A newly-elected GOP lawmaker from Michigan is already turning on his voters, and says he is considering voting to impeach President Donald J. Trump.
“I would prefer that we have a more fulsome investigation into what happened. Most of what I know about January 6 came either from personal experience or from Twitter,” Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI-03) said on CNN’s program “Out Front,” hosted by Erin Burnett. “But at the end of the day, I think it is obvious that the President is no longer qualified to hold that office.”
He continued by saying that he will “wait to see the additional evidence presented, but again, this is something we’re strongly considering.”
Meijer, 33, is a member of the family that owns the Meijer supermarket chain, and took over the seat formerly held by Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party and retired from Congress amid public spats with Trump.
The neophyte congressman immediately sought to distance himself from the mostly peaceful protests in Washington, D.C. last week, wherein Trump supporters occupied the Capitol building. One woman was killed by police during the protests.
In an opinion piece in The Detroit News, Meijer portrayed himself a calm and stalwart force who faced down a dangerous mob:
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.
Those arrested after the protest have mostly been charged with property crimes, like “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.” Some have been charged with the slightly-more-serious “disorderly conduct” or “violent entry.”
Meijer also described Republican voters, many of whom have lingering questions about the integrity of the 2020 election, as “fringe.”
“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,” he said. “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.”
Meijer also repeated the half-truth that five people died as a result of the protests. Aside from the woman who was killed by police, three protestors died in unrelated medical emergencies. A fifth person, a police officer, died under circumstances that are still being investigated.
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