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Portman calls on Trump to address nation and urge nonviolence

CINCINNATI – U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, called on Tuesday for his party’s leader, President Donald Trump, to address the nation and urge his supporters to refrain from violence.

“As I said on Jan. 6, the attack on the U.S. Capitol was an attack on democracy itself,” Portman said in a statement. “Anyone who took part in illegal activities should be held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Portman said he has been helping to lead the bipartisan investigation in the Senate on the attacks.

“I have received law enforcement briefings, including today from FBI officials and the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “Law enforcement has assured me that they are moving forward with prosecutions of those who engaged in the violence and other unlawful activities on Jan. 6.”

Portman directed his message to Trump and what he would like to see coming from the White House in the remaining week of the current administration.

“Both in his words before the attack on the Capitol and in his actions afterward, President Trump bears some responsibility for what happened on Jan. 6,” Portman said. “We are now hearing from the FBI and others about the threat of additional violence in Washington, D.C. and at state capitols around the country between now and President-Elect Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. These reports are deeply concerning. Violence is never the answer, and we must take all threats seriously. The orderly and peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 20 is a hallmark of our democracy.”

He urged Trump to address the situation.

“Today, I call on President Trump to address the nation and explicitly urge his supporters to remain peaceful and refrain from violence,” Portman said. “If our nation experiences additional violence and destruction at the hands of his supporters in Washington DC and state capitols around the country, and he does not directly and unambiguously speak out now when threats are known, he will bear responsibility.”

Portman said this is the time” to work together to heal our country.”

“My hope is that the tragic attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 can serve to unite us rather than divide us further,” Portman said. “We need to come together to face enormous challenges, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine distribution, the worsening drug addiction epidemic, and the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. I look forward to working with the Biden administration and my colleagues to address these and many other priorities on behalf of Ohio and our nation.”