Attorney General Rutledge responds to Capitol riots; comments on calls for Rep. Rick Crawford to step down

Attorney General Rutledge responds to Capitol riots; comments on calls for Rep. Rick Crawford to step down
Rutledge reacted to the violent protests at the Capitol Wednesday. (Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Attorney General Leslie Rutledge Tweeted her disapproval at the incidents which took place on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

She tells us that the destruction and violence that took place was unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

“I was certainly sad to see individuals and criminals breaking the law and infiltrating the United States Capitol and destroying property, lives being lost,” Rutledge said.

Those lives include four rioters and Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

This comes following the evacuation of the Senate chamber as supporters of President Donald Trump roamed the halls of the Capitol.

“We cannot tolerate this sort of destruction and violence,” Rutledge said. “I think it’s time for leaders of all parties to say no more violent protests.”

A total of 13 people are facing criminal charges after the violent protest, including Richard Barnett, a Gravette man who went viral for allegedly sitting at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk. He was arrested Friday and is facing charges of “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and theft of public money, property, or records.”

“He certainly needs to face charges for breaking into the Capitol, destroying that property,” Rutledge said. “Some of the things that we have learned about this man are not very representative of Arkansans, are not very representative of Americans.”

Rutledge, a longtime supporter of President Trump, also said Rep. Rick Crawford shouldn’t step down, after he was the only Arkansas representative to vote in favor of the electoral objection.

“I don’t see a need for that to happen,” Rutledge said. “I’m not going to comment on that, I think all of our representatives voted their own conscience and how Representative Crawford voted and -- Representative here in the first district -- I think that’s for the people of the first district to decide in 2022.”

Rutledge has received some pushback over her comments, with some saying her support of President Trump helped incite the actions seen on Wednesday.

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