OLYMPIA, Wash. — During the chaos Wednesday in Washington, D.C., dozens of President Donald Trump’s supporters in Olympia broke away from a rally in front of the Capitol, pushed through the security gates of the Governor’s Mansion, and were able to storm through the grounds to the front door.
Troopers with the Washington State Patrol typically guard the front gates and the lawn of the Mansion, but the two troopers who were there were quickly overwhelmed by the angry crowd.
Protesters, some of who were armed, demanded to confront Inslee about the mandated lockdowns and unfounded claims that state elections were fraudulent.
Troopers believed it was the first mass breach of the secure grounds by a protest in the Mansion’s 112 year history. Typically, anyone attempting to climb the guarded fence has been arrested and charged with criminal trespassing.
“We pay for this mansion, so yeah we’re taking it over,” said a man with a bullhorn over chants of “Whose house? Our house!” “You do not get to keep your authority when you take our rights,” said another man on the porch of the Mansion, where a single trooper guarded the door, until several more arrived.
Authorities eventually got the situation under control, and urged protesters to leave without damaging more than the broken gate at the end of the driveway.
“The Governor and his family are safe and in a secure location,” said Sgt. Darren Wright with the Washington State Patrol. When asked why there was a lack of security at the Mansion, Wright said the incident is being reviewed. “We had resources staged and it just took a little bit to get there but as you saw the resources did arrive reasonably quickly,” he said.
Troopers said protesters did not access the interior of the Mansion.
Washington State Patrol gave an update after protesters broke through the gates of the governor’s mansion. Watch the video below.
Later Wednesday evening, Inslee responded from the Mansion, saying in part: “First, I just want to say that Trudi and I are at the residence tonight, and we’re doing just fine. Thank you to all those who expressed concern, but we are doing quite well. Thank you.”
“Today has been a very tumultuous day for Americans and Washingtonians, for obvious reasons.”
“On a day in our nation’s capital, where we were to effectuate the most important act of our democracy — the peaceful transfer of power — was forcefully interrupted by those who refuse to accept verdicts of the people, the courts and the truth itself.”
“Here in our capital, on a day that was to be dedicated to preparing for the opening day of our legislative session so that we could address our challenges, including the pandemic, that work was forcefully interrupted by similar acts of attempted intimidation.
But I have good news to share with my fellow Washingtonians.”
“Those acts of intimidation will not succeed in any way, shape or form. We will continue the work we are doing to protect the health of Washingtonians. In D.C., Congress will follow the will of the American people and take yet another step on the long march to protecting people’s right to self-government that has so far succeeded through centuries of frequent tension in our politics.”
Protester Daniel Miller, who came to Olympia from Friday Harbor was satisfied in the statement the protesters made. “As long as we left, I think no harm done,” he said. “And I think it got the point across.”