Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser led a coalition of 50 attorneys general in 46 states and four territories in sending a letter to acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen denouncing the violence at the U.S. Capitol last week.
While many of the attorneys general have also placed at least part of the blame for inciting that riot on President Donald Trump, such as Weiser, the letter doesn’t go that far.
“The events of January 6 represent a direct, physical challenge to the rule of law and our democratic republic itself,” the letter reads. “Together, we will continue to do our part to repair the damage done to institutions and build a more perfect union. As Americans, and those charged with enforcing the law, we must come together to condemn lawless violence, making clear that such actions will not be allowed to go unchecked.”
The letter was signed by Republican and Democratic attorneys general alike. Only four did not, but three of them — Indiana, Louisiana and Montana — sent a letter of their own to the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday, while the fourth, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, has spoken out against the violence.
The letters come on the heels of federal security agencies issuing a warning of credible threats against the nation’s Capitol and state legislatures, including a possible new storming of Congress on or before next Wednesday, when Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in as president.
In a joint statement from several chairs of various U.S. House committees, who had been briefed by the FBI and the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office about a possible second siege of the U.S. Capitol, lawmakers said they were deeply concerned about what might happen next.
“It is clear that more must be done to preempt, penetrate and prevent deadly and seditious assaults by domestic violent extremists in the days ahead,” the Democratic chairmen wrote. “This was not a peaceful protest that got out of hand. This was an attempted coup to derail our constitutional process and intimidate our duly elected leaders through violence.”
On Wednesday, lawmakers voted to impeach Trump for the second time, making him the first U.S. president to face such a sanction twice.
Weiser said he supports that effort.
“The president continues to abuse his power and act without regard for the law, for his office or for decency toward others,” Weiser said. “We are left with no other option. This president must be impeached and removed from office.”