TYLER, Texas (KETK) – U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert called the storming of the U.S. Capitol by protestors a “horrible tragedy” and said violence is not the way to settle disputes.
“I have been imploring people to not go down a road that ends to violence,” he said in a call from his office in Washington D.C. on Wednesday night. “I don’t want that. I don’t advocate it. I want to avoid it.”
The Republican from Tyler was on a phone call in the cloak room just off the House floor when protestors forced their way into the U.S. Capitol.
“They yelled (that) there was a breach and that people should get under their chairs but most people realized that was probably not the best strategy because there is no way to fit under your chair on the House floor.”
Gohmert said protestors “were breaking the windows and the door trying to get into the House floor.”
He eventually made it to his office and stayed there until things were brought under control.
Some who came to Washington D.C. to protest the presidential election results were from East Texas, he said.
“It was so staggering to me because the people that I knew who came up here, they are extremely nonviolent. They just wanted to peacefully protest and that is what I advocate.”
Gohmert said he has been sounding a warning that “when institutions that are created to resolve disputes civilly refuse to take up the disputes, that it could lead to violence.”
Gohmert earlier filed a lawsuit with a federal judge based in Tyler contesting the results of the election and advocating that courts and Vice President Mike Pence take action that could potentially lead to having the results overturned.
The judge dismissed Gohmert’s lawsuit. Other lawsuits in different states contesting the results have also been dismissed by judges.
“As a judge for a decade, I believe in our instructions that are supposed to avoid violence and it is important that they be allowed to take on controversies, so I hope things are not stifled tonight. That is not the answer to put a muzzle on our institutions that are supposed to resolve disputes.”
Gohmert said he believes Pence should have acknowledged that claims of problems with the election still should be addressed.
“I really felt the best solution for all of it would have been for the vice president to say, ‘You know what, I have found out now that Wisconsin is setting up to reconsider their certification so that they actually will have debate on election fraud.'”
He said he understands why a lot of people were in Washington to protest.
“There was going to be a big protest, and that is fine. The problem is when it gets violent,” he said.
When protestors entered the Capitol, law officers were overwhelmed, Gohmert said. During the protest, a woman who was later identified as Ashli Babbit was shot and killed.
“It ended up being a horrible tragedy. … Just totally tragic. Totally unnecessary,” Gohmert said.
Those who commit violence should be held accountable for their actions, Gohmert said.
He said that he still intends to raise concerns that election fraud took place.