In the wake of the protesting and rioting that took place at the nation’s capital on Wednesday, local political leaders shared their thoughts about the events that took place.

“To see the whole thing fall apart was one of the saddest times in my political life,” said former U.S. Sen. Al Simpson. “Seventy million people voted for (President Donald) Trump and most of them are law-abiding, but these bums were incited by him. They’ve been lied to by Trump every day since the election.”

Many thousands of people came to the rally in support of Trump’s effort to disprove the results of the November election won by Joe Biden, alleging claims of voter fraud and irregularities. At least one Cody family was in attendance, but asked to not be identified.

“It was absolutely the most disgusting, heartbreaking production I’ve ever seen in my life,” said former State Sen. Hank Coe. “It did its best to destroy the American values.”

More than 100 people breached the Capitol building, breaking windows in order to gain access to the interior where lawmakers inside were voting to certify the election results. The intruders were not completely removed from the building for around three hours, causing the Senators and Representatives to seek safety in an underground bunker and other secure locations.

“I’m saddened, angry and ashamed by what happened in D.C.,” said Park County Commissioner Chairman Lee Livingston in a Friday email. “I am proud to be from a part of America where respect is still in place.”

Kelly Tamblyn, chairwoman of the Park County Democrats, said unity is what this country now needs more than ever.

“How can we start building where our country needs to be and help us move forward? It’s really been scary,” she said.

Local rallying

On the same day as this event, Martin Kimmet, chairman of the Park County Republican Party, and others helped organize an informal rally that took place outside the Park County Courthouse on Wednesday to show support for Trump and his effort to challenge the November election results.

“It was to show support for Trump and try to get people aware of the fact irregularities took place in the election in contested states and to show support for the fact there should be an investigation into those results,” Kimmet said.

A number of Republican lawmakers called for an investigation of the election results.

“At this point it’s probably pretty hopeless,” rally participant Robin Berry said, “when people in charge of the laws are in violation of them. Our right of assembly is already being squashed.”

Berry said there were countless examples of irregularities and fraud that occurred on election day. Although thousands of these allegations have been levelled, courts have ruled that none would’ve changed the outcome of any election. A December Quinnipiac University poll found 77% of Republicans believe there was widespread fraud in the election – the same poll found 60% of Americans believe the election was fair and sound.

“This is what happens when a minority of Democrats attempt to usurp the majority of people in this country by voter fraud and refuse to allow the allegations to be investigated and proved,” Berry said in a Facebook post, referring to the events in Washington, D.C.

Although only about 20 people were in attendance in Cody, attendee Carol Armstrong said it was what the event symbolized that matters most. She said they were greeted by mostly support from passing drivers, honking their support during the warm and sunny day.

“We gathered for the Constitution,” she said, “more than anything for the Constitution and our democratic republic.

“We enjoyed ourselves and had lots of fun.”

Who or what to blame?

Kimmet and Armstrong criticized U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney for blaming Trump for inciting the rally.

“We just had a violent mob assault the Capitol in an attempt to prevent those from carrying out our constitutional duty,” Cheney posted on Twitter on Wednesday. “There is no question that the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame.”

Kimmet acknowledged a mob presence took over the event, but he also suspected that Black Lives Matter and Antifa, a militant left-wing anti-fascist and anti-racist political movement, played roles in the break-in. Armstrong said she believes these people were staged at points in the crowd.

“People infiltrated the crowd in an attempt to create a mob setting,” Kimmet said. “It was probably Antifa. There are videos of Antifa buses there and them being escorted in. I’m not the judge and jury, but it bears a lot of investigationary action unsteady of knee-jerk reaction.”

The F.B.I. has said there was no evidence of an Antifa presence in Wednesday’s riot. The Park County Republican Party issued a statement regarding the event in a letter written to Cheney, Sens. John Barasso and Cynthia Lummis on Sunday, imploring the lawmakers to refrain from inciting the 25th amendment to impeach Trump for his alleged role inciting the riot. It reads, “An otherwise peaceful protest of an estimated 500,000 people in which 100 or more individuals far exceeded their right to ‘peacefully assemble’ has been described as ‘insurrection’ that threatens to ‘dismantle our democracy.’”

The President gave a speech to rally goers on Wednesday and not once did he tell the audience to storm the Capitol building and sack congressional offices, although he did use phrasing such as, “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” in his speech.

At least five people died in the event, including a Capitol Hill Police officer.

Ninety people have been arrested in connection to or identified as being at the Capitol riot including two known supporters of the President who were heavily armed. Zip ties and pipe bombs were also found on suspects and at the Capitol building. Although most of those arrested were identified as Trump supporters not all have been. There was at least one confirmed Black Lives Matter activist in attendance at the rally.

Where to go from here?

Kimmet said he spoke with Barasso on the phone Friday but was not highly encouraged by what he had to say, although he said Barasso agreed with him that even though questions of election fraud are a “state’s rights issue, … he did not dispute something could be done in D.C. about it.”

“It was a pleasure getting to talk to him, but he’s a politician,” Kimmet said.

Simpson, who served in the Senate for 18 years during a time of less partisanship, said Trump did achieve some positive legislation while in office, but said the man did more to divide the country rather than unite. He is not hopeful unity will come to the capitol anytime soon.

“I’m tired of listening to both sides alarm the public,” he said. “There used to be respect on both sides of the aisle.”

He worked with Biden for many years in Washington during his time in the Senate including time they both served on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and does not find him to be an extremist.

“This is not the beginning of a socialist regime taking America to the pits,” he said.

Armstrong is not optimistic about a Biden presidency.

“It could hurt the country forever,” she said. “With his anti-fracking and fossil fuels agenda, it will put Wyoming out of work.”

(30) comments

Frank of America

If the election was rigged, was every vote for winning Republicans on the various ballots also fraudulent?

Frank of America

The election of Nov. 2020 was not stolen. There's been dozens of lawsuits without credible evidence, and multiple recounts verifying the outcome. Likewise BLM/antifa were not present at the sedition on 1/6. These are simply trumpaganda.

XMonkey

I'm not thrilled with a lot of things Donald Trump did and said, but I definitely give him an "E" for Effort in his fight against the Washington swamp, and think in many ways he was sincere about wanting the best for this country. But for over four years he (and Melania too) has endured h*ll from the trash media and other detractors, who sat by and watched people burning (including the flag), looting, attacking police and rioting, and now the same ones who did everything they could to ruin Trump and his goals for America and disrespect him as our President before the world are telling us it's time for "unity." Right.

PJ Roemich

hey it's the same ole' whackos!

P Demoney

Hmmm, can someone please point out where a Democratic leader was encouraging violence? Serious ask, if that info is out there I would like to see it.

XMonkey

So let's see... You're a teacher in the schoolyard and you see some kids spray painting the school, breaking windows and destroying classrooms, burning the U.S. flag on the playground, setting the seesaw on fire and destroying the other playthings, and beating up the school crossing guard, and you say nothing about it, don't tell them they're doing anything wrong, and don't try to stop it. There ya go! Nobody can point out that you were encouraging violence, right?

Freecitizen

P Demoney

Maxine Waters: “If you call it a riot, it sounds like it was just a bunch of crazy people who went out and did bad things for no reason. I maintain it was somewhat understandable, if not acceptable. So I call it a rebellion." Then there's this from her, though is originally attributed to MLK Jr: “Riot is the voice of the unheard.” Finally, though you didn't ask, there is the media justifying violence, as in The Washington Post: "Don't criticize BLM for provoking violence", or Chris Cuomo on CNN asking: "Since when did protesting have to be peaceful?". How nice. How prudent. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to show how wrong you are. Lefties are so easy.

Suzie

Didn’t you see what was happening last summer??? Liberal leaders watched their states and cities be vandalized by Antifa and rioters!

JustAGuyInCody

There's a ton of it out there. If you can't easily find it, you're wearing blinders. I'm not dismissing right wing nut job violence, but this garbage is coming from both sides.

Peake3

The Enterprise covered the 3 basics in this article: The has been's, want to be's and the nobodies. Good job!

yellowcat

Printing these debunked conspiracy theories without any correction makes The Cody Enterprise look like the rag it is.

CSense

It's funny how the the typical commenters here were up in arms that the Enterprise was speculating on the recent covid deaths. In fact, it was Covid. Yet none of those people seem to have a problem with the paper publishing unfounded speculations that black lives matter was involved with the Capitol attack without noting that there is zero evidence backing that up. BLM isn't blameless, but it doesn't deserve Republicans blaming their mess on them too...

jackdirt

I am happy to share in the Day of Electoral Epiphany insurrection (gibberish - whatever that means) , however these folks did not represent the majority of Republicans who supported Trump. I hope the folks who burned and looted dozens of businesses this summer did not represent the majority of the left. Trump will soon be gone and you and the rest of your ilk will soon have to hate someone / something else - find something else to do. In the interim I hope Biden can move forward in a positive direction and find something more productive to do than attack the previous administration. While that has been the focus for 4 years it's coming soon to an end and he will have to do something besides hide in the basement and hate Trump. Think the country should try to start finding some common ground and see what we can agree / work together on and get moving forward.

CSense

So after seeing crowds wearing Trump Maga gear storm the Capitol, many of whom were identified on video as Trump/QANON supporters and later arrested for their actions, the Park County Republican Party representative goes on record stating that they think the "black lives matter" movement is involved. Somebody needs to lay off Kool-aid. At least Liz Cheney has the guts to think for herself.

srparker37

Thumbs up

DeweyV

Sorry, if you support Trump, you very much owned your share of the Day of Electoral Epiphany insurrection at the US Capitol as well. They are conjoined. No excuses, no deflections, no denials, no doublespeak.

Bob In Park County

And if you support the Democrats you support abortion, the burning and looting of American cities and race wars. They are conjoined. No excuses, no deflections, no denials, no doublespeak.

XMonkey

Thumbs up. Thank you for saying it. How many months did rioting, looting, police-bashing and hatred prevail and the same people who sat back and watched it suddenly are appalled by the "other side" exhibiting that same assinine behavior?

DeweyV

Dear Bob - I am a registered Republican. Check the voter rolls ( they're public record ). You should also try to restrain yourself from conflating or deflecting issues being discussed , and making presumptions about others based on nothing you actually know aforehand.

Jim Jones

I'm not sorry I support Trump, Dewey. I own my share of patriots demonstrating at the Capitol protesting a stolen presidential election. According to you and the Left, I'm also racist, a bigot, a white supremacist, and worst of all, Catholic. I'm done arguing. I own it all. What are you going to do about it, cancel me? Let me know when you work up the courage to leave Mom's basement.

Bob In Park County

I have more respect for those that take their disagreement/issues directly to the seat of power then those who take out their disagreement/issues on businesses that played no part in the problem. I, for one, am glad to be living in Wyoming and pray our citizens maintain their friendly but independent lifestyle. We don’t need government handouts. We need to be free to prosper, as most of us have.

Freecitizen

Dewey, do you "own" Portland, Seattle, Kenosha, NYC weeks and sometimes months of vandalizing, burning, looting, and attempted murder of the occupants of a Federal Court House? Do you "own" the myriad of private businesses that were driven to out of business through mob-induced closures, or the 10's of thousands of small business owners deprived of their property, business opportunity and are now bankrupt? Was there ANYTHING they personally did that justifies what happened to them. Of course you don't own that. You weren't there. And I wasn't in Washington. Does Maxine Watters "own" telling people to harrass and persue members of the Republican party? Or, when she said “If you call it a riot, it sounds like it was just a bunch of crazy people who went out and did bad things for no reason. I maintain it was somewhat understandable, if not acceptable. So I call it a rebellion.” Huh. Her peeps were involved in a riot that she calls a rebellion. And that was good, because again, according to Maxine, “Riot is the voice of the unheard.” Chris Cuomo probably summed it up best when he said "Who said protests have to be peaceful?" That's as much incitement to violence as I've ever heard from anyone, much less the Media. Now, hat won't stop you from continuing to try to extract your pound of flesh from your fellow Codyites, though, will it? Another poster said that "we're playing by your rules now". I hate it and cannot believe we've sunk to it, but it is true. It's a bitter pill, but you really need to swallow.

Bob In Park County

Dewey, I never called you a Democrat. I responded to your comment. No need to apologize.

Bethantal

Just one more reason we are moving to Cody!

Freecitizen

Bethantal. Cody is a great place. We have our share of hateful and condecending folks, though. There are at least 6 of them.

hoss403

Yep. And they are all liberal.

Whatsup

And your one of the six free citizen

Whatsup

Stay home your better off no more implants needed

okthen

Please do! Hooray. It's why I moved away from Park County.

Jim Jones

What city has the misfortune to host you?

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