This editorial was published by the Idaho Statesman of Boise.
If someone broke into your office and vandalized it, you think you’d be upset and want to get to the bottom of it. Not U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, apparently.
As NBC News reported last Thursday, Risch’s office was broken into and trashed by rioters during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But Risch doesn’t want to talk about it. “I don’t do interviews on Jan. 6, but thanks,” Risch told NBC News. New video released this week shows a rioter smashing Risch’s window in an attempt to let more rioters into the building, according to NBC News. The persistent reluctance of Risch — and Idaho’s entire federal delegation — to acknowledge the Jan. 6 insurrection has been stunning, but even more so seeing the damage to Risch’s own office.
Our federal delegation’s fealty to Donald Trump and insistence on covering up for his role in the Jan. 6 riots has been thorough and unwavering. Even now, knowing that Risch’s office was trashed by pro-Trump supporters that included a man who used a stun gun to render a police officer unconscious, Risch still refuses to even talk about it.
As NBC News reported, the man in Risch’s office was Daniel “D.J.” Rodriguez, who was seen in other Jan. 6 footage driving a stun gun into the neck of officer Michael Fanone of the Metropolitan Police Department. As Rodriguez was recorded trashing Risch’s office, first responders were rushing an unconscious Fanone to the hospital, according to the NBC News report. Rodriguez in February pleaded guilty to four federal charges connected with the attack, NBC News reported.
Even before the Jan. 6 attack, this editorial board implored our representatives to denounce Trump and his debunked claims of a stolen election, arguing that fomenting such attacks on democracy could lead to violence. “We are about to find out what we shall reap from those seeds that have been sowed,” we wrote Jan. 5, 2021.
Our congressional representatives, Sens. Risch and Mike Crapo and Reps. Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher, all have been in a state of denial for far too long about the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump’s corrosive influence on our democracy and the duping of the American public. After the Jan. 6 attack, we laid part of the blame at their feet. “Silence is complicity, and the silence of Crapo, Risch, Simpson and Fulcher let us go down this path,” we wrote on the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021.
Apparently, nothing has changed, and the silence persists, even in the face of growing and overwhelming evidence of what transpired that awful day. Republicans rushing to the defense and aid of the former president have done their level best to downplay the Jan. 6 riots by attacking the Jan. 6 Commission and characterizing the Jan. 6 riots as tourists getting swept up in the moment. Fox News’ selective airing last week of videos attempting to whitewash the insurrection is a further attempt to dupe the American public.
Politicians, like Risch, Crapo, Simpson and Fulcher shouldn’t be so easily duped, though. Especially when the evidence of the violence and destruction hits so close to home.