Local, Politics

Kemp, Other Georgia Republican Lawmakers Speak Out Against Violence in D.C.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp leads Speaker of the House David Ralston, back left, and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan into a news conference Wednesday at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp leads Speaker of the House David Ralston, back left, and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan into a news conference Wednesday at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta.
Credit Ben Gray / Associated Press
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Gov. Brian Kemp held a press conference Wednesday to condemn behavior by extremists at the U.S. Capitol seeking to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden.

At a news conference Kemp, a former close ally of President Donald Trump, called what’s happened in Washington “un-American.” He was joined by Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Speaker of the Georgia House David Ralston.

“It is unimaginable that we have people in our state, in our country, that have been threatening police officers, breaking into government buildings,” Kemp said. “This is not the Georgia way, and it is not the way of our country.”

Gov. Brian Kemp’s Wednesday press conference. (Emma Hurt/WABE)

Duncan called on the President to clearly instruct his followers to leave the U.S. Capitol and allow democracy to proceed.

“Today is an incredibly sobering reminder of how delicate our democracy truly is,” Duncan said, “It is also a reminder of how dangerous it is when people in power act as if they are more important than that democracy.”

“Whether your candidate wins or loses an election is no reason to jeopardize the safety of your fellow citizens,” Ralston said. “We are a nation of laws.”

There was also a small protest in Atlanta today at the Georgia Capitol, although nothing like what was happening in Washington D.C. There were fewer than a hundred pro-Trump supporters at the protest, including a well-known militia leader and a former leader of a prominent pro-nazi group.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff were evacuated from their office at the state Capitol.

Kemp said that Georgia managed to have peaceful protests all summer, and he expects that to continue in the state, but the National Guard will be ready just in case.

“I want to let my fellow Georgians know that today I will be extending the previous executive order that has activated the Georgia National Guard,” Kemp said. “That will continue to be in place this coming Monday, and they will be called up as needed. I feel confident that they will not.”

Georgia’s legislative session starts next week. Kemp said what is happening in D.C. illustrates what might have happened if Georgia had called a special legislative session to reverse the state’s electoral votes, as some Republicans have called for.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is an ardent Trump advocate and among the Republican lawmakers that had promised to oppose the Electoral College. Today she released a video of herself from inside the Capitol building telling Trump supporters to remain peaceful.

“This is not a time for violence, this is a time to support President Trump, support our election integrity, and support this important process that we’re going through in Congress, where we’re allowed to object,” Greene said.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, another outspoken member of the Trump camp, also said she would object to the Electoral College vote in the Senate. During the Electoral College count, Loeffler said that after the day’s events she could no longer object in good conscience. She issued a statement on Twitter condemning the violence.