Pennsylvania Republican Laments Jan. 6 Convictions: ‘Is This Really America?’

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) expressed outrage over jailing people convicted of crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riots in a debate Thursday night with his Democratic challenger Dan Pastore.

Asked by WICU Erie News Now debate moderators about the House Select Committee’s deliberations investigating the causes of the riots and the committee’s calls to subpoena former President Donald Trump, Kelly called it a partisan witch hunt and underscored his anger. Law enforcement response to the riot.

“Should this have happened? Absolutely not,” Kelly said of the attack on the Capitol. “The relentless pursuit of this president, regardless of any information gathered, should be shocking to any person living in this country.”

“I understand and completely agree: January 6 should never have happened,” Kelly added. “But when you see some people still in prison with no way out, you ask yourself: Is this really America? Is this really America?

Only two Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee — Reps. Kelly rightly noted in the debate that Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) — and both are longtime Trump critics. He did not mention that the committee exists in its current form because House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) rejects the idea of ​​a fully independent and bipartisan commission.

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“Most of the witnesses in those hearings were either Capitol Police or actually Republicans,” replied Pastore, a businessman and lawyer. “What does he propose? That we simply brush it under the carpet?

“It’s important that we get to the bottom of it, and that’s what we’re trying to do at the January 6 hearings,” Pastore added.

At another point in the debate, Kelly described a loss of faith in the federal government.

“Where we are right now, right now as a nation, is the most dangerous point we’ve ever been in, where we’re being overtaken by the same government that failed the justice system,” he said. “The FBI is now considered a threat by most people.”

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Continuing to cast doubt on the validity of the 2020 presidential election results, Rep.  Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) is being challenged by businessman and attorney Dan Pastore.
Continuing to cast doubt on the validity of the 2020 presidential election results, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) is being challenged by businessman and attorney Dan Pastore.

Kelly is one 147 House Republicans It voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results a day after the Capitol riots. He previously sued to invalidate Pennsylvania’s 2.5 million ballots based on the passage of the GOP-controlled state legislature. Unexcused Absentee Voting violated the Constitution of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which has a Democratic majority, The suit was dismissed In November 2020.

Pastore then pressed Kelly to clarify whether he still believes the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” by Trump.

Kelly declined to give a direct answer, instead emphasizing his continued skepticism about the fairness of performing it.

“My opponent can say what he wants, ‘He won’t accept,’ ‘He won’t accept,’ ‘He won’t accept,'” he said. “I do not accept the destruction of America and the confidence we should have in our government and our elections.”

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In a Friday statement to HoffPost, Pastore expressed additional condemnation of Kelly, calling Kelly an “embarrassment to Western Pennsylvania.”

“His comments show that he is unfit to serve in public office,” Pastore said. “I am running for Congress to uphold the law of the land and support law enforcement. Mike Kelly stands with violent criminals and attacks the men and women of law enforcement who keep us safe.

“Mike Kelly thinks it’s unfair that violent criminals who attacked police and tried to overthrow our government are serving time in prison and that’s outrageous,” he said. “Kelly’s attack on federal law enforcement shows he has no respect for the law and those who protect us.”

Kelly, a six-term incumbent, is a heavy favorite to win re-election in Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District, which covers the northwestern corner of the Keystone State. In 2020, Trump defeated President Joe Biden in the district’s electorate More than 20 percentage points.

Pastore’s struggle to raise large sums of money prevented him from advertising on television during the race.


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