As the United States Congress began convening the count of the Electoral College at the Capitol on Wednesday, rioters stormed through buildings and disrupted the proceedings.
The official count of 306 electoral votes for Joe Biden to become President of the United States over the 232 received by incumbent Republican Donald Trump was resumed Wednesday evening after Trump supporters descended on Washington D.C. Re-elected in November with over 73 percent of the ballot in House District 10, Republican Representative David Eastman traveled to Washington D.C., this week, but said he was not in the vicinity of any violence exhibited by rioters at the nation’s capitol.
“I got down here on Monday and wanted to meet with some folks down here and also attend the event that the President was speaking at this morning and get a chance to also connect with any other Alaskans that were coming down here for the events this week and one of the concerns that I have and others that I represent have deals with the way in which we deal with elections in this country and concern over how that’s going to carry forward, and I think that’s a profound question and I think there’s a lot of justified concerns there, so as a voice to represent those concerns that’s also part of why I’m here,” said Eastman.
Upon news reports from Washington D.C., of the rioters that stormed the capitol building during the Electoral College count and sent lawmakers into search of shelter, many elected officials from Alaska began condemning the actions at the Capitol where one woman was shot and killed.
“I’m deeply saddened (and) appalled to see the violence at the U.S. Capitol today. Acts of violence have no place in our great country. Republicans are the party of law (and) order. These few extremists do not represent our values,” wrote Gov. Mike Dunleavy. “We settle our disputes through dialogue not violence.”
Eastman wrote a post on his personal website and linked that post to a Facebook group for Valley residents that he titled “Trump lost and Jeffrey Epstein killed himself.”
“I will be in Washington D.C. tomorrow, along with other Alaskans, to advocate for the Constitution, and encourage members of Congress to do their duty by it during tomorrow’s counting of the votes for president. What is at stake this week is our ability, as American citizens, to have a say in the future of America. And that is something that I fought for as a member of the military, and that is worth fighting for today,” Eastman wrote on Tuesday.
Eastman was elected in 2017 and was later censured during that legislative session. Eastman also signed an amicus brief in December alongside Valley representatives Chris Kurka, Kevin McCabe and George Rauscher supporting the lawsuit from Texas to dispute the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“The election process that has been observed thus far by the American people has been abused to such a degree that, in my view, it can no longer be called an election. To call what the American people have observed “an election”, under the United States Constitution, would be fundamentally dishonest,” wrote Eastman on his website. “For every allegation of widespread voting fraud that may be disproven there are two dozen cases of state election laws that were obviously broken, safeguards that were ignored, and examples of voters who were denied the ability to verify that their vote, and the votes of their neighbors, were properly counted. These violations have led us to the point of crisis as many Americans are now losing confidence in the ability of this nation to ensure that its elections are free from abuse. The time to act to restore that trust is now.”
As the Trump supporters broke through capitol police barricades, they looted items from the capitol building such as podiums and signs for lawmakers. A Trump flag replaced the American Flag on the capitol building. Eastman referenced a letter written by seven Republicans in his blog post that explained why they would object to the count of the Electoral College.
“I think one of the core issues is transparency and I believe that the public is entitled to transparencies and all aspects of the election process and that is something that has not been forthcoming in the November elections and also in the election that took place earlier today, one that’s been reported on throughout the day of course, so greater transparency I think is the first step and that is something that we do need to find an answer to quickly,” Eastman said by phone on Wednesday. “I’m glad to be here with a number of other Alaskans that came in small groups, ones and twos and what not, appreciate the concerns that they represent and I hope that others do as well.”
Eastman was elected in 2017 to represent House District 10, which stretches northeast of Wasilla. Prior to many of the violent actions reported by reporters on capitol hill, Eastman told KTUU that Wednesday seemed to be a time when push came to shove.
“There are times when push comes to shove and now seems to be one of those times. So all the more important that you recognize that simply rolling-over is not going to do anything good for Alaska or for our country,” Eastman told KTUU.
Dean of the House of Representatives and Alaska’s sole Congressman Don Young also weighed in on the riots.
“Peaceful protest is fundamentally American, but violence must never be tolerated. I call on protestors to comply with Capitol Police, stand down, and leave the Capitol Building so that our Constitutional duties may resume,” Young wrote.
Senator Lisa Murkowski also condemned the violence at the Capitol, but Senator Dan Sullivan has not released a statement as of Wednesday night.
“The dangerous and destructive activity at the Capitol is continuing to unfold. I, along with other members of the Senate, are secure but the situation is clearly not safe. It is truly mob rule at the moment. My prayers are with the officers that are protecting and defending and who have gone down,” wrote Senator Murkowski. “Mr. President, tell your supporters to stop the violence. Stop the assault. Now.”