Legislators serving Douglas County at the state and national level voiced opposition Tuesday to an Oregon Republican Party statement that condemned 10 U.S. House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump and claimed the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol was a “false flag” event.
The ORP garnered national attention this week for a resolution it passed Jan. 19 likening the 10 Republicans who voted in favor of impeachment to traitors. The resolution said they had conspired to “surrender our nation to Leftist forces seeking to establish a dictatorship.”
It went on to claim, inaccurately, that the storming of the Capitol was a “false flag” event designed to “advance the Democrat goal of seizing total power, in a frightening parallel to the February 1933 burning of the German Reichstag.”
The reference is to an event that Adolf Hitler used to seize power over Germany prior to World War II.
In a letter accompanying the resolution, the ORP said it demands “a full and transparent public investigation of the actual instigators of the violence” and calls the impeachment process a “sham.”
While no credible evidence has been advanced to support the idea that the storming of the Capitol was led by liberals or antifa, as some conspiracy theorists would have it, many who participated have been identified — some by themselves — as supporters of Trump and of right-wing conspiracy groups such as QAnon.
State and federal legislators serving the Douglas County area voiced opposition to the ORP statement this week.
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio said in an email Tuesday it is not in dispute that President Joe Biden was the winner of November’s election. He also said it’s undisputed that the “rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6 were pro-Trump supporters — incited by the president himself — seeking to subvert the will of the people and keep Donald Trump in power.
“Nearly all of the insurrectionists have been identified as Trump supporters. Many are long-time QAnon adherents or members of the white nationalist Proud Boys. The attack on the Capitol was no false flag, and for the Oregon Republican leadership to say otherwise shows that they pledge allegiance to Donald Trump rather than the Constitution,” DeFazio said.
He said Trump must be held accountable to the Constitution he swore to uphold.
“We learn something new every week about to his efforts to overturn November’s free and fair election. He must be held responsible for his role in inciting the violence that left six people dead, and he must never be able to hold public office again. We cannot have unity without accountability,” DeFazio said.
State Rep. Gary Leif, R-Roseburg, said in an email Tuesday he was not aware of the ORP’s statement prior to its release. But he said it is “unfortunate and not in the best interest of our country.”
“I would encourage my fellow Oregon Republican lawmakers to focus on the many needs of our state and stop issuing proclamations that are outside of Oregon. We have been through a very challenging election and it is time to bring forward much needed bipartisan legislation that will help so many struggling Oregonians,” Leif said.
The Oregon Republican Party is a separate entity from the Republicans in the state legislature.
The Democratic Party of Oregon Tuesday issued a press release saying the ORP resolution was “shocking, but it is not surprising.”
“In the era of Trump, the Oregon GOP has seemingly given up on any effort to appeal to a majority of Oregonians,” the Democratic Party said.
It drew comparisons to Republican legislators’ walkouts that have blocked progress on Democratic legislative proposals.
The Democrats said the Republican “party leadership has increasingly aligned themselves with far-right conspiracy theories.”