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San Diego Reps Respond To Trump Supporters Storming US Capitol

Local supporters of President Trump protesting in front of the County Administration Building on Jan. 6, 2020.
Matthew Bowler
Local supporters of President Trump protesting in front of the County Administration Building on Jan. 6, 2020.

San Diego County politicians, including members of Congress sheltering in place at the U.S. Capitol, took to social media today to respond to the throng of Trump supporters who stormed the building and clashed with police.

Rep. Mike Levin, D-San Juan Capistrano, tweeted at 12:39 p.m., "I am sheltering in place due to multiple threats from suspicious packages and Trump supporters storming the Capitol, but I am safe. I am incredibly grateful for the brave Capitol Police officers trying to keep us safe."

Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, sent out a brief message at 12:16 p.m. that read, "I'm safe. Thanks for the texts. More later."


Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, wrote, "I am here today to fulfill my constitutional duty and certify President-elect Biden's historic victory. My staff and I are safe. We are asking Americans to stand together for the rule of law and integrity of our nation's democracy."

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In a video posted along with his written statement, Vargas said, "We've had people now breach the security here in the Capitol. We are prepared here. We are going to defend democracy. The people voted. The people voted for Joe Biden to be president. Joe Biden will be president."

Pointing off camera, Vargas said, "As soon as they breach that wall, we will fight back. We're ready to fight. This is not democracy you're seeing. That's anarchy out there. We're here to fight for democracy. God bless America."

By late afternoon, Levin was still being told by Capitol Police to shelter in place. He said he could hear the protests going on as the Capitol was being breached by insurrectionists. Because of COVID-19, many Congressional staffers stayed at home, though rank and file congressmen and senators remained behind locked doors inside the Capitol complex.


Levin called what happened Wednesday an act of terror.

“You can participate in the process. We can affiliate with a different party,” he said “Whatever it is we don’t resort to violence and that’s what we saw today is domestic terrorism. The people who did this need to be held accountable. They need to answer for this.”

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, in a Twitter post, wrote: "Ok. Honestly. What if the protesters charging the Capitol, armed, were mainly Black and brown men? What do you think would happen then?"

In another tweet, she questioned the terminology used to describe those storming the building, writing, "At what point do we call `armed protestors storming the Capitol' what they are ... terrorists."

Representatives of San Diego-area law enforcement agencies reported taking no special staffing or tactical measures as of mid- afternoon in response to violence in the nation's capital.

"There nothing for us to do in our city right now," Takeuchi said around 1 p.m., adding that his agency was monitoring the situation in Washington, D.C., for any local ramifications.

About 10 a.m., a group of roughly 150 pro-Trump demonstrators gathered outside the bayside County Administration Center to protest the presidential election results, sheriff's Lt. Jim Emig said. The event was proceeding peacefully and was expected to continue into the late afternoon, the lieutenant said.

There were no other reports of local demonstrations or law enforcement operations related to the unrest at the U.S. Capitol, where lawmakers were barricaded in their offices and other locations after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building as Congress prepared to certify the results of the Nov. 3 election.