Hours after a mob of President Trump‘s supporters overran police and stormed the U.S. Capitol Building, National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Charlie Oppler characterized the situation as an “assault” on America’s democratic principles and said he was shocked.
Oppler’s statement, issued Wednesday evening, noted that the “scenes we are watching unfold as a nation are shocking and leave us in disbelief.”
“America’s largest trade association stands with our democracy and our nation’s centuries-old observance of peaceful protests and the peaceful transfer of power,” Oppler continued. “What happened today at the U.S. Capitol was an assault on both.”
The comments referenced a chaotic an unprecedented riot around the U.S. Capitol building. As lawmakers convened to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, a large group of Trump supporters began clashing with police outside. The crowd eventually made it into the building, where the mob entered lawmakers’ offices and roamed freely through congressional chambers.
Lawmakers evacuated in response to the chaos. Images from the scene showed law enforcement pointing guns at a barricaded door, as well as political leaders taking shelter on the floor of the Capitol.
A woman was shot during the incident, and officials later said she had died.
Law enforcement regained control of the building by Wednesday evening. Police from surrounding areas eventually responded to the situation, and the local National Guard was activated. However, in a shocking revelation, the New York Times reported that Vice President Mike Pence was the one who actually okayed the National Guard deployment, not Trump.
Numerous lawmakers slammed Trump for fueling the violence. Sen. Mitt Romney called the events an “insurrection,” while Rep. Liz Cheney said Trump “incited the mob.” Both Romney and Cheney are Republicans.
In his statement Wednesday, Oppler called for calm and said that NAR supports law enforcement efforts “to restore safety to the city of Washington, D.C.”
“Members of Congress, their staff, Capitol Police Officers and workers at the U.S. Capitol today came under attack,” Oppler’s statement concluded. “These are scenes that should not stand in the United States of America and are no part of our fabric as a free, compassionate and tolerant people.”
In addition to Oppler, National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) President Doug Bibby also condemned Wednesday’s events.
“This afternoon’s abhorrent assault on the United States Capitol and on the underpinning institutions of our democracy must come to an end,” Bibby said in a statement Wednesday evening. “NMHC calls on lawmakers to live up to their oaths and certify the results of the 2020 election as soon as they can safely do so.”