By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
Update 10 a.m. January 7: As the proceedings to formalize President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory continued into the wee hours of the morning, Rep. Jeff Van Drew was the only New Jersey Congressman to cast his vote to overturn the election results.
“At the core of our country’s greatness is our democratic system of government” Van Drew said at the Capitol last night, according to the Asbury Park Press. “Without faith in the integrity in our elections, Americans will not have faith in our democracy.”
Van Drew also conducted an interview with the Associated Press as the chaos ensued on Wednesday. He condemned the violent actions taken by the rioters, but he also said that the riots happened because of the minority of an “organization” that he didn’t specify.
Despite Van Drew’s vote, President-Elect Biden’s victory was formalized, which paves the way for him to be inaugurated as the nation’s 46th President on January 20.
Update 4:50 p.m.: Rep. Jeff Van Drew has released a statement about the protests that took place inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
“What is happening at the Capitol is unacceptable, un-American, and disrepectful of democracy,” Rep. Van Drew said. “The debate many protestors have been asking for was happening today and because of these actions it was abruptly ended. Everyone has the right to peacefully protest but what happened today was not peaceful or productive. Today’s debate was about the rule of law and by harming police officers, being violent, and breaking into a Federal building, the rule of law was broken. I ask that the President reach out and ask the protestors to leave the Capitol building immediately.”
Elsewhere in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy deployed the New Jersey State Police to the District of Columbia to “facilitate the peaceful transition of power & protect our democracy.” Gov. Murphy also said that he’s ready to deploy New Jersey’s National Guard to Washington, DC if necessary.
Original Story: SOUTH JERSEY — Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2) called on President Donald Trump to ask protestors to leave the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
Protestors flooded the Capitol as the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives completed the process of counting the electoral votes of this year’s Presidential election. Protestors, most of whom carried American and Trump flags and some who carried confederate flags, stormed the Capitol building’s stairs and eventually entered the building throughout Wednesday afternoon.
Rep. Van Drew said that he wanted President Trump to ask protestors not just to demonstrate peacefully, but to leave the Capitol entirely, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
“I’d like to see him do more, maybe even come out,” he said in a phone interview with the Press of Atlantic City. “We must obey the rule of law. … We are living in extremely turbulent, emotional times. We have to be calm and love each other. And pray, too.”
Rep. Van Drew, who won reelection to his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives over Democratic challenger Amy Kennedy in November, said that he left the House chamber and went to his office in the Capitol building. His office in the Rayburn building was not evacuated.
Throughout the last two years, Rep. Van Drew has been a staunch supporter of the President and his policies. He switched his party affiliation in late 2019 due to the fact that he opposed the impeachment of President Trump after initially winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat. Rep. Van Drew planned on speaking at approximately 5 p.m. today to present arguments in favor of contesting the Electoral College’s votes for President-Elect Joe Biden.
After many elected officials and Trump allies like Rep. Van Drew, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and countless others urged President Trump to take action against the protestors, President Trump posted a video on Twitter at 4:17 p.m. Wednesday. President Trump did ask the protestors to go home, but he sympathized with them, saying “we love you” and “you’re very special” about those who stormed the Capitol building.
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