During debate on the impeachment article in the House on Wednesday, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) said the lenient response to BLM and Antifa rioters over the course of several months last year may have contributed to last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The California conservative wore a face mask that read, “THIS MASK IS AS USELESS AS MY GOVERNOR” as he blamed leniency given to BLM-Antifa rioters for likely contributing to last week’s storming of the Capitol. McClintock pointed out that President Trump specifically told supporters before the riot to protest “peacefully” and, according to the congressman, “the vast majority of them did.”
“But every movement has a lunatic fringe,” McClintock continued. “Suppressing free speech is not the answer. Holding rioters accountable for their actions is the answer, and we are. And if we had prosecuted BLM and Antifa rioters across the country with the same determination these last six months, this incident may not have happened at all.”
The congressman also cautioned Democrats to think twice before establishing another new norm. “If we impeached every politician who gave a fiery speech to a crowd of partisans, this Capitol would be deserted,” McClintock warned.
The lawmaker has a point. Democrats weren’t interested in strongly prosecuting BLM-Antifa rioters last year. Democrats helped bail out rioters. Other Democrats like Rep. Maxine Waters said violence “makes America better” and Rep. Ayanna Pressley called for continued “unrest in the streets.”
McClintock asked his Democratic colleagues to show some “magnanimity” following their recent wins, saying “only in a banana republic” do the victors practice “vengeance.”
President Trump was impeached for a second time on Wednesday and Democrats are expected to soon transmit the article of impeachment to the Senate. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said the Senate won’t take up the impeachment article until sometime after Joe Biden’s inauguration.