SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A year ago, rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol trapping some lawmakers in the House Chamber.
“I think it was one of the saddest days not only that I’ve spent in Washington, D.C., but one of the saddest days of my life,” said Georgia 1st District Congressman Buddy Carter
At the time, Carter was angry and now cites the “stupidity of it all.” He called for those responsible to be arrested and held accountable and says he still feels that way.
“Those people ought to be arrested, they ought to be given their rights as all criminals are and I’m concerned that some of them are not being treated as they should be treated,” said Carter. “However, I condemn it and they should be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The congressman says it’s not clear to him what the motivation was for all those involved. He says that will be up to the prosecutors and courts to decide.
And while the “Stop the Steal” movement has been cited as the reason many protestors showed up in the nation’s capital last Jan. 6, Carter believes the issue of the insurrection has now been politicized by House Democrats, specifically Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“What bothers me is that I feel like there are certain people, i.e. the Speaker in particular, who are trying to weaponize Jan. 6, trying to politicize Jan. 6 and use it for political purposes,” said Carter.
Yet others argue what led to the insurrection — misinformation about the accurate results of the 2020 election — is the true political issue.
Democratic Rep. Nikema Williams from Georgia’s 5th District said in a statement that “violent rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to prevent the certification of the free and fair 2020 presidential election, in which Georgia voted to elect President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Rioters were inspired by debunked claims of voter fraud in states like Georgia, which has confirmed its presidential election results three times. Several people died in connection to the insurrection.”
Williams also said that Americans must “never stop holding accountable those who helped incite the insurrection or who continue to spread the lies and conspiracy theories that inspired it.”
Carter says he condemns the actions of the crowd on Jan. 6.
“However, that does not mean that we shouldn’t discuss election integrity,” said Carter.
Williams and others point out that Georgia’s election results were counted three times.
Williams said in her statement that months after the insurrection, “Georgia Republicans passed SB 202, a massive voter suppression law based on the very same lies that inspired the insurrectionists, which Governor Brian Kemp enthusiastically signed and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger supported.”