Even after an angry mob — fueled by months of lies from Donald Trump and his enablers about unfounded voter fraud claims — stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday, too many of his most servile Congressional acolytes stuck to the script.
Shamefully, one of these acolytes happens to be from New York City: new Brooklyn/Staten Island Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, who just took office on Jan. 3. Within 72 hours of her term, she broke her Constitutional oath by siding with 146 seditious Republicans who objected on Jan. 6 to certifying Arizona’s 11 electoral votes.
The objection was as futile as it was a betrayal of the Constitution, and of American democracy. And the damage only poured further salt into the fresh wounds inflicted by Trump’s mob upon our Capitol.
It’s not merely enough that the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris victory has been confirmed at last. Now the Democrats, and pro-democracy Republicans who rejected the Trumpists’ coup attempt, must hold those who sided with the sedition accountable.
We believe Malliotakis and her colleagues in the House who objected to the electoral votes Wednesday should face censure — a public rebuke for siding with Trump against the will of the American people.
Malliotakis should have known better. She condemned the violence, but decided to support the baseless claims that helped fuel it. She knows that not a single claim of irregularities had any legal validity.
Judge after judge tossed out the more than 60 frivolous voter fraud lawsuits that Trump filed. All 50 states certified their electors without incident. Nevertheless, Malliotakis objected anyway.
What was the point?
To gain some good press in right-wing media circles?
Some campaign cash from Trump supporters?
To curry favor of a president forever branded as a seditious despot responsible for whipping up an attack on our Capitol?
No explanation that Malliotakis can provide justifies her support for overturning a state’s electoral votes — not only because it is undemocratic, but also because it is exactly what Trump and the mob who attacked the Capitol yesterday wanted. She ceded her loyalty to the Constitution and embraced a loyalty to Trumpian lies.
Malliotakis’ district might be Trump’s biggest stronghold in New York City, and yes, she would have angered a lot of his supporters there by siding against the coup.
Yet the misplaced, illogical anger of a base does not permit a Member of Congress to betray their oath to the Constitution, and a responsibility to uphold our democratic institutions. Malliotakis, like other Members of Congress, must be held to higher standards.
The freshman Congresswoman should face public rebuke — both on the House floor, and by the voters in 2022.