persecuting former president Donald Trump and vilifying millions of Americans who have legitimate concerns about the security and integrity of our elections,” Tenney said in a release.

Tenney says facts and laws should determine the response to the Capitol riots. She further asks Nancy Pelosi to disband what she calls ‘a sham committee’ investigating.

Congress Member John Katko (R-NY 24) recalls the nation watching in "shock and horror” as the demonstrators breached the Capitol and threatened elected officials, staff and police. He remembers being concerned at the time about a lack of information sharing among security entities. And those who dealt with the rioters on the front line bore the tragic results when police and homeland security could not respond in an effective way.

“Our heroic Capitol Police officers, along with DC Metropolitan Police officers, risked their lives to defend the U.S. Capitol and those who work here. As a result, many officers still bear the physical and emotional scars of that traumatic day and several officers were severely injured. Tragically, lives were also lost because of this violence and four officers have devastatingly taken their lives since. We mourn with the families and friends of these patriotic officers,” Katko said in a release

He believes those responsible should be held accountable. Katko says he hopes all violence in such an arena can be denounced, while those working on the nation’s issues and problems can “recommit to civil discourse.”  

Meanwhile U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand calls the violent demonstrations of January 6th, 2021 “a stain on our American democracy.” She believes what she calls a “violent mob” was trying to subvert the will of the people, as she and her colleagues were certifying the 2020 Presidential election results. And the democrat supports the work of the congressional investigation.

“There can be no denying what happened. We owe it to the American people to see the investigation through, uncover the facts, and understand President Trump’s role. We must hold those responsible accountable – it’s important for history, it’s important to uphold the integrity of our nation, and it's vital to preventing this from ever happening again,” Gillibrand said in a statement.

She says she hopes the nation can heal its divides and uphold the right to vote to help with future smooth elections.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.