US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died after he was injured while physically engaging with Pro-Trump rioters at the Capitol.
The Virginia General Assembly will be convening on Wednesday for their legislative session that is expected to last about a month. Most of the statewide candidates that I cover in this newsletter will be key players during the session. In addition, the legislation that is passed during the session could have a direct impact on the November elections. For this reason, I will be including in-depth coverage of the legislative session in this newsletter.
Paid subscribers will receive much more content.
As I reported last week, the Republican State Central Committee is meeting on January 16 to finalize the details of their nomination process for the statewide candidates this year. The committee originally voted in December during a tense, long meeting to hold a nominating convention with a vague understanding that it would be an un-assembled convention. An unassembled convention would create more locations for delegates to vote instead of everyone meeting to vote in one location with a normal convention. This vague understanding caused some confusion and nearly derailed the entire meeting in December.
There was backlash after the vote from members of the party unhappy about the decision to not hold a primary election.
The insistence on holding a primary has not stopped since the day of the decision and a movement is happening now with the intention of voting to change the process back to a primary at the next meeting. It is included in the agenda.
Jeff Ryer, a member of the committee who also works for the state Senate Republican Caucus sent a letter to the rest of the members explaining why he will not vote in favor of an unassembled convention. “The unassembled convention was never intended to be the enduring method to hold nominating conventions, but only adopted under exceptional and extraordinary circumstances,” wrote Ryer.
You can view the entire letter below:
Delegate Lee Carter (Manassas) sent a letter to Attorney General Mark Herring asking him to make a formal opinion as to “the question of enforcing the U.S. Constitution in the case of state legislators who engage in insurrection against the United States of America.”
Carter is referencing the insurrection that took place in Washington D.C. on January 6. State Senator Amanda Chase (Chesterfield) attended the riot that morphed into a mob of Trump supporters storming the Capitol building which resulted in 5 deaths.
In addition to serving in the Virginia state Senate representing Amelia, Colonial Heights, and parts of Chesterfield, Chase is also running for Governor. She has tried to defend herself by continuing to post false statements about election results. She also called the insurrectionists at the Capitol “patriot” and the police officers “murderers.”
Facebook eventually blocked Chase from her campaign page that had over 100,000 followers.
State Delegate Dave LaRock was also in attendance on January 6.
“Today, I and hundreds of thousands of Americans exercised our rights of assembly, free speech, and political activism on issues including the 2020 election, medical freedom, and more,” wrote LaRock. “Unfortunately, there was a small element who likely infiltrated this patriotic group for the purpose of inciting violence.”
Section 3 of the 14th amendment reads: No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Carter is asking Herring for guidance on how the Commonwealth should deal with legislators that potentially violated the Constitution.
“The U.S. Constitution clearly prohibits people who’ve engaged in insurrection or rebellion from holding office in our state legislature,” Delegate Carter said in a statement. “I’m asking Attorney General Herring how the Commonwealth can enforce the Constitution in light of this week’s violent insurrection.”
Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Fairfax) is calling on the Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia to resign after he released a statement last week blaming Antifa for the violence in Washington D.C.
After initially condemning the violence that took place on January 6, Chairman Rich Anderson, followed up with a statement where he praised President Trump and accused anti-fascists of causing the violence – even as well-known Trump supporters that often circulate conspiracy theories were arrested on Capitol grounds.
Ayala, a member of the House of Delegates who is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for Lieutenant Governor called Anderson’s patriotism into question. “Former Delegate Rich Anderson didn’t learn the first time from peddling conspiracy theories and racist troupes,” said Delegate Hala Ayala. “This is unpatriotic, especially from a former service member. Rich needs to resign. Our Commonwealth deserves better.”
Anderson, a three-decade veteran of the Air Force did not respond to requests for comment.
**Caution: A graphic description of Ashlii Babbitt’s death is below.**
Melvin Adams, the Chairman of the 5th Congressional District GOP Committee sent an email to Republicans describing the event through his eyes on January 6. Attending the event with his wife, Adams said he was close enough to Ashli Babbitt to touch her when she was being carried out of the Capitol. A video from the day shows that Babbitt was shot by law enforcement when she was trying to climb through a barricaded door inside the Capitol.
“Her chest was covered with blood and a steady trickle of blood stained the sidewalk all the way from the capitol building to the ambulance,” wrote Adams. “As you can imagine, shock and anger prevailed.”
He then continued to hint that this could lead to a revolution. “The haunting question still lingers in my mind: Why were ten live rounds fired into a crowd of unarmed citizens? I know that the circumstances were extreme, but these are the kind of actions that historically start revolutions. Are we ready to go there? I don’t think so. But I’ve also learned that what I think doesn’t always matter.”
Fairfax resident and Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick was killed by the mob on January 6. “He loved his job,” his father, Charles Sicknick, said in an interview with Reuters. “I’ll never get over this.”
Virginia Scope is an independent news publication that is funded largely by donations and subscribers. As local newsrooms are losing writers each day, we are trying to fill the void to ensure that the public is informed and that leaders are held accountable for their actions.