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

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) expressed anger at the jailing of people convicted of crimes related to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, during a Thursday night debate with his Democratic challenger, Dan Pastore.

WICU Erie News Now asked the debate moderator how he felt about the deliberations of the House select committee investigating the causes of the riots and calls for the committee to subpoena former President Donald Trump, Kelly referred to it as a partisan witch hunt and emphasized his anger at law enforcement’s response to the riot.

“It must 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.”

Kelly correctly stated in the debate that there were only two Republicans on the committee on January 6 ― Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) ― and both are longtime Trump critics. He did not mention, however, that the committee exists in its current form because House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) rejected the idea of ​​a fully independent, bipartisan commission.

“Most of the witnesses in those hearings were either Capitol police or actually Republicans,” replied Pastore, a businessman and lawyer. “What will he propose? Let’s just brush it under the carpet?”

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

At another point in the debate, Kelly explained his loss of faith in the federal government.

Dan Pastore, a businessman and lawyer, is challenging Rep.  Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), who continues to express doubts about the validity of the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Dan Pastore, a businessman and lawyer, is challenging Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), who continues to express doubts about the validity of the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Kelly is one of the 147 House Republicans who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election the next day after chaos in the Capitol. He previously sued to invalidate Pennsylvania’s 2.5 million ballots on the grounds that passage of the GOP-controlled state legislature no excuse absentee voting violated the Pennsylvania constitution. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, with a Democratic majority, the suit was dismissed in November 2020.

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

Kelly refused to give a straight answer, instead emphasizing his continued skepticism about the fairness with which it was handled.

“My opponent can say whatever he wants, ‘He won’t accept,’ ‘He won’t accept,’ ‘He won’t accept,'” he said. “What I will not accept is the destruction of America and the trust that we need to have in our government and in our elections.”

Also Read :  Pittsburgh shooting: Multiple shots fired, remains an 'active scene' with unknown number of victims, officials say

Pastore heaped further condemnation on Kelly in a statement Friday provided to HuffPost, calling Kelly a “disgrace to Western Pennsylvania.”

“His comments show that he is unfit to serve in public office,” Pastore said. “I’m 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 unnecessary,” he added. “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 the heavy favorite to win re-election in Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District, which covers the northwest corner of the Keystone State. In 2020, Trump defeated President Joe Biden in district voters by more than 20 percentage points.

Pastore’s struggle to raise capital has kept him from advertising on television so far in his career.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button