Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) has been making headlines this week after calling for martial law and refusing to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The senator also made a shift in her messaging and protocols around COVID-19, the virus that has killed over 300,000 Americans in 2020. The senator took a somber tone while discussing the pandemic in her State of the Commonwealth address on Monday.
Chase has also been referred to by political analysts and Republican strategists as a candidate that has no chance of winning the general election in Virginia. We asked the senator about all of this in the interview below.
VS: Can you explain what you mean when you say you want President Trump to declare martial law?
Chase: “Yes, I would love the opportunity to clarify the statement. I want to find the specific wording because I think it’s important. General Michael Flynn in his first interview, right after he was pardoned by President Trump, said something which I agree with – he said President Trump should invoke limited martial law to allow the United States military to oversee a new free and fair federal election, if legislators, courts, and the congress do not follow the Constitution. So it’s limited in scope. It is targeting the voter equipment, it’s the desire to ensure that we can reassure the voters in Virginia who many are feeling like this election was stolen. Many people are saying ‘well where’s the fraud?’ but you have to have a full-out investigation so that you can investigate those claims and do a complete audit so that you can identify concerns.”
It is worth noting that United States Attorney General William Barr announced earlier this month that his office found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Chase continued; “My biggest concern has been the legislation that was passed this last year, including in this special session. I felt like many of the measures that we passed degraded the integrity of a sacred ballot. Everything from the chain of custody with a ballot and the ballot boxes that were legalized. Anybody can take a stack of ballots and drop them off in those ballot boxes. They are not secure and that is a big concern. The biggest concern for me was when we reversed course on voter I.D., it used to be a requirement and this year is the first year that [it’s not]. I equate it to what happens if your bank implemented a policy saying that they were no longer going to require a picture I.D. in order for you to access your bank account. I think we would find all kinds of mischief which very much parallels what we are seeing in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.”
Chase is referring to a new law in Virginia that does not require photo identification to vote, instead, you can use one of several forms of identification to vote.
Chase continued; “First of all, there was a judge that ruled and said in light of COVID there is no longer going to be a requirement for a witness signature for an absentee ballot. And then later during the special session, there was a bill that passed that legalized the elimination of the witness signature during the election this year. I also saw legislation that was passed that legalized ballot harvesting this year.”
VS: What bill was that?
Chase: “I don’t know the exact number and I will have to go through and find it if you want more information on it. But it basically allows a third party to go door-to-door and collect actual ballots, which is a concern.”
Virginia Scope was unable to locate the ballot harvesting bill that Chase referenced.
Chase continued; “My concern is that many of the people that I have talked to across the state of Virginia are very disheartened. They’re angry, they feel that this 2020 presidential election was stolen and many of them felt like their vote didn’t count. Some of them went to vote and their vote was already cast. Really other than myself, there are very few legislators that have actually helped lead the charge in getting to the bottom of these irregularities.”
VS: Do you think that any of those people that say they showed up and their vote was already cast would be willing to go on the record?
Chase: “Yes we are working on getting signed affidavits from people and my office has been handling a lot of those situations where there have been irregularities. We are asking people to complete signed affidavits and turn them into our office. We are working with the Virginia Project, Sidney Powell, and others.”
Senator Chase said that she has been texting with Powell, the lawyer with ties to Richmond that has been nationally pushing voter-fraud conspiracy theories since the election.
Chase continued; “Sidney Powell has advised to me that she has filed five petitions with the Supreme Court and we just found out that one of those as of today was added to the docket.”
The petition that Powell landed on the Supreme Court docket is an effort in Michigan to allow GOP Delegates to cast Michigan’s Electoral College votes for President Trump. The petition claims that the Republicans in the state legislature support the move, however, the state’s electoral votes were cast for Joe Biden earlier this week.
Chase continued; “January 6th will be the next big deadline – that’s the day Nancy Pelosi steps down and Vice President Mike Pence presides over a joint session of our representatives. I believe Chairman [Ron] Johnson and hopefully other legislators will step forward and have a further discussion about many of the irregularities that we have seen nationwide and that discussion will allow us to follow the constitution and how it prescribes what we do in situations where we cannot rely on election results.”
VS: So what would you want Republicans to do that day?
Chase: “At that point, here in Virginia, I think we need to call for an investigation into our equipment and our ballots. We need a third party to go in and evaluate these things just so that we can assure Virginians that when they vote in 2021, that their vote matters. I think we need to do that irrespective of what happens on January 6th. We are seeing a number of Republicans stand up like Senator Johnson and Mo Brooks who will handle things at the federal level.”
Brooks and other GOP congressmen plan to object on January 6 when both chambers meet to certify the electoral college votes.
VS: The call for martial law goes against everything in your brand of liberty and freedom? Isn’t this the opposite of what you typically stand for?
“Not in its context. Not in the context for which I am calling it. We want to make sure that the voice of the people is heard. That’s number one – the voice of the people needs to be properly represented by the election results in this presidential election. We follow the constitution to a ‘T’ whenever we get to that plan. As you notice, what I have said here in my comments is exactly that. We are invoking limited martial law and we are talking about a specific situation when we are talking about the ballots, voting machines, and the registrar’s office. We are talking about a specific divine purpose for that martial law.”
VS: In your State of the Commonwealth video on Monday, you surprised me when addressing COVID-19. You took a more serious tone, urging supporters to take it seriously. Can you talk about what prompted you to make that change in messaging?
Chase: “Every Sunday night, I work on my State of the Commonwealth address and I look at the Virginia Department of Health numbers. I’m not into emotion, I am into facts. What we have seen over the last couple of weeks is an increase in reporting of cases up to almost 11% which concerns me. As you know, I don’t wear a mask for a number of reasons, one of those being medically I am unable to wear a mask. I have actually changed my schedule so that I am not in the public – I am working more from home. Whereas before I was doing 17-18 events a week and now I am doing more Zoom calls and I am working more from home.”
Chase continued; “I allow my actions to be determined by numbers and not rhetoric. I have always encouraged the people of Virginia to educate themselves, but I don’t think we should be mandating. It’s my role as a state legislator, as a future governor of Virginia, to educate the public and give them the facts that they need to make an informed and educated decision and to allow them to have self-determination. I am not going to mandate and say that its a class one misdemeanor if you don’t do what I say.”
VS: What would you say to the people who have been practicing social distancing measures and have been calling on you to take the safety protocols for the virus more seriously?
Chase: “I don’t think the numbers warranted that. I don’t agree with the one size fits all approach to COVID. I do believe COVID is real. My own daughter who is a healthcare worker has had COVID and she quickly and easily recovered.”
VS: I am glad she recovered.
Chase: “It was no worse than a cold. She didn’t even have a fever. I think a lot of the fear and hype has been overblown. Whenever we saw cases in Northern Virginia, they were locking down Southwest Virginia in the early stages and they had very few cases. I just think we have to look at the numbers by region, the 7-day average, and hospitalizations. More than the deaths, I think the hospitals have been incentivized, deaths are counting for COVID that shouldn’t be.”
Over 300,000 deaths have been reported in the United States due to complications of COVID-19.
VS: Experts believe that the Republicans will need a candidate to unite the party across the Commonwealth in order to compete in the statewide races. Many of those analysts believe that a candidate with your ideology and platform cannot win in Virginia. How would you respond to that?
Chase: “I am going to give you a very honest response on that. I believe that there are so many folks who vote Republican who are not a member of any party apparatus. Very few members are actually a member of a committee because they work full time or they have children and their activities. I honestly feel that while we have really good GOP units across Virginia, there are some GOP units who I believe are very out of touch with those who vote Republican. I have demonstrated that I am. Even when I ran for Virginia Senate the first time, I did not have the blessing of the local GOP. I challenged a 27-year incumbent, Steve Martin. There was a three-way race and I raised the least amount of money and received the fewest endorsements, yet I won with 40% of the vote. Now, why is that? I am very much a person of the people. I have a significant social media presence on Facebook. In fact, one of the largest of any legislator in Virginia. I think I say what most Virginians are thinking but wish that their legislator would say. I am not politically correct, I speak the truth. A lot of politicians will tell you what you want to hear instead of speaking the truth and I think that it has only increased my popularity and my support because they know that I have taken a stand and been bullied by members of my own party for it.”
Chase was kicked out of the Chesterfield Republican Party in 2019 for endorsing an Independent challenger against Chesterfield’s Republican Sheriff, Karl Leonard. She has also had problems with the Republicans in the Senate and she no longer caucuses with them.
Chase continued; “I left the Republican Senate Caucus because I refused to sit under leadership that introduced legislation against the 2nd amendment. I took a stand in Chesterfield against a sheriff, that by his actions, supported sanctuary cities. I don’t give in to political pressures because it’s expedient. I like to think that I always try to do the right thing based on principle and do what is best for the people. I am dedicated to doing the will of the people even at the expense of what it costs me. It would be easier for me to just go along to get along – but I don’t think that is always in the best interest of the people.”
VS: How would you unify the Republicans across Virginia?
Chase: “I would just say this, the challenge that I think Republicans have is finding a candidate that will energize the base. Whenever we choose candidates that more closely resemble the Democrats than Republicans, it is more difficult to get excitement from the base and the grassroots, I’ve seen it first hand. I have seen the excitement for my campaign for governor as I traveled across the state of Virginia. I already have people purchasing my signs and campaign hats. I have worked for many other candidates and it’s very humbling to be that person – I couldn’t even give away signs for some of these other folks that I worked for, yet they are buying my signs and hats because they believe in me. They believe that I have a heart for the people, that my desires are pure, and that I simply want to represent the people of Virginia. I have exposed the pay-to-play, I have been bullied by members of my own caucus for standing for what I feel like is the right thing to do. I think people have seen me, they have seen my heart and they know that I am not a person that is a politician just saying what they want to hear. I have been known for speaking the truth, even when it wasn’t the most politically correct thing to say, I speak the truth. People support me for that, they trust me because I am not your typical politician.”
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