Democratic Arizona state Rep. César Chávez has filed an ethics complaint seeking the expulsion of his colleague, GOP Rep. Mark Finchem, for being present near the U.S. Capitol the day of the riot.
Finchem was slated to speak at the “Stop the Steal” rally outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, but President Donald Trump’s speech near the White House went long, the Republican said in a statement.
When Finchem reached the Capitol, “I was told by the event organizer that the speaking engagement was cancelled,” he recounted.
“I stayed there for about 20 minutes, took a few photos and left the area,” the lawmaker added.
Finchem said that he did not even learn of the Capitol incursion until around 5 p.m., approximately three hours after the breach occurred.
“Media reports that I was ‘leading the march’ or somehow ‘leading an assault on the Capitol’ are wildly fictitious and a slanderous fabrication,” Finchem said. “The closest I ever came to the Capitol building was about 500 yards away.”
— Mark Finchem (@MarkFinchem) January 6, 2021
In his Jan. 13 ethics complaint, Chávez said Finchem’s mere presence at the Capitol is reason enough for his expulsion.
The Democrat said Finchem tweeted a photo of the Capitol, where “armed insurrectionists had descended en mass to attack and kidnap elected members of Congress and the Vice President of the United States.”
“These domestic terrorists did not like the outcome of the free and fair election in November 3, 2020, and rather than simply protesting the election outcome — political speech that is protected by the First Amendment — they stormed the Capitol building, killing one police officer and injuring countless others …”
“And all the while, Representative Finchem was there encouraging their efforts and was even scheduled to speak at the rally. Such behavior makes him unfit for office,” Chávez wrote.
BREAKING: Read Rep. @CesarChavezAZ’s ethics complaint regarding Rep. Mark Finchem’s alleged violation of his oath of office by attending & supporting the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington DC. #azleg pic.twitter.com/bIUjsFITp0
— Arizona House Democrats (@AZHouseDems) January 14, 2021
He pointed to the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bars state legislators from holding office if they have engaged in “insurrection or rebellion.”
Chávez went on to describe Finchem’s planned presence at the rally as participation in an “insurrection” and an “attempted coup.”
Chávez called on Arizona’s House Ethics Committee to conduct a full investigation into the matter and recommend expulsion if Finchem did in fact support the violent overthrow of the government.
Working in Finchem’s defense would be Trump’s statement during his Jan. 6 speech to protesters saying they should “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Hundreds of thousands of people apparently understood that that was what they were there to do, because only a small fraction of them entered the Capitol and an even smaller number engaged in violence.
Chávez offered no evidence that Finchem either entered the Capitol or encouraged people to do so.
Chávez also signed on to a letter, co-signed by dozens of other Democratic Arizona lawmakers, calling on the FBI and Department of Justice to investigate Finchem, along with Arizona Republican Congressmen Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, for possibly helping plan the “anti-democratic insurrection on January 6.”
Finchem oversaw an election integrity hearing in late November for Arizona lawmakers during which former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and members of the Trump legal team presented issues they said called for further review of the state’s presidential election.
The presentation focused heavily on the use of Dominion voting machines in Arizona and the potential for the manipulation of election results.
Among the evidence presented was the account of an anonymous whistleblower who stated that 35,000 votes had been added to Democrat Joe Biden’s tally electronically.
The Arizona Secretary of State’s official tally has Joe Biden defeating President Donald Trump by 10,457 votes.
Vote counting issues involving thousands of ballots were also uncovered in both Michigan and Georgia, which used Dominion machines.
The Arizona Senate issued subpoenas last month calling for an audit of Maricopa County’s Dominion machines, but so far the county’s board of supervisors has refused to comply.
Finchem said in his statement that he was in Washington to seek a delay in certifying the Electoral College results until a forensic audit could be conducted in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county which encompasses the Phoenix metropolitan area.
This article appeared originally on Patriot Project.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.