Editor: The seditious assault on democracy, desecration of the U.S. Capitol and murder of a Capitol Police officer by supporters of President Donald Trump on Jan. 6 was one of the darkest days in American history.
Like most patriotic Americans, I make little distinction between people who only gathered for a rally under the provably false pretense of a stolen election and those who actively rampaged in the Capitol building.
It was with great dismay, then, that I read Del. Dave LaRock’s disingenuous statement in which he bizarrely compared the insurrection to racial justice marches this past summer while claiming it was “highly likely” that those who attacked the Capitol were “paid provocateurs sent in to taint an otherwise orderly protest” (arrests since last week have proven otherwise). Then, as if to double down on his own culpability in this attack on our democracy, LaRock had the audacity just hours after Congress certified Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as winners of the election to post on social media a letter he sent to Vice President Mike Pence demanding Virginia’s lawfully awarded electoral votes not be counted.
Everyone who attended the “Save America” rally, including Del. LaRock, perpetuated the lie that the U.S. election results weren’t valid. The election has been repeatedly affirmed or certified by the states, the courts, President Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice, and now the U.S. Congress. It is unconscionable that any elected official would continue to assert otherwise.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits any elected official who has taken an oath to support the U.S. Constitution, from “engag(ing) in insurrection.” The amendment explicitly applies to state elected officials. Section 7 of Article IV of the Virginia Constitution prescribes the expulsion of elected officials who engage in “disorderly conduct.”
LaRock has spent two months baselessly sowing doubt about the integrity of the election on his social media accounts and at local rallies. As one of his constituents, I maintain this behavior alongside his presence at the insurrection and his tone-deaf deflection about those responsible for the violence and rioting disqualify him from continuing to serve as an elected official. He should take a cue from disgraced West Virginia Del. Derick Evans, who resigned after participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection, and immediately step down from the Virginia House of Delegates for his involvement. If he doesn’t, the House of Delegates should expel him.
Ryan Donmoyer, Purcellville