Former GOP Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockThe Memo: Trump seizes spotlight to distract from defeat Sunday shows – Infrastructure, Jan. 6 commission dominate Barbara Comstock: If Trump disappeared there wouldn’t be many Republicans in the search party MORE (Va.) called on members of her party to move away from former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer House Republican to challenge DeWine for Ohio gubernatorial nomination GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot Overnight Defense: Austin directs classified initiatives to counter China | Biden emphasizes alliances in speech to troops | Lockdown lifted at Texas base after reported shooting MORE after Senate Republicans blocked legislation to form a commission to probe the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
In an op-ed published Wednesday in The New York Times, Comstock, who lost her reelection bid in 2018, said Republicans need to “stop fearing” Trump, whom she called “the patron saint of sore losers.”
“Republicans, instead of opposing a commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6, need to be at the forefront of seeking answers on the insurrection and diminishing the power of QAnon and the other conspiracy theories that Mr. Trump has fueled,” Comstock wrote.
“He is not the future, and Republicans need to stop fearing him. He will continue to damage the party if we don’t face the Jan. 6 facts head-on,” she added.
Senate Republicans last month blocked legislation to form a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol breach in a 54-35 vote, which fell short of the 10 GOP votes needed to overcome the legislative filibuster.
“Republicans need to have more faith in their policies and stop being afraid of a dangerous and diminished man who has divided the country and now divides our party. Reconsider the commission, let the investigation go ahead, and run and win in 2022 on the truth,” wrote Comstock, who voted in line with the former president’s position 97.8 percent of the time.
She said the former president’s “lies are red meat to those in the conspiracy world who have already demonstrated what they are prepared to do,” adding that the lies have “metastasized and could threaten public safety again,” referencing a report from the U.S. Capitol Police that threats against members of Congress have increased 107 percent this year.
The Hill has reached out to Trump for comment.
The former president, who says he isn’t to blame for the Jan. 6 riot, took on Comstock last week, calling her a RINO, or Republican in name only, in a statement that featured a photo of her in the Oval Office at one of his bill signings.
“She had no problems being with me while in the Oval Office, or when she needed something,” Trump wrote.
On probing the events of Jan. 6, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election, Comstock said, “Nothing less than a full investigation is essential.”
She said the subpoenas and testimony that would be part of an investigation “would produce records that tell the story.”
“This material will come out eventually — in hearings, in books or in the media — but Republicans should be part of the process, to help provide accountability and prevent future attacks,” Comstock said.