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GOP representative: Some Republicans voted to challenge election results due to safety concerns

Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) said that while some GOP members of Congress "share responsibility" for misleading the supporters of President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, others feared physical violence if they opposed objections to the 2020 election results. 

"They were being lied to. They were being misled," he said of the demonstrators. "Some of my colleagues in Congress, they share responsibility for that. Many of them were fundraising off of this Stop the Steal grift."

But other Republicans, he argued in an interview with the libertarian magazine Reason, "had legitimate concerns about the safety of their families. They felt that that vote would put their families in danger."

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Those lawmakers, he said, knew in their "heart of hearts that they should've voted to certify" but voted to support objections to the results of election results in Pennsylvania and Arizona due to fears that members of their families could face retaliation.

Meijer, who occupies the seat held by former Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashRepublicans eye primaries in impeachment vote Michigan GOP lawmaker says he's 'strongly considering' impeachment Newly sworn in Republican House member after Capitol riot: 'I regret not bringing my gun to D.C.' MORE (I-Mich.), who left the Republican Party after voting for the president's impeachment, went on to say that Trump's "unwillingness to come to grips with reality" continued to perpetuate the problem and made him "rankly unfit" for office.

Lawmakers have excoriated the president for his remarks praising the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday while seeking answers as to why a violent mob was able to overwhelm Capitol Police and vandalize the building.

Numerous Democrats, including the party's congressional leadership, have called for the president to resign or be removed from office, while some Republicans in both chambers have joined the calls as well.