Va. senators move to censure lawmaker who addressed crowd before Capitol riot

Ten Democratic Virginia state senators are seeking to censure their Republican colleague after she addressed the crowd of President Donald Trump’s supporters before rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Sen. John J. Bell, who represents Loudoun County, filed the senate resolution on the opening day of the General Assembly on Wednesday. It calls for lawmakers to censure Sen. Amanda F. Chase, who represents the Chesterfield area. Nine other state senators backed the resolution.

They accuse Chase of “fomenting insurrection against the United States.”

Following the Capitol riot, Virginia Senate Democrats had called for her resignation.

“She galvanized domestic terrorists who violated the United States Capitol on Wednesday afternoon through riots, destruction and desecration, joining them on their march to Capitol Hill,” the Democrat Caucus wrote in a statement.

Chase called the Virginia Senate Democrats’ statements “laughable.”

On Jan. 6, Chase addressed Trump’s supporters, calling them “patriots” and urging that “action be taken to overturn the lawfully conducted presidential election,” Senate Resolution 91 said.

“The inflammatory statements and actions of Senator Amanda F. Chase before, during, and after the events that led to the insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, constitute a failure to uphold her oath of office and conduct unbecoming of a Senator.”

The resolution cites Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which says no person shall, “hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath … as a member of any State legislature … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The rules of the Virginia Senate state that the senate may, by a majority vote, censure one of its members. The formal rebuke, if passed, would not result in Chase’s removal from office, The Washington Post reported.

Chase said last week that Facebook had censored her, locking her account, following video posts from the “Stop the Steal Rally” and articles blaming the activist group, Antifa, for the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Chase is a Republican candidate for governor.

WTOP’s Michelle Murillo and Will Vitka and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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