A constituent has provided U.S. Sen. John Boozman’s canned response to a call for conviction of Donald Trump in an impeachment trial for inciting the riot at the Capitol Jan. 6.
Boozman fosters (and thus continues to tacitly encourage a motive for the riot) the notion that there were election irregularities and fraud. He has no proof. Nor does anyone to date.
Boozman also refers to the deadly riot as an “incident.” My correspondent comments:
“Bet it would not have been an ‘incident’ if the perpetrators had been African-American, Muslim or Democrats.”
Many Americans are concerned about the integrity of the 2020 election. I too share the belief that allegations of irregularities and fraud need to be investigated –– especially at a time when trust in our institutions is near an all-time low. We need to make sure that every legal vote cast is counted and we must have the ability to verify the ballots. Congress has a role in examining the concerns that have arisen and should support states’ efforts to address the security of our elections. The Senate will continue to focus attention on this issue moving forward, and I support the efforts of my colleague Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) who has introduced legislation, of which I am a cosponsor, to establish a commission to study the integrity of the 2020 election. We must ensure that all Americans have faith in our elections.
Under the Constitution, however, Congress does not have the legal authority to change the outcome of the presidential election. These principles are enshrined in the Constitution to ensure the American people, not the party in control of Congress, have the power to choose their president. Conservatives have long opposed federalizing our elections and the Constitution is clear that the authority to conduct them is granted to the states. We are blessed that Arkansas has consistently carried out elections in a fair, efficient and transparent manner. In our system, states select their electors, disputes are handled by the courts and Congress’s only role in the process is counting the lawfully certified results. I have consistently supported the confirmation of President Trump’s judges because they adhere to the Constitution and the law as written. Senators are bound by the Constitution as well. I’ve sworn an oath to uphold these very principles and cannot in good conscience support efforts that purposefully or inadvertently undermine them.
The events that transpired in Washington on January 6, 2021, were not only shocking and unlawful, but represent a dark moment in our country’s history that we must reckon with in the days to come. The Constitution gives every American the right to peaceably assemble and protest. It does not condone or provide for opportunities to sow chaos or provoke insurrection. Sadly, many of the demonstrators in the nation’s capital that day failed to live up to this obligation, and an alarming number willfully participated in an attack on the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to thwart the constitutional responsibilities of Congress. The perpetrators of this despicable attack should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Congress, however, was not intimidated. We reconvened, and with my support, certified the vote of the Electoral College, performing our prescribed constitutional duty. Amid the mayhem, there were countless acts of heroism and compassion on behalf of law enforcement, first responders, Members of Congress, our support staff and others. As we always do in times of uncertainty and trouble, Americans helped each other, prayed for one another and demonstrated that what united our ancestors over two centuries ago can still bring us together today. We all, as Americans, deserved better than what we experienced. We must pray for healing, and we must pledge to demand better from each other. This incident cannot define us, but it must persuade us that choosing a different and better course is the only path forward.