Rep. Meijer: I experienced the heinous assault on Capitol; now, time to face reality

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2021/01/09/opinion-after-heinous-assault-time-reckon-reality/6599593002/

On Wednesday afternoon in the House Chamber, I assured a colleague we were in the most secure possible place as we unpacked gas masks.

Tear gas had been deployed after violent protestors stormed the rotunda, but as we took cover under bulletproof chairs I assured my colleague we would be fine. After all, there had been incidents in the past, but Capitol Police had maintained control over the seat of our democracy since 1814.

The mob then rushed the barricaded doors to the chamber, trying to break them down. The illusion of security, of the sanctity of our constitutional order, collapsed. With guns drawn, police ordered us to evacuate, leading to chaos as we fled down corridors and into the tunnels beneath Capitol Hill. Several times our group of lawmakers found ourselves alone, with no police escort, fearful of what threats might lie around the next corner.

I assured a colleague we were in the most secure possible place as we unpacked gas masks, Meijer writes.
 

We eventually took shelter in a committee hearing room, coming to grips with the appalling assault on our democracy we had suffered first-hand. Some rioters were armed, and at least one carried flex-cuffs to take hostages. Pipe bombs were discovered and neutralized. Outside the Capitol, a gallows with a noose for our necks had been assembled. It was clear Capitol Police had underestimated the threat, but they were not alone.

I was one of the few Republicans who had already acknowledged Joe Biden as president-elect, and earlier in the week I had joined a handful of GOP colleagues in noting our constitutional responsibility to certify the Electoral College results. We had seen calls on the far right for the vice president to pull an imaginary “Pence Card” and overturn the election results.

To the fringe, Vice President Mike Pence’s failure to seize fictional powers was tantamount to treason and there were suggestions Pence be put to death. While the Capitol was being assaulted by his supporters who were duped into believing the election was in fact a landslide victory and the true results could be overturned, Trump egged on these violent delusions.

Before the assault, Trump had addressed the crowd and urged his loyalists to march on the Capitol, “to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones … give them the pride and boldness they need to take back our country.”

They took something alright. Hours later, after the Capitol was cleared of insurrectionists, with windows shattered and the smell of tear gas lingering, the consequences of his dangerous lies became clear. As we moved to accept Arizona’s electors, a fellow freshman lingered near a voting terminal, voting card in hand.

My colleague told me that efforts to overturn the election were wrong, and that voting to certify was a constitutional duty. But my colleague feared for family members, and the danger the vote would put them in. Profoundly shaken, my colleague voted to overturn.

An angry mob succeeded in threatening at least one member of Congress from performing what that member understood was a constitutional responsibility.

Worse yet, while a dead woman’s blood dried mere feet from our chamber, other Republican colleagues doubled down, repeating lies of a stolen election, baselessly deflecting blame for the Capitol assault from Trump loyalists to Antifa, doing whatever they could to justify, equivocate, rationalize or otherwise avoid taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

Rep. Peter Meijer
 

Blood has been spilled, and those who encouraged this insurrection are in too deep.

Those of us who refused to cower, who have told the truth, have suffered the consequences. Republican colleagues who have spoken out have been accosted on the street, received death threats, and even assigned armed security.

I have been called a traitor more times than I can count. I regret not bringing my gun to D.C.

6 thoughts on “Rep. Meijer: I experienced the heinous assault on Capitol; now, time to face reality

  • “my colleague feared for family members, and the danger the vote would put them in. Profoundly shaken, my colleague voted to overturn.

    An angry mob succeeded in threatening at least one member of Congress from performing what that member understood was a constitutional responsibility.”

    That is the saddest part of all: no one should be threatened, much less have his family threatened, for doing his duty to the Constitution and voting his conscience.
    This is …

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Shira. I agree. Also if a legislator can not stand up to a maga thug, how can they stand up to a foreign governments intel agents? This shows how wrong our political system has gotten and the need to have a complete revamping of political rules / laws. How can we have congress people afraid to vote? How can we trust the vote of any of these people now? We already worry about them being bought by the big corporations or wealthy donors, but now we have to worry they are being blackmailed with threats to their family for their votes. How long has it been thought that Putin had something on tRump? How long have people talked that Putin / tRump had blackmail on Graham? It is an intolerable situation. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

        • Hello Shira. These politicians should feel comfortable going to the FBI or other law agencies. The problem is these same politicians are compromised, they have done illegal acts that they don’t want to come out, so they can not go to the police. In my opinion. Think of Ted Cruz trying to go to the capital police for help now? His actions got some of them killed. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

  • How many of our illustrious legislators have violated their oath of office, by choice.

    Federal law regulating oath of office by government officials is divided into four parts along with an executive order which further defines the law for purposes of enforcement. 5 U.S.C. 3331, provides the text of the actual oath of office members of Congress are required to take before assuming office. 5 U.S.C. 3333 requires members of Congress sign an affidavit that they have taken the oath of office required by 5 U.S.C. 3331 and have not or will not violate that oath of office during their tenure of office as defined by the third part of the law, 5 U.S.C. 7311 which explicitly makes it a federal criminal offense (and a violation of oath of office) for anyone employed in the United States Government (including members of Congress) to “advocate the overthrow of our constitutional form of government”. The fourth federal law, 18 U.S.C. 1918 provides penalties for violation of oath office described in 5 U.S.C. 7311 which include: (1) removal from office and; (2) confinement or a fine.

    I firmly believe our laws should be enforced. Being white cannot be a mitigating circumstance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Cagjr. I agree with you. I notice that the Joint Chiefs released a statement basically warning of the same thing to all military members. Our legislators have lost the idea of country and constituents first, the good of the nation should be foremost in their mind. However it seems most of them, Republican and corporates Democrats think their own wealth and power come before anything else. Hugs

      Like

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