Jan 6 Survivor Michael Fanone Delivers Letter to Incoming Speaker Demanding GOP House Condemn Political Violence
The letter, signed by over one thousand veterans, active duty service members, and military family members, is part of broader week of action led by Courage for America and Common Defense to hold the incoming House Majority accountable
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, former DC Police Officer and January 6 survivor Michael Fanone delivered a letter signed by over one thousand veterans, active duty service members, and military family members from across the country to aspiring members of GOP House leadership Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Steve Scalise, Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. Elise Stefanik, and Rep. James Comer — as well as to the de-facto Speaker of the House, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Ahead of the two-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, the letter calls on members of GOP House leadership to condemn political violence and hold members of their conference accountable when they support or outright incite it. The letter was hand-delivered today by Officer Fanone and veterans, and, tomorrow, the letter will run as a two-page ad in The New York Times.
“Leader McCarthy and Republican House leadership, you said you couldn’t “control” the “fringe members” of your party on January 6th, 2021. These members are no longer merely a fringe — they have taken the reins of the Republican House conference, and will have unprecedented influence in the 118th Congress,” wrote Officer Michael Fanone in the letter. “You have a duty to reject the dangerous rhetoric and action that could lead to further political violence here at home. The communities we represent are demanding action and leadership. Our futures, and our children’s futures, depend on it.
You can read the full letter here.
Tomorrow, the veterans and council members will join Officer Fanone, as well as Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-PA), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) at a press conference near the U.S. Capitol to urge the new GOP-led House to publicly condemn political violence and the rhetoric that inflames it. At the press conference, Officer Fanone will read the letter aloud and veterans in attendance will symbolically retake their oath to protect the constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic — the same oath members of Congress take on week one — to punctuate the responsibility GOP members should bring to their offices.
Spearheaded by Courage for America and Common Defense, the letter and press conference is part of a broader week of action that flew over 40 veterans and Courage for America council members to Washington, D.C. to deliver the call to condemn political violence in-person. Traveling from all across the country this week, many of the veterans flying in hail from Congressional districts represented by new and incumbent incoming GOP House members, including Mike Collins, Alex Mooney, and Cory Mills, and have requested meetings to discuss their concerns directly with the aforementioned elected officials.
“The veterans participating in this week of action have different military backgrounds, political views, and life experiences, but we are united by a shared commitment to the oath we took when we enlisted to protect this country,” said Naveed Shah, senior advisor and spokesperson for Courage for America. “We are calling on GOP House Leaders to listen to veterans when we say that political violence must be condemned unequivocally for the safety of all Americans.”
The week of activity was organized in response to the growing threat of political violence. Since 2016, reports of threats of violence against members of Congress have increased tenfold, with dire consequences. Incidents include the most recent attack on Paul Pelosi, a kidnapping plot against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, an armed attack on an FBI office in Ohio, threats towards election officials and school administrators, and the deadly January 6 attack on the Capitol, to name only a few examples. Several members of the incoming House Majority have endorsed, supported or participated in these and other events, including Rep. Derrick Van Orden, who breached police barricades at the US Capitol on January 6, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, who shook hands with Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, and Rep. George Santos who attended the January 6th rally in DC.
“The endorsement of politically motivated violence by GOP members is among the most extreme and dangerous elements of the incoming House agenda,” said Officer Michael Fanone. “As survivors of political violence and defenders of the constitution, we’re sending a clear message to the new Speaker — your actions have consequences and the American people will hold you accountable.”
To learn more or to speak with a Courage for America spokesperson, contact [email protected].