The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 26, 2019 (Erin Scott/Reuters)
Representative Peter Meijer (R., Mich.) said Thursday that he and his Congressional colleagues are taking safety precautions as their “expectation is that someone may try to kill us,” after receiving death threats following last week’s rioting at the U.S. Capitol.
Meijer, a freshman congressman who succeeded Justin Amash, voted on Wednesday to impeach President Trump on the charge that he incited an insurrection. He said in an appearance on MSNBC that while the death threats were not a factor in his decision to support impeachment, he is taking steps to protect himself.
“I don’t believe in giving an assassin’s veto, an insurrectionist’s veto, a heckler’s veto,” he told host Hallie Jackson. “If we let that guide decisions then we’re cowering to the mob. That’s the definition of terrorism, is trying to achieve a political end using violence.”
“Our expectation is that someone may try to kill us”: Freshman GOP @RepMeijer, who voted to impeach Trump, says fellow lawmakers are taking safety precautions after getting death threats following last week’s attack at the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/5qHFyttDLn
— MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson (@HallieOnMSNBC) January 14, 2021
“When it comes to my family’s safety, that’s something we’ve been planning for, preparing for, taking appropriate measures,” he added.
He said some of his colleagues are traveling with armed escorts “out of the fear for their safety,” and that many lawmakers are altering their routines and working to get body armor, which he noted is a reimbursable purchase.
“It’s sad that we have to get to that point,” he said. “Our expectation is that someone may try to kill us.”
When Jackson asked if Meijer was taking those precautions, he said yes and noted that he has a background in conducting risk assessment and taking mitigating measures as a former safety advisor to humanitarian aid organizations in Afghanistan.
“Obviously we saw what happened January 6 and the fact that there are 20,000 national guardsmen in D.C. right now, there’s a feeling that there’s not control here and we don’t know what’s going to happen next,” he said.
“We weren’t expecting for the Capitol to get overrun for the first time in over 200 years and so in this unprecedented environment with the unprecedented degree of fear, of division, of hatred, we have to account for every scenario,” he said.
Earlier this week Meijer claimed that at least one House colleague objected to certifying the Electoral College results out of fear for their family’s safety.
“After the Capitol was cleared of insurrectionists, with windows shattered and the smell of tear gas lingering, the consequences of his dangerous lies became clear,” Meijer wrote in an op-ed on Saturday for The Detroit Free Press.
“As we moved to accept Arizona’s electors, a fellow freshman lingered near a voting terminal, voting card in hand,” Meijer continued. “My colleague told me that efforts to overturn the election were wrong, and that voting to certify was a constitutional duty. But my colleague feared for family members, and the danger the vote would put them in. Profoundly shaken, my colleague voted to overturn.”
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