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Rep. Wittman wanted election result debate, not violence

Posted at 7:20 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 19:41:29-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Every member of Congress who represents metro-Richmond is safe following the lockdown at the U.S. Capitol, according to their offices, after a group of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol following a rally in support of President Trump. Staffers told CBS 6 they are physically fine but shaken after a group of people violently broke into the Capitol.

“I condemn anyone who comes here to perpetrate violence,” said Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Hanover).

Wittman is one of more than 100 House Republicans who plan to object to the certification of electors in certain states, even though dozens of lawsuits regarding alleged voter fraud have been tossed out by courts across the country.

Wittman said his objection is based on a deluge of constituent complaints about the election and said his objection was aimed at least debating the claims in public.

"Yes, I was one of the ones that said I want to make sure we have the debate because there is such concern out there. There are literally thousands of people who have contacted us and said they’re concerned about the election as they see it,” Whitman said. “But having that debate or being in favor of that debate is not in any way shape or form being in favor of having the situations that we saw on Capitol Hill today.”

Wittman said Congress should immediately relaunch the certification process as soon as it is safe to do so.

“I think it’s critically important that we show the nation that we can do this, even in light of what’s happened, and we show the world we can do this. We can do this in a way that comports to our Constitution, but also, does things in a thoughtful, in a way that ensures that people’s voices are heard,” he said.

“What might you say then to the Virginians out there who say, now after hindsight of what’s happened, that’s a convenient position to take?” asked CBS 6 reporter Jake Burns.

“Look, [objections have] taken place before and those things didn’t happen previously, so this is about having that process,” Wittman replied.

Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, tweeted that the violence in D.C. laid bare the need for new leadership in the White House.

Prior to the incident at the U.S. Capitol, McAuliffe said President Trump’s unproven claims of a stolen election led to the atmosphere of the day.

“That’s what’s happened since November 3rd!” McAullife said of investigations and court cases into election fraud. “They’ve looked and haven’t found one scintilla of evidence. It’s really sad, but Trump has people believing this.”

CBS 6 asked Wittman if the President incited Wednesday following the rally.

“The President got out there and made a speech, and anybody that speaks in that would incite people, I think, is unacceptable. My words have always been about let’s have the debate, let’s have it in a healthy way,” Wittman said.