Congressman Welch discusses Capitol riots a year later

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Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., asks questions during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 19, 2019. (AP / Jacquelyn Martin)

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WFFF) – Investigations into the attack on the Capitol are still ongoing one year later. Vermont Congressman Peter Welch was there when a mob attacked the House Chambers on January 6, 2021. His account went viral as much of the country watched the events unfold. Looking back, Rep.

Welch calls it a sad day but says that the attacks on democracy are not over. “We’re not in a better space when it comes to democracy. There’s very much a contest underway right now and my view is it’s an all-hand-on-deck moment,” he says.

Rep. Welch, who is running for Senate, points to the need for voter protection laws to preserve and defend the electoral system. “The elections are decided by voters, not by politicians, and if you lose an election, you accept the outcome and fight another day. That’s what has guided us, that’s the glue that held us together so we can resolve these disputes in society,” he added.

He continues to blame former President Donald Trump for inciting rioters and right now, a House Committee is working to find out how deep of a role Trump played. Jared Carter, a legal expert, and Professor for the Vermont Law School weighed in. “Transparency, shining a light on this is going to allow us to move forward and heal. That’s the only way we can come together, around a common set of facts,” said Rep. Welch.

He says that there are two paths forward, a dark one where political violence is accepted or a brighter path where Americans recommit to strengthening trust in government.

“There’s still debates over what information they could have access to. The former President has litigated both in the courts and the court of public opinion to stop that but I think in the end we’re going to get enough information so the vast of Americans can access what happened.”

Carter believes the process won’t necessarily start at the top with prosecuting Trump but those in his inner circle.

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