Boyle introduces resolution to condemn insurrection at U.S. Capitol and those who stoked it

HARRISBURG, Jan. 13 – State Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery, wants state lawmakers to quickly act on an official rebuke of last week’s seditious insurrection against the United States and the people who worked for months to stoke it, including President Donald Trump, state and federal Republican lawmakers and leaders, and the right-wing media.

“Last Wednesday’s mob of White supremacists, racists and blind Trump supporters was met with cheers and fist-pumps by the president and his surrogates as they prepared to attack the United States Congress and its most sacred act of democracy,” Boyle said. “While the horrors played out over several hours that day, the seeds for this violence, treachery and destruction were sown over months by people in chief positions of power who refused to accept the results of a duly run election.

“While many of these so-called leaders now claim they could not see it coming or that their actions were not the impetus, the facts of the past several months prove otherwise. While Trump rallied his base over his four years in office, the full Republican party and right-wing media joined in to finish the job. They should not only be ashamed of themselves, but they should also be censured in the strongest terms possible.”

Boyle introduced a resolution that calls for the condemnation and lays out a timeline of the disinformation, divisiveness and political maneuvers that took place surrounding the 2020 presidential election, which he said shows a clear line of cause and effect for the attack on the Capitol and attempted abduction or assassination of U.S. House and Senate lawmakers and public officials who Trump called out as traitors to his cause.

According to Boyle, who served as Democratic chairman of the House State Government Committee in the last legislative session and which oversees voting and elections laws, the Republican-led majority in the Pennsylvania legislature voted in November 2019 to allow no-excuse mail-in voting, an option among several reforms that also eliminated straight-ticket voting and gave people more days in which to register to vote before an election. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to stay at home and rethink their daily lives, a record number of Pennsylvanians and people across the nation turned to the mail-in or drop-off voting option. Republicans, encouraged by Trump, then began their assault, Boyle said.

“When President Trump, Republican lawmakers and GOP party officials saw how many Democrats decided to exercise their right to vote in this way or register to vote for the first time in Pennsylvania and across the nation, they knew they could lose and began their coordinated plan to sow doubt in our elections and claim voter fraud,” Boyle said. “Their actions in this timeline are very clear.”

Boyle said that from June forward, the Trump campaign continuously repeated inflammatory rhetoric and conspiracy theories, including that the election would be rigged if he lost. Prominent Republicans across the nation and the commonwealth parroted these false claims and joined the Trump administration in plans to disenfranchise voters. After Trump lost, these claims were shared repeatedly by these same Republicans while simultaneously stating that their own elections were free and fair with no evidence of fraud, he said.

“While election experts concluded that the 2020 election was one of the most fairly and securely conducted elections conducted in American history, and more than 60 Trump campaign lawsuits were dismissed by the courts, the damage had already been done,” Boyle said. “Last Wednesday was the direct result of a coordinated campaign by Republicans and the right-wing media to subvert the will of the American people and the result of four years of a president who would partner with anyone to stay in power. They must be held accountable for their actions.”