As the nation hears the revelations of Congressional hearings on the fatal January 6, 2021, attack at the United States Capitol — under which then-President Trump was surrounded by aides who told him there was no evidence of voter fraud and that his plan to have Vice President Mike Pence destroy the election results was illegal — voters must remember that 147 congressmen complicit in the coup attempt.
These eight senators and 139 members of the House were in the Capitol that day because the voters elected them to run our representative democracy. And yet they scandalously defied the will of American voters by refusing to confirm Joe Biden’s election. Voters must hold them accountable for this betrayal.
When members of Congress met that day, Trump’s claims of rampant voter fraud had already been shown to be nonsense. The attorney general had found no evidence of it. Dozens of judges had ruled against Trump’s allies in lawsuits challenging the election results. Two recounts in Georgia and another in Wisconsin had already… confirmed Biden’s victory in those states.
So the one-quarter of members of Congress who voted against confirming the Pennsylvania and/or Arizona electoral votes made a conscious decision to amplify Trump’s “big lie.” It is especially embarrassing that these members perpetuated Trump’s false narrative even as it propelled violent mobs to storm the Capitol.
Hearings now underway in Washington have only bolstered the case that Trump’s plot was nothing less than a multiple attempt to overthrow free and fair elections. Anyone who took part in it poses a threat to democracy and should have no role in government.
Not all Republicans have betrayed American voters by refusing to confirm the election, but voters should pack those who did. Among the 11 Republicans in the California delegation, seven voted against to certify it. Six of them are seeking reelection this year (the seventh, Rep. Devin Nunes, resigned late last year†
Rep. Ken Calvert of Corona: Calvert, the longest-serving California Republican in Congress, was elected in 1992 and represents a district in Riverside County. He won 48% of the vote in this month’s primaries and faces a credible reelection challenge in Nov. Democrat Will Rollins, a former federal prosecutor, is backed by former Senator Barbara Boxer in an effort to turn the chair.
Rep. Mike Garcia from Santa Clarita: Garcia, who was elected in 2020 after Democratic Rep. Katie Hill stepped down, has proven in his short tenure to be a Trump enabler and a threat to democracy. The race to represent this swing district that encompasses Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley will be one of the most competitive in the country as Garcia takes on Democrat Christy Smith, a level-headed centrist who The Times has endorsed†
Rep. Darrell Issa of Bonsall: One of the richest members of Congress, Issa has represented northern San Diego County for the past 20 years. He looks to be on his way to an easy re-election this year, with over 60% of the vote in the primaries.
Rep. Doug LaMalfa of Richvale: LaMalfa also looks set for reelection, with 57% of the vote in a rural, conservative district stretching from the suburbs of Sacramento to the Oregon border.
Bakersfield Representative Kevin McCarthy: As the Republican leader of the House, McCarthy is poised to become the speaker if the GOP gains control of the House this year. although he said publicly in the days following the Jan. 6 attack that Trump “bears responsibility” for inciting the Capitol assailants, he later changed his tune and has refused to cooperate with the committee investigation into the attack. McCarthy is a powerful political fundraiser, winning 59% support in the primaries.
Rep. Jay Obernolte of Big Bear Lake: Trump backed Obernolte about his far-right opponent in 2020. Obernolte won more than 60% of the vote in his San Bernardino County district.
These congressmen put loyalty to Trump and his lies above loyalty to the American people and respect for the country’s rule of law. If voters don’t hold them accountable for their shameful vote on Jan. 6, 2021, there is a risk that they will allow for more brutal attacks on democracy in the future.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times†