Rep. Arrington discusses ‘unacceptable’ but ‘dramatized’ January 6 riot at U.S. Capitol

Updated: Jan. 6, 2022 at 2:04 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - While back in Texas’ 19th congressional district Thursday, Congressman Jodey Arrington spoke to KCBD about the events that unfolded a year ago in Washington, D.C., events he condemns but says are “dramatized and mischaracterized.”

“That was one incident,” Arrington said. “It was certainly unacceptable and I condemned it then and I do now. But, to hold it out as as the worst act of lawlessness and affront to democracy is at best disingenuous. I think it’s intellectually dishonest. I think we saw lawlessness and we saw it unabated for weeks and months prior, and it should have been condemned then. We should have held people accountable. We should have rallied as a nation of political leaders on both sides to stop it. I think that was the precursor that no one’s talking about.”

Arrington is referring to protests that followed the death of George Floyd. He said like anyone who committed a crime during those demonstrations, so should the people who infiltrated the Capitol.

“I introduced legislation to increase the penalty for federal rioting and for assaulting a federal law enforcement officer,” Arrington said. “I would apply that to the folks who perpetrated the riot on January 6, every bit as much as I would on the folks in Portland who were trying to burn the federal courthouse down.”

He calls the mob that broke into the Capitol “folks on the fringe,” saying others were there to peacefully protest election concerns.

“It turns out there were just some knuckleheads that decided to trespass and commit crimes and riot,” Arrington said. “Thank God, it wasn’t anything more serious than that, although, I think it was serious enough that people should be held accountable.”

Arrington told KCBD he was prepared to object to the certification of some states’ electoral votes when the House chamber was barricaded and lawmakers were eventually evacuated through a tunnel system into an office building.

“It was concerning that people were able to penetrate into the Capitol and not knowing who they were and what their intent was,” Arrington said. “It was certainly something that gave everybody some level of anxiety.”

After the delay to the certification process, Congressman Arrington spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives on January 7 to object to the certification of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.

“I didn’t know opine on on the fraud,” Arrington said. “I didn’t opine on the corruption because I didn’t have that evidence. The courts were ferreting through that. Many had reached the conclusion that they didn’t see widespread fraud. That didn’t change the fact that the states changed their election laws outside of those very clear constitutional parameters. For that I objected and I would object today.”

On January 6, 2022, Arrington said his message to his constituents would be to not be “duped” into thinking January 6th is what he believes has been dramatized and mischaracterized in media and by his Democrat colleagues.

“We’re blessed beyond words to live in the greatest country in the world because of our freedoms and the opportunities this country affords us,” Arrington said. “We all have a responsibility to protect those freedoms and to safeguard this democracy and I’m proud I get to do it on behalf of West Texas.”

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