A second West Virginia Republican lawmaker who traveled to the U.S. Capitol to support the overthrow of Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory said in a radio interview Monday that he hoped President Donald Trump would “call us back” .
State Senator Mike Azinger told the broadcast channel that crowds loyal to Trump were “inspiring and patriotic.”
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“I think the president laid out the purpose of the mission,” he added, speaking to West Virginia Metro News. “It was to pressure Republican congressmen to challenge the electoral votes.”
Azinger was among more than a dozen lawmakers from at least nine states who joined crowds that descended on Washington last Wednesday to support the baseless claim that the election was stolen. It is known that only one lawmaker entered Capitol Hill and has since been charged with a crime and resigned. Others said they participated peacefully.
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It was not clear how far Azinger had progressed in the march to the Capitol that day. Still, he called the Capitol scene “peaceful” and described seeing crowds waving flags and people seated on the steps of the Capitol, well beyond the original security perimeter which was quickly overrun by. the rioters.
“Our president called us in DC,” said Azinger, who did not return an email requesting comment. “I hope he reminds us.”
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“I hope and pray that West Virginians have good judgment in what they do,” West Virginia Republican Governor Jim Justice said of the potential for violence at protests outside his own state. “I’m sure there will be (a) heightened alert. ”
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In northern Virginia, two Loudoun County officials on Monday called the Republican State Del. Dave LaRock to step down for joining the crowd last Wednesday in Washington. LaRock said last week that the protesters were peaceful, with the exception of “one small element that likely infiltrated this patriotic group in an attempt to incite violence.”
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He and two other Virginia Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence last Tuesday asking him to overturn the presidential election results in Virginia, a state Biden won by 10 percentage points.
Elsewhere, new Republican Colorado State Representative Ron Hanks told a local radio station last week that he arrived for Trump’s Ellipse rally outside the White House early this Wednesday morning. violence. The president took the opportunity to urge supporters to “fight like hell”.
Hanks said he then walked with supporters to the U.S. Capitol. “I was a little surprised to see people already on the scaffolding, with the Trump flag, etc.,” he told Heart of the Rockies Radio.
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“In terms of violence, two of us went to the back of the building, where the next meeting was supposed to be held,” he said, “and at that point the people had already entered the building.
Azinger blamed extreme left elements on social media for misrepresenting what was “a distinctly American display” of the First Amendment on January 6. The Associated Press reported that more than 120 people facing criminal charges or identified during the riots are avid Trump fans, not leftist activists.
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“I have people on Facebook who send a picture of me with my boys outside the Capitol. They’re sending her to the FBI to try and get me to be handcuffed, ”Azinger said, without giving further details.
The State of West Virginia, Del. Derrick Evans, resigned last Saturday, a day after federal prosecutors accused him of entering the U.S. Capitol. He had aired live with a crowd of Trump supporters. His resignation letter said he had taken full responsibility for his actions and regretted “any injury, pain or embarrassment I may have caused.”
If found guilty, he faces up to a year and a half in federal prison for two felony charges for entering a restricted area and for disorderly conduct.
Associated Press editors John Raby in Charleston, West Virginia and Alan Suderman in Richmond, Virginia contributed to this report.
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