Republican Congressman Peter Meijer from Michigan was one of only nine freshmen GOP lawmakers who voted to uphold the Nov. 3 election results. He told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that his life could now be at risk because of it.
“We realize that was a vote we cast that put our safety at risk and going forward, I am expecting there will likely be more political violence,” said Meijer. “So my expectation and the expectation of some folks I’m talking to who are trying to vote our conscience on this, there will be folks that try to kill us, and that’s something we have to grapple with every day.”
Meijer added that, in turn, that threat of violence has compelled and will continue to intimidate some of his Republican colleagues into voting on the side of the Trump administration. In an op-ed, Meijer wrote that a fellow lawmaker only objected to President-elect Joe Biden’s win because they were afraid that President Trump’s supporters would come after his or her family.
“That was what weighed on the colleague in mind’s conscience, and the last thing that that individual said to me, concern about the safety of that individual’s family, if that individual voted to certify the election,” Meijer said. “That is where the rhetoric has brought us. That is the degree of fear that’s been created.”
The House of Representatives is now on the verge of impeaching Trump for an unprecedented second time. House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment, accusing Trump of inciting the insurrectionist mob that stormed the Capitol last week. It left five people dead, including a police officer.
The article charges that Trump has “demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.” The vote on impeachment is planned for Wednesday. Meijer said that he’s “strong considering” voting to impeach Trump.
“I’ve had colleagues who are objecting and raising concerns on the timing, raising concerns on the process, raising concerns on the reception,” Meijer explained to host Shepard Smith. “I’ve not heard anybody raising concerns on the merits and I believe that the President’s actions last Wednesday are disqualifying him and leave him unfit for office.”
Sources said Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told House Republicans in a conference call that President Trump bears some responsibility for the deadly riot. Meijer said the future of the GOP hangs in the balance. He added that the Republican Party needs to own up to the lie that Nov. 3 was a landslide victory for Trump, and that many Republican voters have been deceived by those in power.
“Instead of telling the people of America and their supporters what they need to hear, we have had too many politicians telling them what they want to hear,” Meijer said. “That type of reactive leadership is not going to make the Republican party ever be a party that is trusted to govern in this country again, and we need to fix it.”