Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), in a debate Thursday night with Democratic challenger Dan Pastore, charged with being charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riots. Those who have been jailed express outrage.
When asked by the WICU Erie News Now debate moderator what he thought of a House select committee investigating the causes of the unrest and calling on the committee to subpoena former President Donald Trump’s deliberations, Kelly described it as a partisan witch hunt and emphasized his concern for law enforcement response to the riots.
“Should have happened? Absolutely not,” Kelly said of the attack on the Capitol. “Whatever information is gathered, the relentless pursuit of this president should shock anyone living in this country.”
“I understand and fully agree: January 6th shouldn’t have happened,” Kelly added. “But when you see some people who are still in prison and cannot escape, you ask yourself: Is this really America? Is this really America?”
Kelly correctly pointed out during the debate that there were only two Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee — Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyoming) and Adam Kinsinger (Illinois) — both longtime Trump critics By. However, he did not mention that the committee exists in its current form, as House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) rejected the idea of a fully independent and bipartisan committee.
“The vast majority of witnesses at these hearings are either Capitol Police or actually Republicans,” replied Pastorre, a businessman and attorney. “What did he propose? We just brushed it under the rug?”
“It’s important that we get to the truth, and that’s what we’re trying to do at the January 6 hearing,” Pastore added.
At another point in the debate, Kelly elaborated on his loss of confidence in the federal government.
“We’re in the most dangerous moment we’ve ever experienced as a nation, and we’re being replaced by a government with the same failed justice system,” he said. “The FBI is now seen by most people as Danger.”
Kelly is one of them 147 House Republicans Late a day after the congressional riots, votes against certifying the 2020 presidential election results.He had previously passed the Republican-controlled state legislature Unexcused absentee voting Violates the Pennsylvania Constitution. Pennsylvania Supreme Court with a Democratic majority, dismiss the lawsuit November 2020.
Pastore later pressed Kelly to clarify whether he still believed the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from Trump.
Kelly declined to provide a direct answer, instead stressing that he continues to doubt the fairness of management.
“My opponent can say anything he wants to say, ‘He won’t take it’, ‘He won’t take it’, ‘He won’t take it’,” he said. “What I don’t accept is the destruction of America and the confidence we need in government and elections.”
In a statement provided to The Huffington Post on Friday, Pastore took an additional charge of Kelly, calling Kelly an “embarrassment in western Pennsylvania.”
“His comments suggest he is unfit for public office,” Pastore said. “I am running for Congress to uphold land laws and support law enforcement. Mike Kelly stands with violent criminals attacking law enforcement officers who keep us safe.”
“Mike Kelly believes it’s outrageous that violent criminals who attack police and try to overthrow our government are serving time in prison,” he added. “Kelley’s attack on federal law enforcement shows that he has no respect for the law and those who protect us.”
Kelly, a six-term incumbent, is a favorite for re-election in Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District, which covers the northwest corner of Keystone state. Trump beats President Joe Biden among voters in the region in 2020 more than 20 percent.
Pastore struggled to raise big money, which prevented him from advertising on TV during the game.