Va. Sen. Kaine calls on Congress for more protection of voting rights as insurrection investigation hearings continue


WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Just days after the House voted to refer the former White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, to the Justice Department for interfering with the investigation on the January 6th insurrection, a Virginia senator is saying that there is still not enough being done to protect legislators on the hill, but also to protect democracy itself.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine says that there are a number of legislators on Capitol Hill that are unwilling to acknowledge the attacks in fear of repercussions from pro-Trump members of their party. Sen. Kaine told members of the media that there are members of the GOP, including elected members of the Senate and House, who are trying to “sugarcoat and rewrite” what happened on January 6th and trying to downplay its importance.

“Some of them know better, but they’re trying to do it because they’re afraid of Donald Trump.”

Sen. Tim Kaine on GOP members refusing to “downplay” the insurrection on Jan. 6.

Sen. Kaine also went on to voice his dissatisfaction about the commission created to investigate the incident and its cause calling it a “scrupulously bipartisan commission.”

“It was equally composed of Democrats and Republicans and they even carefully wrote the rules of the commission so that not a single document, nor witness could be subpoenaed, unless there was a majority of the commission members who wanted it, meaning if there would have to be some bipartisanship,” Sen. Kaine explained. “We voted on that commission in the Senate. Under current Senate rules, 60 votes are required to pass legislation, and no more than 7 Republicans would go for it.”

While he did acknowledge the increase in safety measures on the hill, he says the larger issue boils down to voting rights and is calling on members of the Republican party to stand up and voice their true opinions rather than backing down to pro-Trump members of their party.

“They have kind of retreated into a position of fear of Donald Trump, fear of the Donald Trump wing of their own party, and they’re no longer willing to acknowledge what occurred,” Sen. Kaine said. “But if one side largely won’t stand up to protect the democracy, that doesn’t absolve Democrats from doing it.”

Sen. Kaine went on to explain that he believes that the rhetoric voiced by Trump following the election is the cause of the insurrection. He says that failing to have a peaceful transition of power has continued the restrictive voting legislation being introduced across the country.

“The same big lie that’s being repeated in state legislatures around the country to weaken people’s rights to vote to pose different obstacles to different kinds of people, based on who they might vote for, to selectively audit jurisdictions even to give the power to partisan legislatures to take away from election officials the ability to call the winner,” Sen. Kaine said. “All those things are motivated by the same big lie that led to the attack on January 6th.”

Sen. Kaine then went on to explain that he believes the only way to guarantee democracy is by voting. He stated that the Constitution is only “words on paper” but that voting is the “ultimate guarantor of our democracy.”

“The real steps that have to be taken to protect against an attack of that kind are guaranteeing people’s rights to participate in a democracy and pushing aside those who would intentionally weaken or demean the integrity of our elections as president trump did throughout his term,” Sen. Kaine said.

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