Ethics Investigations Into Members Of Congress Involved In Jan. 6 Demanded
A new letter that was signed so far by over three dozen former members of the House calls for investigations by the Office of Congressional Ethics into currently serving members of the House who were involved in the events of January 6.
That list doesn’t only include those suspected of ties to participants in that day’s mob violence. As outlined in the publicly available missive, Republican members of Congress helping challenge the results from what was then the recently concluded presidential election shared a common purpose with those attacking the building and searching for top officials. Even after the violence, many Republicans still voted against accepting key electoral votes establishing Biden’s win, although months of court challenges preceded that vote during which judges repeatedly upheld the legitimacy of that victory. In Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and other states, litigation challenging the outcome of the 2020 presidential election failed. Numerous steps were also already taken at that point outside the judicial system to confirm the election’s security.
The letter from the former members of the House notes among those about whom signatories are concerned the members of Congress who were in contact with Trump or his political team in developing plans to challenge the presidential election results. Weeks after January 6 and just days before Biden’s inauguration, Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) pushed Mark Meadows — serving at that time as White House chief of staff — for the outgoing president to impose martial law. Outside of that individual example, some Republican legislators involved in developing challenges to the results even met at the White House. Others coordinated with Meadows about strategy. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), for instance, spoke with him via text about the possibility of state legislators supporting slates of electoral votes for Trump in states that Biden won.
“We now know, for example, that sitting lawmakers corresponded and met with White House officials and allies to plot various prongs of the campaign, including to advocate that the president declare martial law; that states submit false certificates of electoral votes to Congress; that the vice president, in contravention of his constitutional duties, interfere with the counting of electoral votes; and that federal law enforcement authorities be enlisted to interfere with the election; among other startling facts,” the letter states. “We also now know that various sitting lawmakers sought presidential pardons. These lawmakers stopped short of storming the Capitol themselves. But they shared a common goal with those who did: to prevent the lawful transfer of power for the first time in the Republic’s history. As with those who stormed the Capitol, they must be held accountable.”
These past members of the House also spoke about the precedents broken by those involved in the push to undermine the 2020 election. The Office of Congressional Ethics is an independent federal entity handling allegations of House members’ misconduct, and the letter asks for support from current members in pushing for an investigation by that team. Those involved with the letter are still accepting new signatures.