In the wake of an attempted insurrection last week at the U.S. Capitol, Del. Dave LaRock (R-33) is facing calls to resign for his role encouraging attendance at the event and spreading conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election and the violence in the Capitol last week.
Last Wednesday’s events, which saw Trump-supporting rioters on the floor of the Senate, the House of Representatives, and offices of lawmakers, marked the first time the capitol building has been stormed since 1814. That was when British troops set fire to the building, which was still under construction, during the War of 1812.
LaRock took part in the protest, as well as encouraging constituents to participate in the rally. Following the riot—which killed five people, including a Capitol Police officer who was fatally beaten by the mob—LaRock has continued to post conspiracy theories on social media including that the Trump-supporting mob had been infiltrated by “paid provocateurs,” and that there was credible doubt around the validity of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
LaRock said Wednesday’s events were, for the most part, “an outstanding exercise of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. There was no vandalism, trash was picked up, and many times the masses sang the National Anthem together.”
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms those who forced entry into the Capitol, destroyed property, disrupted the meeting of Congress, and caused injuries and a death,” LaRock wrote in a statement after the riot.“The actions taken by rioters during this summer’s riots across the country were wrong, and so were the actions taken by those who stormed the U.S. Capitol today.”
He now faces calls to resign from the Loudoun NAACP, fellow lawmakers, and at least two county supervisors. More are expected from the local Democratic Party.
“The NAACP Loudoun Branch condemns all acts of treason and insurrection against the U.S. government,” reads an NAACP statement published over the weekend. “We repudiate the actions of the violent mob of ‘Trump supporters’ and domestic terrorist, who intentionally attempted to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election and the peaceful transfer of power to President-Elect Joseph Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. Therefore, we now call for the immediate resignation, investigation and the suspension of Virginia State GOP Del. Dave LaRock for his inciteful support of the U.S. Capital Coup D’ Etat insurrection, his attendance of the ‘Trump Uprising’ and his attempt to undermine U.S. Democracy and disenfranchise the sacred votes of millions of African Americans on January 6, 2021.”
The statement also calls for a condemnation from the Loudoun Board of Supervisors, and for state lawmakers to suspend LaRock’s access to the Virginia capitol to allow for “to allow for investigation into his treasonous acts and participation in the incitement of the Trump Insurrection.”
“Del LaRock is not just bad for Loudoun, his toxic, extremist ideology is bad for Virginia and his delusions of white supremacy grandeur is a danger to the nation’s democracy and national security,” the statement reads.
“I have much more important things to deal with as we’re going into the 2021 session than petty political posturing,” LaRock said, calling demands for his resignation “political gamesmanship.”
“It’s ridiculous to ask somebody to resign for exercising their First Amendment rights fairly and openly,” LaRock said.
And he maintained that the things he has posted about doubt in the outcome of the 2020 election could be true.
“People routinely say, ‘where’s the evidence?’ Well, I haven’t seen all the evidence, but I have listened to Senate hearings,” LaRock said. “[…]The fact that over 100 members of Congress voted to not accept the electors from their own home state, I think because of their own suspicions that allegations of widespread fraud have not adequately been investigated, then I think I’m in good company.”
A resolution is expected to go before the Board of Supervisors.
“Loudoun County deserves representation from leaders who work from truth; understand truth; speak the truth and do not support or encourage sedition, by their harmful, misleading and false statements,” wrote Supervisor Juli E. Briskman (D-Algonkian) in a press release calling for LaRock’s resignation. According to that release, she and County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) are preparing a resolution for a vote at the board’s Jan. 19 business meeting condemning LaRock’s “willful spreading of egregious lies and misinformation” and calling for his resignation.”
“His actions inflicted further strain on the bonds that hold our democracy together and threatens centuries of traditionally peaceful transitions,” Briskman added. “By failing to speak truthfully about a certified free and fair election, LaRock acted irresponsibly and criminally and blatantly demonstrated that he is unfit to represent Loudoun County with integrity and should resign from office forthwith.”