Ricketts: U.S. Capitol riot underscores need for election investigation, keeping ‘America first’

State security on alert for Sunday; Nebraska AG to join call for full prosecution of U.S. Capitol protesters
President Trump and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts
President Trump and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts(AP / WOWT)
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 1:01 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said during his news conference Monday morning that the riot at the U.S. Capitol last week shows there’s a lot of people who are still skeptical about the election results and a lot of “middle-class folks” who are unhappy about U.S. policies that don’t put “America first.”

The comments came in response to a question about what Ricketts thought provoked Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol. The governor said Congress should take steps to ensure election integrity, and he reiterated his support of forming a commission to investigate the country’s election processes.

He also said the riot demonstrated that there’s a lot of “middle-class folks” who are unhappy about “how the country is going,” and that they’re looking to the government to set policies that prioritize America first and create jobs for Americans, noting President Trump’s success in moving manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

Ricketts said he was aware of handbills and flyers going around from a national group calling on protesters to demonstrate at state capitals on Sunday.

“Certainly we will take the appropriate precautions here in the state capital,” he said.

In calling for any such protests to remain peaceful, the governor also made a parallel between the Black Lives Matter protests this summer and Wednesday’s breach of the U.S. Capitol:

“I encourage anybody who wants to protest to continue to do it peacefully — that’s the American way. The violence that we saw either at the (U.S.) Capitol last week or last summer is not the American way. That’s not how we protest here in this country. It needs to be peaceful.”

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said he was not aware of any Nebraskans who participated in the riot at the U.S. Capitol. He also said he was planning to join a bipartisan letter urging the U.S. Attorney to fully prosecute all offenders who did, but that he would leave it up to the Department of Justice and the FBI to determine through their investigation who was responsible and in what way.

That participation has largely been tracked through social media, including alternative social media platforms that have come under fire from the world’s largest tech companies, who have expelled many — including the president and certain supporters — from their stores and servers.

Gov. Ricketts said Monday that private companies are entitled to ban anyone on their platforms, “as long as they’re not discriminating against somebody (for) race, creed, color, that sort of thing.” But he said he thinks that as social media platforms exercise this option, it may open them up to facing “additional regulation” and more investigation.

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