Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, was safe at an undisclosed location following Wednesday’s storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump as Congress was preparing to certify the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Ruiz is “safe and following safety protocols,” said Hernan Quintas, Ruiz’s spokesman.
The announcement came as local supporters of the president plan to gather at 3 p.m. in the area of El Paseo and Portola Avenue in Palm Desert, according to Joy Miedecke, president of East Valley Republican Women Federated, who said her group is not organizing the event.
The gathering will not be a drive-up event like recent ones across the Coachella Valley, she said.
Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Deanna Pecoraro had no immediate comment regarding the Palm Desert gathering.
The unrest at the U.S. Capitol began shortly after Trump spoke to hundreds of supporters who gathered in Washington, D.C., on the day Congress was set to certify the Nov. 3 election results and proclaim Democrat Joe Biden as the victor.
Trump has vociferously insisted that voter fraud led to his defeat in the election, though his multiple legal challenges in various states have been rejected due to lack of evidence. Officials in states across the country, including the Republican election officials in the battleground state of Georgia, have flatly denied any impropriety in the election.
As Trump supporters marched through the streets of Washington, D.C., the group made its way to the Capitol complex, clashing with Capitol Police and ultimately breaching the building, entering the seat of Democracy without any security screening. The Senate and House chambers were cleared as police tried to restore order.
Trump took to Twitter in response to the insurrection, writing, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
He later posted a video message urging people to leave the Capitol building, but continued to press his unfounded claims of election fraud and that the election was stolen from him.
“You have to go home now,” he said. “We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt. … There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us, from you and our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special. … Go home and go home in peace.”
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