TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona’s representatives to Congress are looking back at the events of January 6th. Senators and Members of Congress are reflecting on the fear of that day, and their hopes for recovery.
Members of Arizona’s delegation remembered being on the floor of the House and Senate as warnings arrived that they were in danger. As a former police officer, Democrat Tom O’Halleran says he was struck by the fear he saw in the eyes of the Capitol Police come to rush them to safety.
In a written statement O’Halleran said January 6th showed the power of lies and division.
He said in part, “The work of the former president and his allies to undermine faith in our election process by attempting to mislead the American public only served to weaken us and make us vulnerable to foreign actors who would do us harm.
“But we can heal from this, and indeed we have begun to do so. We certified the 2020 election results, have worked to rebuild trust in our democratic systems, and must continue to protect the right to vote and the power of each American’s vote.”
In a pre-recorded video, Senator Kyrsten Sinema praised the bravery of the Capitol Police and said,
“What I'm glad to say is that we overcame that day and we certified the results of the election and our government has continued on and that's why it's so important that we retain the integrity of elections throughout Arizona and other parts of the country.”
Arizona Senator Mark Kelly described the attack of a year ago as an attack on our democracy and a dark day in our country’s history.
He continued: “Despite this unpatriotic attempt to silence the voices of Arizona voters, democracy prevailed. As the son of two police officers, I am grateful for the bravery that law enforcement and Capitol Police demonstrated that day and since. While investigations continue to hold lawbreakers accountable, we have a responsibility to continue standing up for democracy and working to bring Americans together behind our shared values.”
Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva remembers being in the act of debating election results with Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar when they heard violent intruders were in the Capitol. Grijalva says he’s confident the Trump White House was involved with what happened and is confident investigations will confirm that.
He says the best protection now is to register and vote.
“We need to protect that right from suppression laws. We need to protect that right from misinformation and lies, and we need to protect that right and our institutions by voting and that's how we, this nation of ours settle our disputes. We don't settle them with violence. We don't settle them with insurrection that happened on January 6th.”
In a statement as part of a 2021 retrospective, Arizona Representative Paul Gosar condemns violence at the Capitol but contends people there to question election results were peaceful. He says in part, “It appears that the violence may have been initiated by federal agents or federal informants acting as agents provocateurs.”
That allegation has not been widely confirmed.
Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick says there is no question then President Donald Trump misled his supporters to mistrust election results and lash out, and now it’s important to hold people accountable.
She says, in part “The damage of January 6th, 2021 will not be erased, no matter how hard the Republican party tries. To my colleagues on the other side -- step up, speak up, and put your country over party.”
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