Michigan Republican Rep. Peter Meijer said Thursday that the U.S. Capitol building is “walled off” because people can’t be trusted to not “try to overrun it.”
In an appearance on CNN’s “The Lead With Jake Tapper” Meijer was asked by host Jake Tapper about the backlash he is receiving after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump and being accused of casting a vote that “destroyed trust” with his constituents. (RELATED: Republican Congressman Says He ‘May Very Well Have’ Committed Political Suicide By Supporting Impeachment)
“I think the betrayal of trust was what happened leading up to January 6th with the president’s oath of office,” Meijer said. “I was watching the segment that you had earlier on, and that was the first I learned of the individual who was arrested near the Capitol with a list of lawmakers. It’s just staggering how many folks continue to either try to paper over what happened, try to move on, just say, you know, it’s been a couple of weeks, let’s forget about it. I’m just at a loss for words, Jake.”
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Jan. 13 after being accused of inciting the mob of his supporters that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Meijer was one of only 10 Republicans to vote in favor of impeachment.
There has been a heavy security presence in and around the Capitol since the day of the riot with over 20,000 National Guard soldiers on duty the day of President Joe Biden’s inauguration. In the week before the inauguration a fence was put in place around the perimeter of the building and has not yet been removed. It was announced that the National Guard will remain at the Capitol at least until the end of Trump’s Senate impeachment trial due to ongoing security concerns.
Tapper went on to ask Meijer if he felt some of his Republican colleagues were “potentially dangerous.”
“I don’t share those views on my Republican colleagues and the fears around that. I think if there was any complicity in the events of January 6th we shouldn’t jump the gun, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. We need to wait for that investigation to play out,” Meijer responded. “But we’re taking security risks seriously. I think it was my colleague Adam Kinzinger who said, you know, it’s not necessarily the death threats that are made to you that you worry about, it’s the ones that aren’t, it’s the people who are planning and not saying what they’re planning to do.”
Some Democratic members of Congress have expressed their views that some of their Republican colleagues are white supremacist sympathizers and they don’t feel safe around them. They have yet to name any specific members who they feel fit that description.
Tapper then noted that the Capitol resembles “a green zone type area” within a “war zone.”
“It just shows the absolute lack of trust that we’ve come to as a nation. You know, the Capitol used to be a place where folks could walk, you know, in front of the steps especially if the Congress wasn’t in session. It was supposed to be inviting. It was supposed to be the people’s house,” Meijer said. “To have it be walled off because we can’t trust that, frankly, the people won’t try to overrun it, that the tension has gotten that high. It’s dispiriting, it’s depressing, and it’s a sad reflection on where we are as a country today.”