SPONSORED:

At least 6 GOP legislators took part in Trump-inspired protests

At least six Republican state legislators from across the nation participated in events surrounding the attempted insurrection at the United States Capitol on Wednesday.

News reports and social media posts showed at least one of the legislators, West Virginia Del. Derrick Evans (R), was among the violent mob that broke into the Capitol building. Evans, who was only recently sworn into office, posted a video of himself entering the building.

“We’re gong in,” he says in the video, in which he is wearing a helmet. He later deleted the post.

ADVERTISEMENT

Other Republicans who participated in an earlier rally, in which President TrumpDonald TrumpProject Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report Cheney: Fox News has 'a particular obligation' to refute election fraud claims The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE incited his supporters to violence, said they had not entered the Capitol building. Several condemned the violence wrought by the pro-Trump insurgents, and falsely tried to blame other groups.

“Just a whole heck of a lot of patriots here,” Tennessee state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R) told The Tennessean. “We never experienced any violence.”

Weaver tweeted an image of the unruly mob at the base of the Capitol’s West Front.

Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase (R) falsely denied that any violence had taken place. Chase, who has called for the institution of martial law in the face of a free and fair election that her party lost, accused Capitol Police officers of murder in the shooting death of a California woman inside the Capitol building in a post on Facebook.

Missouri state Rep. Justin Hill (R) skipped his own swearing-in ceremony to attend the rally at the Ellipse. Hill is a former police officer; he marched with protestors to the Capitol, though he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he did not enter the building.

ADVERTISEMENT

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) organized a busload of protesters from Chambersburg, Pa., to Washington for the rally. He was later photographed outside the Capitol building, though he said in a video on Facebook he had not participated in the violent clashes.

“At no point did we enter the Capitol building, at no point did we tread upon the Capitol steps, and at no point did we tread upon police lines,” Mastriano said in comments reported by WHTM, Harrisburg’s ABC affiliate. “Obviously, we’re there together and we don’t want to get caught in any violence, so we left out of there.”

He called the violence committed by Trump supporters at Trump’s behest “repugnant, disgusting and threatening.”

Michigan state Rep. Matt Maddock (R) addressed a group of protesters at the Capitol building. His wife Meshawn Maddock, who is running to co-chair the Michigan Republican Party, told the crowd “We never stop fighting.” A prominent Michigan Republican activist, Dennis Lennox, called on Michigan Republicans to reject Meshawn Maddock’s candidacy.

Democrats in state capitals and in Washington called on the Republicans who participated in the rally-turned-riot to resign.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Any Republican legislator who took part in yesterday’s insurrection, in Washington, D.C. or anywhere else in the country, should resign immediately,” said Jessica Post, who heads the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. “Yesterday was a stain on our country’s history and a dangerous affront to democracy — all those involved have no place making laws."

State capitals have been the scenes of menacing and at times violent protests in recent months, first against restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic and then following President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFauci says school should be open 'full blast' five days a week in the fall Overnight Defense: Military sexual assault reform bill has votes to pass in Senate l First active duty service member arrested over Jan. 6 riot l Israeli troops attack Gaza Strip Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart MORE’s victory over Trump. Governors and legislative leaders have been targeted and harassed, events that seemed to presage Wednesday’s violence in Washington, where a noose was erected on the Capitol complex.

The FBI broke up a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerCompany continues operating pipeline through Michigan despite governor's order Michigan Republican offers bill to fine fact-checkers for errors Michigan to end remote work after reaching 55 percent vaccination rate MORE (D) last year. On Wednesday, a group of protesters in Salem burned an effigy of Oregon Gov. Kate BrownKate Brown74 people linked to COVID-19 outbreak at Oregon church Businesses sue Oregon governor over COVID-19 restrictions White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states MORE (D), and a group of rioters jumped a fence at Washington’s governor’s mansion in Olympia. Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWashington bans open carry of weapons at state capitol, public protests Washington state to provide free menstrual hygiene products in school bathrooms Cuomo signs legislation restoring voting rights to felons upon release from prison MORE (D) was moved to a secure location.

None of the legislators responded immediately to requests for comment about the violent riots inspired by Trump, or whether they had any evidence of voter fraud that has not been thoroughly debunked.

 

Updated at 2:05 p.m.