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Away from DC, Republicans aren't 'moving on' from Capitol attack

In D.C., Republicans say they want to "move on" from the events of Jan. 6. At the state level, it's a very different story.
Image: Stop the Steal rally
A supporter of President Donald Trump arrives for a rally on the Ellipse outside of the White House on Jan. 6, 2021.Alex Edelman / AFP - Getty Images file

Nikki Haley recently appeared on Fox News to argue against holding Donald Trump accountable for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Though the former ambassador to the United Nations was willing to say the former president's actions were "not great," Haley soon added, "I mean, give the man a break. I mean, move on."

Around the same time, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also appeared on Fox News and used similar phrasing. "[T]o coin a phrase, I think it's time to move on," the Republican senator said. "It's time to move on."

Most Republicans in D.C. have adopted the same posture: the attack was a whole month ago, and Trump's no longer in office, so why make a fuss about the former president attacking our democracy, trying to subvert our electoral process, and dispatching a violent mob on the Capitol?

But away from Capitol Hill, it's a different story. At the state level, Republicans aren't just resisting the idea that the political world should "move on"; they're still acting on the ridiculous idea that Trump's Big Lie is true.

In Nevada, for example, the state Republican Party is urging the public to call into state legislative meetings featuring Barbara Cegavske -- Nevada's Republican secretary of state, to ask why "no official is investigating illegal votes in Nevada."

In Michigan, it's worse.

Six Trump supporters from Michigan have been arrested in connection with the storming of the Capitol. One, a former Marine accused of beating a Capitol Police officer with a hockey stick, had previously joined armed militiamen in a protest organized by Michigan Republicans to try to disrupt ballot counting in Detroit. The chief organizer of that protest, Meshawn Maddock, on Saturday was elected co-chair of the state Republican Party — one of four die-hard Trump loyalists who won top posts.

And in Arizona, it's worse still.

In a surprise move Monday, the Arizona Senate voted to not hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt for failing to turn over voting machines and ballots from the November election. The vote was expected to pass with a Republican majority, but GOP Rep. Paul Boyer voted against the resolution, evening the tallies at 15 each and killing the resolution. If the vote would have passed, the five-member board consisting of just one Democrat could have been subject to immediate arrest.

If you missed last night's show, Rachel explained this story in unsettling detail, and it's every bit as ridiculous as it seems. A group of GOP state legislators were prepared to have local officials in Arizona's largest county arrested because they, in accordance with the law, protected ballots and voting machines from political interference.

Just barely, that effort fell short, though one Republican state senator responded by suggesting the public may take matters into their own hands. "So, public, do what you gotta do," state Sen. Kelly Townsend (R) said.

In too many instances, it doesn't appear that Republicans are looking to "move on" from the events of Jan. 6; it appears they're eager to build on the toxicity that led to the violent attack.