Submitted by Congressman Jeff Duncan
Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) released the following statement regarding the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 and his electoral college objections on the House floor:
“I strongly and unequivocally condemn the violence committed by protesters at the US Capitol. Like I said yesterday, destructive protests that disrespect law enforcement are never the answer – that’s not how we should express ourselves. Our nation’s Capitol is a bastion of freedom for people all over the world. It is a place where differences have been debated and governing has been worked out by Representatives of the people. It’s called “The People’s House” for a reason, and the House was violated under a banner of Constitutional protests to petition the government for redress of grievances.
“The violation of the Capitol, the Halls of Congress, and the symbol of freedom can’t go unpunished. I have many concerns regarding the identity of some of the instigators, their motivations, and the tactics used to incite the violence and encourage the breach. All of this requires a full investigation to find out the people and the elements who perpetrated these acts and encouraged others to follow. I call on all agencies of law enforcement, both federal and in D.C., to find the perpetrators and prosecute them to the fullest extent. There’s no question we need to find out more about yesterday’s events.
“The assault on the Capitol did not change the substance of the issues at hand. And that is why – even after the chaos – I raised objections to electors from certain states that performed elections in clear violation of Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution. The fact of the matter is that several states conducted elections in direct contradiction to their state laws, state constitutions, and the U.S. Constitution. I have been very clear on this issue, and there was very little debate on the other side of the aisle disputing these points.
Unfortunately, after the events of the day, many Senators withdrew their objections, and the House only had the procedural requirements to move forward with votes and debates concerning electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania. I voted to object to both states’ electors. This has always been about the Constitution and my oath to protect it – not a particular personality or person. Most of the people who have attacked me on my position to object haven’t even taken the time to review the evidence and arguments I have presented. My hope is that even if someone disagrees with my decision, they will at least take the time to read how I reached it.
“A loud minority have called me seditious and a traitor to my country. They have suggested that I and some of my colleagues should be expelled from Congress for signing two amicus briefs in support of election integrity and for voting to object to electors. These accusations are revolting, politically motivated, and frankly, don’t even make sense. I am following a constitutionally prescribed process as a Member of the House of Representatives that Democrats have utilized the last three times a Republican president has been elected (2000, 2004, 2016).
In fact, South Carolina’s own Congressman Jim Clyburn objected to the electors from Ohio in January 2005. So how can Democrats participate in constitutional prescribed processes, like impeachment and objection to electors, but Republicans can’t? Why are we treated differently? Does this logic make the 31 Democrats who objected in 2005, like top Democrat Whip Jim Clyburn, Chairman Frank Pallone, and Chairwoman Maxine Waters seditious? Traitors to their country? Or does that label only apply if you have an R next to your name? This rhetoric needs to be dialed back.
“We need to learn from these events as a country. We have seen too much unrest this past year. Republicans have been unified in condemning violence and destruction in left-wing cities across the country while Democrat mayors and governors let mobs rule the streets. Where were Democrat leaders during the rioting, looting, burning, fighting, and attacks on police by Antifa and BLM? Where were Democrats when the violence escalated so rapidly in D.C. that Secret Service took President Trump to an underground bunker in fear the White House would be breached? Where were Democrats when left-wing mobs stormed Senate office buildings during the Kavanaugh hearings? Why didn’t Democrats condemn Chris Cuomo when he remarked, “who says protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful?”
“Republicans and Democrats were quick to condemn yesterday’s actions – and I have condemned them wholeheartedly. But all violence should be condemned, and that has simply not been the case with the violent protests we’ve seen in our cities over the past year. This type of hypocrisy only emboldens the perpetrators, and it normalizes and encourages radical behavior.
“I can proudly say I did my duty on the House floor and represented my constituents to the best of my ability by objecting to certain states’ electors. Upholding the Constitution will always be my mission – I swore an oath to do so.
“Pray for our country. God bless the United States of America.”