A Call For The 25th Amendment And Other Colorado Congressmembers’ Reactions To The Storming Of The US Capitol

January 6, 2021
Congress Electoral CollegeCongress Electoral CollegeJ. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., center, and other Republicans wait during a break as the House and Senate convene to count the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

Each of Colorado’s nine Congressional representatives spoke out against the violent intrusion at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, but they differed in how they described what happened.

Several Democrats said the storming of the building was a direct result of President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat.

“This isn't a protest. This is an attempted coup. I never thought we'd see such anarchy spurred by our own president,” wrote Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat from Denver. Later, she called for the impeachment and removal of Trump, saying he had “instigated a violent attack.”

Rep. Joe Neguse, from Boulder County, sent Vice President Mike Pence a letter late on Wednesday, co-signed by Neguse's Democratic colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee, calling on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. That amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows the vice president and a majority of the sitting cabinet to decide the president is unable to carry out his duties, at which point the vice president would take over.

The letter from Neguse and the other members of Congress says, "Even in his video announcement this afternoon, President Trump revealed that he is not mentally sound and is still unable to process and accept the results of the 2020 election."

In the video Trump released Wednesday afternoon, he told supporters to go home but also said, "We love you. You're very special," and repeated many false claims that he had won the election. Later he urged people to “Remember this day forever!”

Rep. Jason Crow and Rep. Ed Perlmutter, both Democrats, also said that Trump bore responsibility for the day's events. 

“It's the result of a fever that has been building for weeks, months & years, and which has only been further incited by President Trump. Today is a point of inflection & reflection, & we need to say enough,” Perlmutter wrote.

Crow said he and others were trapped in the House chamber as protesters attempted to ram through the door. Striking photographs captured him crouching on the floor, comforting one of his colleagues.

APTOPIX Congress Electoral CollegeAndrew Harnik/AP
People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.

“We didn’t know how we were gonna get out, but Capitol Police were able to clear a route and get us out. We’re all now being protected in a secure location,” he wrote in the afternoon.

All three of Colorado’s Republican representatives spoke out against the violence, as well, although none acknowledged the president's role. Rep. Ken Buck portrayed the events as a failure in the peaceful transfer of power.

“In America, we hold free, fair, and secure elections and we honor the outcome. We respect the rule of law and an assault on our democratic republic is an assault on all of us who believe in our constitution and what makes our country extraordinary. We respect the peaceful transition of power,” Buck wrote in a joint statement with Democratic Gov. Jared Polis.

“The alarming scenes that are unfolding in Washington are something you might expect to see in countries far from our shores, not in our nation’s capitol, and certainly not in the hallowed halls or on the floor of Congress. We are relieved that Colorado’s federal delegation is safe. We all must step up to protect the institutions of our republic, free and fair elections, and the rule of law.”

Buck, the outgoing chair of the Colorado GOP, did not plan to object to the election results and has publicly criticized the efforts to do so

GOP representatives Lauren Boebert and Doug Lamborn joined the day's first objection against Arizona's Electoral College votes, and they had not announced any change of plans on Wednesday night, though other Republicans have since reversed course on their own objections.

Boebert and Lamborn both described Wednesday’s events as un-American, but didn’t mention motivations.

“The mob will not control our government. We have survived worse and our Republic must continue. Tonight, we should get back to work and show why we are the greatest Democracy in the world,” Lamborn wrote.

Early in the day, Boebert released a brief tweet from her personal account that simply declaring, "Today is 1776.” After the mob invaded, she sent a new message, with a picture of her signing the paperwork for the objections. The text stated, “1776 is the foundation of our country. Today I signed my name to a document to defend that foundation and our freedom. The violence we saw today is inexcusable. Pray for America.”