Since last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa) C’06 L’09 has taken the lead in denouncing the actions of those who stormed the Capitol and was also among the first to call for a removal of President Donald Trump from office.
“Every second Donald Trump holds the power of the presidency is a second in which he can hurt our communities or our governing institutions themselves,” Lamb told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s hard to come to grips with the fact that our president incited an armed attack on another branch of government just last week, but he did, and we must act.”
Lamb, a former Marine Corps officer and federal prosecutor, won the special election for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 18th District in 2018, defeating Republican state representative Rick Saccone in a district that voted heavily for President Trump in the 2016 election. He went on to run successful campaigns later that year and again in 2020 to represent the redrawn 17th District.
On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Lamb lay the blame for the attack squarely at the feet of Republicans.
“That attack today — it didn’t materialize out of nowhere,” he said. “It was inspired by lies — the same lies that you’re hearing in this room tonight. And the members who are repeating those lies should be ashamed of themselves. Their constituents should be ashamed of them.”
Lamb wasn’t in the Capitol during the siege because pandemic precautions limited the number of lawmakers permitted. He watched on television like many of us. In the aftermath, he was among the members of Congress who have been briefed about ongoing threats against the Capitol regarding Inauguration Day. From the briefing, he finds “the intentionality of the planning” most disturbing.
“And this is pretty specific in terms of dates, numbers of people, weaponry, rules of engagement,” Lamb told NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly. “That was probably the one that jumped out at me the most because protesters don’t use rules of engagement. Hostile forces do. And that tells you what we’re dealing with here.
Lamb has also spoken to the racial overtones surrounding the attack.
“Invaders came in for the first time since the war of 1812. They desecrated these halls,” he said on the House floor, and added, “for the most part, they walked in here free. A lot of them walked out free. And there wasn’t a person watching at home who didn’t know why that was: because of the way that they look.”
Lamb grew up in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County. After graduating from Penn in 2006 with a BA in political science, he earned his JD from the Law School in 2009.