Dozens of military veterans sent letters. To top Republicans in the US House on Wednesday. Urging them to condemn political violence. On the second anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Former Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone wrote the letter. Which was signed by more than 1,000 military veterans, active duty members. Law enforcement officers and military families. Fanon, who was beaten and chased during the attack on the Capitol. Delivered a copy to Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s office. While GOP leadership remains unsettled. Groups behind the effort consider. The Georgia representative one of the new Republican majority leaders in the House.
The veterans sent letters to GOP Reps. James Comer of Kentucky, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Elise Stefanik of New York. And Kevin McCarthy of California. Who is trying to become House speaker.
Wednesday’s visit to the Capitol was organized by the group. Common Defense and Courage for America to call attention to violent. Speech that they say remains a threat to American democracy. They want top House Republicans to hold those who spread violent. And hateful messages accountable rather than condemning political violence.
The visits come at a tumultuous time on Capitol Hill. A key Tuesday for conservative House Republicans and rejected McCarthy’s. attempt to nominate a speaker in many votes on Wednesday. The GOP’s failure to elect a new speaker has stalled House business.
Including swearing in its members and naming committee chairs.
In the letter, Fanone called on House Republicans to issue a public. statement condemning all forms of political violence. And to “commit to holding members of your convention. Accountable for advocating violence or supporting violent speech toward. Those who disagree with them .”
The letter cited several incidents of motivated violence. Including an attack on an FBI office in Ohio and an attack on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s. Husband following an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Threats and comments calling for his execution.
On January 6, 2021, Fanone was among dozens of law. Enforcement officers injured during the uprising. When a mob marched on the Capitol at Trump’s request and attacked it in an attempt. To stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election. Fanon told the House committee that investigated the rebellion. That the attack on her, which stopped.
When she said she had children caused her to have a heart attack.
In an interview, Fanone said he was looking for an organization. That shared his values and concerns about the country’s future. And that led him to Courage for America. A progressive group formed after Republicans won the House majority in November. Common Defence, a progressive grassroots organization formed during the 2016 elections.
“We’re still in grave danger,” Fanone said, despite this year’s. Midterm elections in which several Trump acolytes were rejected by voters. “I was like, yeah, democracy won — by a fraction of a percent in a lot of places.”
While many of the candidates who contested the 2020 presidential election were defeated. “Many of these races were much closer than they should have been,” he said.
Lies about the 2020 election are rampant and have infiltrated Republican voters. As recently as October, 58% of Republicans. Did not consider the election of President Joe Biden legitimate.
According to an AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs research poll.
Veterans who join the group share Fanon’s concerns. About extremism in the U.S. and believe it creates a situation. “That contradicts the oath we took when we enlisted in the military.” said Naveed Shah, an Army veteran who is the political director. Spokesman for the Common Defense and for American Courage.
“The coup was neither the end nor the beginning of this kind of slow coup,” he said. “I’m not going to try to predict what’s going to happen in the future. But what I can say is that you know all forms of political violence need to be condemned.”
When the groups end in Washington, Shah said members will travel the country. To speak to representatives in their districts about the need to condemn. Political violence and the language that incites it.
Dozens of people accused in the Capitol attack have military backgrounds. Some with ties to far-right extremist groups facing the most serious charges. Others arrested in the riots included an Army reservist who wore a Hitler mustache to his job at a Navy base. And an active duty Marine Corps officer seen on camera brawling.
With police and helping other members of the pro-Trump crowd on their way. Capitol.
Alex Babcock, an Army veteran from Florida, started out as a Republican. But what he saw during the 2016 election — when Trump was claiming massive fraud even. Before his victory over Hillary Clinton — led him to the Common Defense.
He said veterans have a strong voice in defending American democracy. Because they are willing to sacrifice their lives for it. He said it’s important to call out politicians who try to cloak their messaging.
“There’s not a lot of people who are outright saying, ‘I want to hit that guy,'” Babcock said. “But there are people who speak a language that is clear enough when you listen.”