Wednesday was a big day for news out of the U.S. Capitol. The riots that took place around the building were chaotic and, as I am sure they were broadcast around the world, it was embarrassing for our country. I condemn the rioters as well as any public officials who played a role in encouraging this behavior. In particular, Rudy Giuliani and the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., behaved irresponsibly.
I sincerely hope that as many of these lawbreakers as possible are apprehended, charged and the public is informed of their backgrounds. I would like to thank the Capitol Police and the National Guard, who entirely restored order to the situation by 9 p.m. that night.
I would also like to comment on the vote that took place later that night and into the morning to certify the Electoral College votes as forwarded by the states. The U.S. Constitution is very clear that the states determine their own electors. In Wisconsin, for example, the elections commission and state Supreme Court determined that Joe Biden won the election, and federal courts did not overturn this result.
Some Congressmen this week wanted to overturn the results in two states, Arizona and Pennsylvania, by voting to not certify the electoral votes in Congress. I am sure that James Madison and Alexander Hamilton are spinning in their graves. The idea that the President would be determined by a vote of Congress is both absurd and dangerous. I ask my Republican friends how they would feel if in 2024 Mike Pompeo were to best Kamala Harris with 275 electoral votes and a Democratic Congress were to throw out Wisconsin’s electoral votes because we have photo I.D. laws or didn’t have enough voting machines? We would be apoplectic. But yesterday, over 100 Republican Congressmen and six Senators were prepared to set that precedent. Some Congressmen voted ‘no’ yesterday to ‘make a statement’. I almost did this myself so I don’t want to be too critical, but a vote is a vote and it would go into the history books as one more Congressman approving of the idea that Congress elects the President.
After the 2016 election, a smaller number of Democratic Members of Congress tried to break with the Constitution when Donald Trump was elected President. Seven Democratic Congressmen made objections on the House floor to take the election away from Trump. Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) did so because of the debunked theory that the Russians won the election for Donald Trump. Most of the seven are prone to extremism and I was glad their effort went nowhere. At the time I was appalled that even seven Democrats would think that the Constitution gave them the right to overturn the electoral college and President Trump’s victory. Nevertheless, some of my colleagues cite these seven as a precedent to turn elections over to Congress.
Normally it’s the Democrats who trash our founding fathers and the electoral college and the protections it provides. Now, Republicans want to ignore it!
People raise allegations of voter fraud or unfair behavior. Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell repeatedly promised bombshells that would prove crookedness. It never appeared, which undermined the President’s case. I will also point out that privately, Congressmen from Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania have said that Joe Biden won their states, but they are hesitant to say so publicly.
I do, however, believe we need a commission to investigate election fraud as advocated by Senator Johnson. The overwhelming number of President Trump’s supporters who believe the election was stolen shows the need for the public to receive answers to these allegations.
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) represents Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District.