WASHINGTON (WDVM) – Just days after the House voted to fire former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to the Justice Department for interfering in the investigation into the Jan.6 insurgency, a senator from Virginia says there is still not enough being done to protect lawmakers on the Hill, but also to protect democracy itself.
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has said a number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill are unwilling to acknowledge the attacks for fear of repercussions from pro-Trump members of their party. Senator Kaine told the media that there are members of the GOP, including elected members of the Senate and the House, who are trying to “coat and rewrite” what happened on January 6 and are trying to minimize its importance.
“Some of them know better, but they try to do it because they are afraid of Donald Trump.”
Senator Tim Kaine on GOP members refusing to “downplay” the January 6 insurgency.
Senator Kaine also expressed his dissatisfaction with the commission created to investigate the incident and its cause, calling it a “scrupulously bipartisan commission”.
“It was made up equally of Democrats and Republicans and they even carefully drafted the rules of the commission so that no documents or witnesses could be called to appear unless there was a majority of members of the commission who wish it, that is to say if there would have been to be a little bipartisan, ”explained Senator Kaine. “We voted on this commission in the Senate. Under current Senate rules, 60 votes are needed to pass a law, and no more than 7 Republicans would. “
While he acknowledged the increase in security measures on the hill, he says the larger issue comes down to voting rights and calls on members of the Republican Party to stand up and voice their true opinions rather than back down in front of pro-Trump members of their party.
“They have sort of retreated into a position of fear of Donald Trump, of fear of the Donald Trump wing of their own party, and they are no longer willing to acknowledge what happened,” the senator said. Kaine. “But if one side doesn’t stand up to protect democracy, that doesn’t absolve Democrats from doing so.”
Senator Kaine went on to explain that he believed the rhetoric expressed by Trump after the election was the cause of the insurgency. He says the lack of a peaceful transition of power continued the restrictive voting laws introduced across the country.
“The same big lie that’s being repeated in state legislatures across the country to weaken people’s right to vote to pose different barriers for different types of people, depending on who they might vote, to selectively audit jurisdictions even for empower partisan legislatures to take away election officials’ ability to call the winner, ”said Senator Kaine. “All of these things are driven by the same big lie that led to the January 6 attack.”
Senator Kaine then explained that he believed the only way to guarantee democracy was to vote. He said the Constitution is only “words on paper” but that the vote is the “ultimate guarantor of our democracy”.
“The real steps that must be taken to protect against such an attack are to ensure the rights of people to participate in a democracy and to remove those who would intentionally weaken or degrade the integrity of our elections, such as President Trump. has done so throughout his tenure, ”said Senator Kaine.