From the Democratic Party of Virginia:
Virginia Republicans Are Doubling Down On Election Conspiracies And Defending Insurrectionists
Richmond, VA — Virginia Republicans are going down with the ship. Even as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take the oath of office, Republicans in the General Assembly are spending the week doubling down on conspiracy theories about the election. With one member defending a constituent facing federal charges for planning violence at the Capitol, GOP leaders are even refusing to condemn their most dangerous and extreme colleagues.
Yesterday House Republican leader Todd Gilbert embraced the conspiracy theories Delegates Dave LaRock, Ronnie Campbell, and Mark Cole pushed in a January 5 letter to Mike Pence urging him to “nullify” Virginia’s election results. Gilbert defended their effort to undermine the election, saying without evidence that there were “discrepancies we saw all across the country” that should be looked into. Gilbert also echoed Donald Trump, falsely blaming measures like ballot drop boxes that expanded the right to vote for sowing confusion in the election.
Not to be outdone, LaRock went further and defended a constituent of his recently charged for planning a violent attack on the Capitol. According to the New York Times, Thomas Caldwell, a leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, was recently charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes after he participated in the Capitol attack on January 6. LaRock told a local newspaper, “Tom is a wonderful man,” and that he thinks “very highly” of him and his wife after they posted videos of themselves inside the Capitol building.
Like LaRock, Senator Amanda Chase has spent the past two weeks defending those who took part in the insurrection, calling them “patriots.” Yesterday Senate Democrats moved to censure Chase for her speaking role at the January 6 rally and inflammatory comments afterwards. But all six of Chase’s Republican colleagues on the committee that took up the resolution stood by her and voted against censuring her.
“Defending a far-right militia leader who violently stormed the U.S. Capitol is a new low, even for Virginia Republicans. While Virginians are calling on their leaders to address the pandemic and the host of other challenges our Commonwealth faces, the GOP is spending the first full week of the legislative session doubling down on Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories about the election and insisting Joe Biden won’t be president. Their dangerous departure from reality is exactly why Virginians don’t trust them to lead anymore,” said DPVA Communications Director Grant Fox.