LINCOLN — Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson has joined 50 attorneys general in condemning last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The letter, which was inspired by a group of four attorneys general including Peterson, was sent Wednesday to the acting U.S. Attorney General. It stated that such criminal conduct cannot be allowed to go unchecked.
“We, the undersigned state attorneys general, are committed to the protection of public safety, the rule of law, and the U.S. Constitution,” wrote the coalition, made up of attorneys general from states, territories and the District of Columbia. “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.”
The riot resulted in the deaths of five people, including a Capitol police officer, the letter stated, and “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 letter continued. “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.”
Peterson, at a press conference Tuesday, said he was in the process of working on such a bipartisan letter last week when he learned that a fundraising wing of the Republican Attorneys General Association — of which he is a member — had sent out robocalls a day before the violent riot at the Capitol urging “patriots” to march on the Capitol and “stop the steal.”
Peterson has condemned the robocalls, and had issued a statement condemning the invasion of the Capitol while it was underway on Jan. 6. He and several other GOP attorneys general said they were unaware that the association’s fundraising affiliate had engaged in promoting the protest.
The executive director of the attorneys general group has since resigned, and members of the organization, including Peterson, have said it appears that a staff member authorized the robocalls without permission.