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McGovern condemns ‘hate,’ ‘evil’ of Capitol rioters and assails GOP’s Jim Jordan for giving them ‘oxygen’

House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern.
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern.J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Representative Jim McGovern on Tuesday blasted Republican Representative Jim Jordan for giving “oxygen” to President Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud during a testy exchange that came as the House prepares to impeach the president a second time.

The comments came as the House Rules Committee convened to discuss a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare the president unable to serve. Pence is not expected to take any such action, and the House will next move swiftly to impeach Trump in a vote that could come as soon as midweek.

McGovern, a Worcester Democrat, was visible on video on the other side of the doors last week as a mob broke glass and forcibly tried to breach the entrance to the Speakers’ Lobby. Officers shot and killed one woman as she attempted to climb through doorway.

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“I saw this mob, you know, trying to break glass doors to get access to the floor and god knows what else,” McGovern said Tuesday. “They defied the Capitol Police who were bravely trying to protect us, and I saw in their eyes, you know, hate and evil. And I’m just grateful that more people weren’t harmed in this terrible attack.”

McGovern accused Republicans of joining an effort sparked by Trump to ”gin things up,” and asked Jordan to declare that President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 election fairly.

“For the last several months, the gentleman from Ohio and others have given oxygen to the president’s conspiracy theories, and we all want healing, but in order to get to healing we need truth and we need accountability,” he said.

Jordan, who voted to object to the results of the election even after the riot, said he followed “the process that the constitution prescribes.”

“But I am not asking about the process, I’m asking you to make a statement that the election was not stolen,” McGovern responded as the two began arguing, and asked Jordan again whether Biden won “fair and square.”

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“He won the election because the way the process works is the last chance to object is Jan. 6,” Jordan responded.

The exchange came hours after Trump refused to take responsibility for his role in the riot, telling reporters as he departed for Texas on Tuesday that his comments were “totally appropriate.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.