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Georgia and Athens Officials React to U.S. Capitol Riot

Rep. Jody Hice (R-Lake Oconee)

Athens’ representative in Congress, Greensboro Republican Jody Hice, led the charge to challenge Georgia’s Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden even after Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building and interrupted the proceedings for hours.

According to the AJC:

Later that evening when the joint congressional session reconvened, U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, introduced his Georgia challenge. Republican Georgia U.S. Reps. Rick Allen, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Buddy Carter stood with him.

“Myself, members of the Georgia delegation and some 74 of my Republican colleagues object to the electoral votes from the state of Georgia on the grounds the election conducted on Nov. 3 was faulty and fraudulent due to unilateral actions by the secretary of state to unlawfully change the state’s election process without approval from the General Assembly,” Hice said before claiming there had been an “unprecedented amount of fraud and irregularities” during the general election.

Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her seat to Democrat Raphael Warnock on Tuesday, had planned on challenging the results in eight swing states, but withdrew her objections after the riot.

As the MAGA mob occupied the Capitol, Hice posted a since-deleted photo to Instagram referencing the American Revolution.

At the Athens-Clarke County Commission meeting Wednesday night, Commissioner Melissa Link called for Trump to be removed from office before Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

“Thank God we elected two Democratic senators that will condemn the insurrection and sedition that seems to have overtaken the Republican Party,” Link said. “I believe that those who supported it should be removed from office, even our own congressman, Jody Hice… I hope this body can somehow make a statement, reach out and express our utter disgust at the coup attempt that happened today in Washington, D.C.”

Meanwhile, in Athens, new commissioner Carol Myers was sworn in by newly elected Probate Judge Susan Schaffer, along with returnees Mariah Parker, Allison Wright, Jesse Houle and Mike Hamby.

“It was a pretty frightening day up in D.C., and to have a peaceful day here, I was really grateful for that,” said Houle, who thanked law enforcement for the “vital service” they provide.

The insurrection also drew condemnation from leaders at the state level, including Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and House Speaker David Ralston. In Atlanta, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who has faced threats from Republicans for defending the integrity of Georgia’s elections, was forced to evacuate his office when armed protesters showed up at the state Capitol.

From the Georgia Recorder:

“Today is an incredibly sobering reminder of how delicate our democracy truly is,” Duncan said. “It is also a reminder of how dangerous it is when people in power act as if they are more important than that democracy.

“I call on President Donald Trump to speak with all the clarity in the world as to exactly what Americans should do at this point in Washington D.C.,” he continued. “They should exit the Capitol peacefully, and they should allow democracy to once again shine.”

Lawmakers in both chambers have held hearings in the wake of the November election that have provided a platform for Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, as he tried to convince legislatures in swing states to overturn the presidential election results.

“For those of you who have been calling on a special session, you can now see what that would have looked like,” Kemp said. “Rudy Giuliani saying ‘trial by combat’ is simply outrageous and there is no place for that in our nation.”

Newly elected Democratic Rep. Carolyn Bordeaux of Suwanee called for Trump to be impeached, and Rep. Lucy McBath of Marietta urged Trump’s cabinet to remove the president via the 25th Amendment.