In a letter delivered on Wednesday to Republican House of Representatives leaders, former Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone—who is well-known for his testimony at the opening Jan. 6 Committee hearing in July—asked them to condemn political violence in honor of the attack on the Capitol’s second anniversary.
Over 1,000 members of law enforcement, active military, veterans, and military families also signed the letter, according to the Associated Press.
In the letter, ” “several incidents of politically motivated violence, including the attack on an FBI office in Ohio following the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and the attack on the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as threats and comments calling for her execution.”
Republicans James Comer of Kentucky, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Elise Stefanik of New York, and Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, who is vying to become House speaker, also received letters from veterans.
The trips take place during a turbulent period on Capitol Hill. McCarthy’s bid to become speaker was denied by a majority of conservative House Republicans in several votes on Tuesday and Wednesday. House activity, including the swearing in of its members and the appointment of committee chairmen, has been put on hold as a result of the GOP’s inability to pick a new speaker.
Fanone requests that House Republicans publicly denounce all forms of political violence in the letter and “promise to hold members of your conference accountable for endorsing violence or espousing violent rhetoric towards those who disagree with them politically.”
The non-governmental organization Courage for America and Common Defense organized the in-person journey to stop fresh acts of violence motivated by politics. The letter is their first attempt to get the powerful Republicans to explicitly condemn anyone who uses violence to express their political views or conveys such views.
An early turning point in the Committee hearings on January 6 was Fanone’s statement of being accosted and physically abused. Since then, right-wing supporters of former president Donald Trump have repeatedly threatened his life.
Fanone was one of several law enforcement personnel hurt during the uprising on January 6, 2021, when a mob invaded the Capitol after marching there at Trump’s instigation in an effort to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election. Fanone claimed that the assault on him—which ended when he mentioned he had children—left him with a heart attack in his testimony to the House committee looking into the uprising.
Fanone claimed in an interview that he had been searching for a group that shared his beliefs and worries about the future of the nation, and that search had brought him to Courage for America, a progressive organization founded after Republicans took control of the House in November. During the 2016 election, the progressive grassroots group Common Defense was founded by veterans.