capitol riot

Virginia Delegate Defends Mob March, Faces Calls for Ouster

Virginia Del. Dave LaRock
Virginia General Assembly

Loudoun County's top elected official is calling for the removal of a Virginia state delegate who participated in the mob march on the U.S. Capitol and then attacked his critics for failing to focus on “the needs of the colored community.”

Del. Dave LaRock represents western Loudoun County and is the only Republican remaining in northern Virginia's House of Delegates delegation. He describes himself as a “constitutional conservative.”

Calls for his resignation began after he participated in the Jan. 6 rally of President Donald Trump's supporters that stormed the Capitol.

In a statement, LaRock condemned those who forced their way into the Capitol but said the “massive crowds in DC were law-abiding, patriotic, mom and pop, young adults pushing baby carriages. They were peaceful protesters who shared distrust in the system that asserts that Joe Biden won, an opinion shared a growing number of members of Congress.”

He said the event was “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.”

He blamed the violence on “paid provocateurs” and “a small element who likely infiltrated this patriotic group" despite all evidence to the contrary that those who breached the Capitol were indeed Trump supporters.

Authorities in all 50 states are on high alert after an FBI warning that there may be violent protests ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

LaRock's actions prompted Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall and Supervisor Juli Briskman to say they will introduce a resolution calling for LaRock's resignation.

In an interview, Randall said she believes the Legislature should vote to expel him.

“I am concerned whenever an elected leader spreads misinformation,” Randall said.

She said LaRock's participation in the march, regardless of whether he actually breached the Capitol, feeds the false narrative that the presidential election was stolen.

Photos: Pro-Trump Supporters Breach the Capitol Building

“There was not a steal of the election,” she said.

LaRock responded to the calls for his ouster, which were joined by Loudoun County NAACP chapter President Michelle Thomas, with another statement Tuesday attacking his critics.

“NOT GONNA HAPPEN, LADIES!” LaRock said. “Rather than focusing on the business of Loudoun County and the needs of the colored community, they are wasting their time and taxpayer resources to attack me.”

Randall is African American.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., honored the fallen members of the Capitol Police who died in or after the Capitol riot and thanked those who still stand guard.

LaRock said he used “colored community" in addressing the NAACP call for him to resign because their organization is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, News4's Julie Carey reported. He said he had no intent of offending anyone and he learned a lesson.

A petition calling for the expulsion of LaRock — as well as GOP state Sen. Amanda Chase, who was a speaker at the Jan. 6 mob march — has received more than 2,800 signatures.

Expelling LaRock would require a two-thirds vote in the House of Delegates. Although Democrats hold a majority, a successful expulsion vote would require support of roughly a dozen Republicans as well.

House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and a spokeswoman for House Democrats did not return calls and emails seeking comment.

AP/NBCWashington
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