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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Murphy: Trump to blame for assault on Congress

‘They should be given no quarter,’ governor says of attackers after calling for prosecutions

By Nikita Biryukov, January 07 2021 10:14 am

Gov. Phil Murphy excoriated President Donald Trump and Republicans who enable his unfounded claims about widespread election fraud the morning after Trump supporters assaulted the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

“The president’s refusal to accept the reality that he lost the election created this. His years of lies and willful misinformation created this,” Murphy said. “His belief that the laws don’t apply to him created this. His spewing of unfounded conspiracy theories created this. His unwillingness to understand even the basic precepts of the constitution created this.”

Shortly after 2 p.m., Trump directed a mob of his supporters to the Capitol, which they breached and occupied for hours, forcing lawmakers to shelter in offices barricaded with furniture as Capitol Police engaged in an armed standoff with the attackers outside the House chamber.

Murphy said the Trump supporters who assaulted and occupied Congress, the first such occupation since the war of 1812, should be arrested and face prosecution for the attempted insurrection.

“They should be given no quarter,” he said. “They are not patriots. They are the antithesis of what it means to be an American. This was not a protest. It was an act of domestic terrorism spurred on by the president himself and his minions.”

The FBI is soliciting videos and other material identifying the Trump supporters involved in Wednesday’s attack. Many of them livestreamed the assault or otherwise documented their participation in the assault on the People’s House.

Lawmakers reconvened after the Capitol was cleared Wednesday night and, after hours overcoming Republican objections parroting Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud, certified Biden’s win.

(Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) was the only member of New Jersey’s delegation to object to the certification of electoral votes.)

“In less than two weeks with his inauguration, the renewal of America will begin in Earnest,” Murphy said.

Still, with the president already having incited violence against lawmakers, the governor is taking no chances. He sent 74 state troopers to Washington Wednesday to assist the district in enforcing a 6 p.m. curfew and stopping further violence from the president’s supporters.

Authorities found explosives devices outside the Democratic and Republican National Committees. Four people died as a result of the attack on Congress.

Murphy on Thursday announced he would send 500 members of the New Jersey National Guard to Washington to bolster security there as Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration approaches.

They’ll be there at least until then, he said.

“I trust they will represent the highest values of our state and our republic,” Murphy said. “I wish them and our troopers nothing but the very best and please god they stay safe.”

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