On January 6th, 2021, a mob of neo-nazis, white supremacists, and far-right Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building at the urging of US President Donald Trump. They pushed past Capitol Police, disrupting the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden. Condemnation came swift and furious. A number of social media companies—most notably Twitter and Facebook—banned Trump from their platforms. Leaders in the Democratic party, and even some Republicans, began calling on Trump to resign or face impeachment. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said in a letter on Sunday, “We will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat.” The House plans to vote on impeachment this week.
Members of Congress representing the Sacramento region, including California Senator Dianne Feinstein, unanimously came out in support of Trump’s removal. According to a statement from Senator Feinstein, “President Trump must answer for his actions… I stand behind Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and others in the call to remove President Trump from office.” Representative Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), who represents Sacramento proper, co-sponsored a resolution calling on the Vice President to invoke the 25th Amendment declaring the president incapable of holding office. She tweeted, “If the VP refuses to do his duty, we must quickly move forward with the Articles of Impeachment that were introduced today.” Elk Grove Representative Ami Bera (D-Calif.) posted on Facebook, “For the safety and security of our democracy, President Trump must be removed from office.”
Local elected officials also weighed in on the events. Sacramento Mayor Darrel Steinberg tweeted his support for Rep. Matsui’s resolution, saying “Yesterday was a shocking assault on our democracy.” The “Sacramento Squad”—a group of progressive Sacramento politicians including City Councilmembers Katie Valenzuela and Mai Vang—released a joint statement condemning Trump’s actions and urging supporters to, “stay involved and continue to push for democratic institutions that embody love, equity and justice.” The Democratic Party of Sacramento retweeted their statement, later tweeting “Trumpism = terrorism.”
Not everyone was so quick to call for Trump’s removal, however. Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost retweeted, “The Capitol riots are wrong. But the Trump critics using this as proof that every criticism they’ve ever lobbed at Trump/his supporters has been validated is absurd.” Her office respond to a request to comment with, “[Supervisor Frost] retweets many things, but that doesn’t mean she takes the same stance as that tweet.” Frost also made a statement on her Facebook page condemning the attack on the capitol, but stood by her conservative views. In that statement, she said, “I unequivocally denounce those who stormed the US Capitol in a violent protest of the election. I have denounced every violent protest, regardless of whether the protesters are socialists or conservatives. But I’m not embarrassed to be an American or a conservative – because the violent protesters who stormed the US Capitol don’t represent America, conservatives, or me.” According to Statista, nearly half of all Republicans support the attack on the Capitol.
Fellow County Supervisor Phil Serna, in a starkly different tone, posted on Facebook “I sincerely want to know… how can you seriously defend Donald Trump and the Republican Party?” Serna was recently embroiled in controversy over a Facebook post where he called Trump supporters “traitors,” saying they were “dead to [him].” The Sacramento County Deputies Union hit back, calling for an investigation over his use of rhetoric. Serna, with the backing of progressive leaders such as Councilmember Valenzuela, doubled down, with Serna posting, “I feel very strongly about our Democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law, and the sacred responsibility voters give to those of us fortunate enough to serve and lead… It is my responsibility to speak out. My constituents deserve to know how I feel about something so important.”