Representative Peter Meijer (R., Mich.), the freshman congressman succeeding libertarian Justin Amash, has claimed that at least one House colleague objected to certifying the Electoral College results out of fear for their family’s safety.
The certification process was interrupted after President Trump incited a mob of his supporters to march to the Capitol on Wednesday. The mob overwhelmed police and breached the building, forcing lawmakers to evacuate and injuring dozens of officers in the riots. One officer was killed and one rioter was shot and killed by police.
“After the Capitol was cleared of insurrectionists, with windows shattered and the smell of tear gas lingering, the consequences of his dangerous lies became clear,” Meijer wrote in an op-ed on Saturday for The Detroit Free Press.
“As we moved to accept Arizona’s electors, a fellow freshman lingered near a voting terminal, voting card in hand,” Meijer continued. “My colleague told me that efforts to overturn the election were wrong, and that voting to certify was a constitutional duty. But my colleague feared for family members, and the danger the vote would put them in. Profoundly shaken, my colleague voted to overturn.”
Meijer made similar comments in an interview with Reason on Friday.
“One of the saddest things is I had colleagues who, when it came time to recognize reality and vote to certify Arizona and Pennsylvania in the Electoral College, they knew in their heart of hearts that they should’ve voted to certify, but some had legitimate concerns about the safety of their families,” Meijer said at the time. “They felt that that vote would put their families in danger.”
The riots at the Capitol led several Republicans, including Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, to drop their objections to the certification of Electoral College results. However, several GOP senators and dozens of House Republicans supported objections to the results from Arizona and Pennsylvania.