Republican Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan said in a Sunday interview that members of his party who stormed the Capitol on January 6 had ‘riot envy’ for left-wing Black Lives Matter activists protesting across the country the summer before.
In turn, he said, Democrats were feeling envious of Republican efforts to delegitimize the American political system and accused them of working to do so in ‘less dramatic ways.’
‘You’ve got one party that’s being led by Trump here that seems to be trying to delegitimize our democracy. Does that concern you?’ asked host Chuck Todd.
Meijer said it did.
‘But I also see another party that’s trying to delegitimize our democracy in far less dramatic ways. At least, you know, not guys with Viking hats, you know, bare-chested, running into the Capitol, but calling for packing the Supreme Court, calling for abolishing the Senate,’ the Michigan Republican said.
‘And frankly, doing the same thing, the same justifications that I saw from some members of my party after the riots last summer. They say, “Well, why is it so bad that we stormed the Capitol? You know, they were the ones burning down these cities.” The sense of riot envy.
‘Now we have this delegitimizing envy where, again, it is creating a reciprocal reaction.’
Rep. Peter Meijer is one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over his role in the Capitol riot last year
A wave of demonstrations against racism and police violence wracked the United States during the summer of 2020, after video of black Minneapolis resident George Floyd’s killing at the hands of white police officer Derek Chauvin sparked a global outcry.
While the majority of these demonstrations were peaceful, after-dark rioting and looting across US cities caused millions of dollars in damage. The unrest also saw a police precinct in Minneapolis and law enforcement vehicles across multiple cities set ablaze.
Meijer said the country is in an ‘incredibly dangerous’ position and warned that both parties were capable of causing harm.
‘I think the threat of violence is probably more pronounced on the right today. But that does not mean the left is not capable as well. And that is what we need to cease,’ he said.
Meijer was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump following the Capitol riot. In a bid to unseat him, the former president endorsed a primary challenger for Meijer’s seat in November.
Trump has managed to retain kingmaker status among the GOP despite multiple prominent Republicans condemning his role on January 6 in the riot’s immediate aftermath. Senator Lindsey Graham and House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy are among the lawmakers who’ve since walked back their anger and have since stood firmly behind Trump.
Meijer chalked it up to there being ‘no other path.’
He also seemed to blame President Joe Biden and his progressive policies for pushing Republicans closer to Trump.
‘There was no alternative. There was no other path. And given how President Biden when he was elected into office, you know, said he would be moderate and look for bipartisan solutions… it became an exercise in trying to be an LBJ or FDR-style presidency and enact transformational change in the absence of any compelling mandate from the American people to do so,’ Meijer said.
He said angry Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol had ‘riot envy’ for anti-police protests that Democrats were staging in 2020
Millions of left-wing activists across the country protested against racism and police violence in summer of 2020
‘So that gave the rallying signal, that created a very steep divide. And at the end of the day, there’s no other option right now in the Republican Party. And that’s a sad test.’
He didn’t support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s creation of a select committee to investigate the Capitol riot, instead favoring a more bipartisan approach. Meijer has since appeared to support the panel’s investigation when he voted in favor of criminal charges for Steve Bannon, after the ex-Trump adviser refused to cooperate with the committee.
‘I think the ultimate thing to look at here is what precedent is being set and how that could be used in the future. With Steve Bannon, it was very clear: Congress has the prerogative to issue subpoenas and it has to have the contempt power in order for that subpoena to have any weight. And Steve Bannon flat out rejected any cooperation and told Congress to pound sand,’ Meijer explained.
But when it came to Mark Meadows, the North Carolina representative-turned-White House Chief of Staff, Meijer said he ‘was cooperating at least to some degree’ before he abruptly severed ties with the Democrat-led panel.
So far the committee’s investigation has produced House-wide contempt votes for Meadows and Bannon. The latter was indicted in November and could face up to a year in jail and a fine of as much as $100,000.
Whereas support for Bannon’s conviction saw nine Republicans break ranks, just two Republicans — committee members Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger — voted for Meadows’. It’s now up to Attorney General Merrick Garland on whether he charges the former chief of staff.
Source: Daily Mail