WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine, along with Colorado AG Phil Weiser, Idaho AG Lawrence Wasden, and Nebraska AG Doug Peterson, today co-led a bipartisan coalition of 50 Attorneys General and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) condemning the January 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol in the District of Columbia. In a letter to Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen, the state and territory Attorneys General denounce last week’s violence, calling it “a very dark day in America.” The Attorneys General urge AG Rosen to make clear that such actions will not go unchecked.
“Our responsibility as Americans is to defend democracy and the institutions of government that uphold it—certification of a presidential election at the U.S. Capitol is at the heart of this,” said AG Racine. “I’m proud to lead this bipartisan coalition of 50 Attorneys General standing up for our democracy, the rule of law, and the peaceful transition of power. Now is the time for leaders of all political stripes to speak out and stand up for our Constitution and democratic institutions.”
AG Racine is currently serving as the 2021 president of NAAG and in December announced an initiative focused on combatting hate and extremism. The letter stems from this initiative, as well as efforts by state AGs throughout the summer and fall to protect the integrity of the 2020 elections.
Fifty out of 56 state and territorial Attorneys General joined the letter. This bipartisan coalition of Attorneys General writes:
“We, the undersigned state attorneys general, are committed to the protection of public safety, the rule of law, and the U.S. Constitution. We are appalled that on January 6, 2021, rioters invaded the U.S. Capitol, defaced the building, and engaged in a range of criminal conduct—including unlawful entry, theft, destruction of U.S. government property, and assault. Worst of all, the riot resulted in the deaths of individuals, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, and others were physically injured. Beyond these harms, the rioters’ actions temporarily paused government business of the most sacred sort in our system—certifying the result of a presidential election.
We all just witnessed a very dark day in America. The events of January 6 represent a direct, physical challenge to the rule of law and our democratic republic itself. Together, we will continue to do our part to repair the damage done to institutions and build a more perfect union. As Americans, and those charged with enforcing the law, we must come together to condemn lawless violence, making clear that such actions will not be allowed to go unchecked.”
A PDF file of the letter is available at: https://oag.dc.gov/sites/default/files/2021-01/NAAG-Letter-Capitol-Violence.pdf
AG Racine is joined by Attorneys General from the states and territories of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Holding Lawbreakers Accountable for the Attack on the Capitol
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is working closely with local and federal law enforcement partners to ensure all those who participated in or caused last week’s attack in the District are held accountable. OAG is investigating and can bring criminal charges against individuals for curfew violations, disorderly conduct—including for inciting violence, crossing police lines, as well as certain weapon and ammunition-related offenses. Other offenses are prosecuted by the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Members of the public who have information about potential criminal activity should submit a tip to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Submit a tip to the FBI by filling out a complaint online at FBI.gov/uscapitol. Submit a tip to MPD by calling (202) 727-9099 or texting 50411.
AG Racine’s 2021 NAAG Presidential Initiative Countering Hate
In December, AG Racine became the 2021 President of NAAG—a non-partisan group of 56 state and territory Attorneys General—and announced his presidential initiative entitled, The People v. Hate: Standing Up for Humanity. To increase awareness of and build resilience to hate, this year AG Racine hosted virtual discussions between District residents and community partners on topics such as Combating Hate and Extremism, Stopping the Spread of Violence and COVID-19, Hearing from DC Youth on Combating Hate and Discrimination, and Standing Against Bullying, Harassment, and Hate. In partnership with Project Create, OAG launched a D.C. youth art competition called Artists v. Hate: Standing Up for Humanity, to empower D.C. youth to stand up against hate, promote social justice, and inspire change through art.
AG Racine’s Leadership Defending Democracy
This year, OAG’s Office of the Solicitor General has actively worked to defend the voices of American voters. He successfully led the coalition of 23 Attorneys General opposing the Texas AG’s baseless effort to invalidate 2020 election results in key battleground states. He also led multistate coalitions opposing unfair voting restrictions against returning citizens in Florida, North Carolina, and Minnesota. In the leadup the election, AG Racine spearheaded coalitions to protect voting access in Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and two Texas cases, and defending deadline extensions for mail-in ballots in Minnesota and North Carolina. He also secured a preliminary injunction stopping U.S. Postal Service cuts that threatened the right to vote for millions of Americans planning to vote by mail during the pandemic.