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Romney offers scathing rebuke of rioters' attack on Capitol: 'What happened today was insurrection'

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyHouse formally sends impeachment to Senate, putting Trump on trial for Capitol riot Bernie Sanders has been most-followed member of Congress on social media for six years The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Focus on vaccine, virus, travel MORE (R-Utah) blasted President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE and his supporters in a statement released on Wednesday in response to the Capitol being breached and temporarily occupied by violent rioters.

“We gather today due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning. What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States," Romney said.

"Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. They will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history. That will be their legacy."

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New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin said Romney told him "This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection."

Multiple reporters in the Capitol had tweeted earlier that Romney shouted at his colleagues, "This is what you’ve gotten, guys," as they were moved to a more secure location after the mob stormed the building.

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The rioters had been seeking to prevent Congress from certifying President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBudowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit DC might win US House vote if it tries Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman inks deal with IMG Models MORE's Electoral College victory, to which multiple Republicans in both chambers have said they plan to object, despite little hope of changing the result.

“The objectors have claimed they are doing so on behalf of the voters. Have an audit, they say, to satisfy the many people who believe that the election was stolen. Please! No Congressional led audit will ever convince those voters, particularly when the President will continue to claim that the election was stolen. The best way we can show respect for the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth. That is the burden, and the duty, of leadership," Romney added in his statement.

The former GOP presidential nominee called for his fellow lawmakers not to be "intimidated" and encouraged them to fulfill their "constitutional duty."

Romney closed his statement by saying that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses McConnell: Power-sharing deal can proceed after Manchin, Sinema back filibuster Budowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit MORE (R-Ky.) "said that the vote today is the most important in his 40 plus years of public service. That is not because this vote reveals something about the election; it is because this vote reveals something about ourselves. I urge my colleagues to move forward with completing the electoral count, to refrain from further objections, and to unanimously affirm the legitimacy of the presidential election.”