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Mark Finchem calls death of police officers as a result of Jan. 6 an 'outright lie'

The Republican nominee for Arizona secretary of state also said the Capitol riot was not an insurrection because law enforcement could not stop the pro-Trump mob.

By Emily Singer - October 10, 2022
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Mark Finchem in attendance at a conference for promoting conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Sept. 10, 2022.
Mark Finchem, the Republican candidate for Arizona Secretary of State, attends a conference promoting conspiracy theories about voting machines and discredited claims about the 2020 presidential election at a hotel in West Palm Beach, Fla., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022. The event featured Republicans running for statewide offices that oversee elections in some of the most important battleground states. (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)

Mark Finchem, the Republican nominee for secretary of state of Arizona, stated in an interview that it’s an “outright lie” that five law enforcement officers were killed as a result of the riot by supporters of former President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The interview, conducted by Micajah Jackson, a right-wing conspiracy theorist who pleaded guilty in November 2021 to charges associated with his presence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and was sentenced in March of this year to 36 months’ probation, was posted to Finchem’s campaign site and the right-wing social media platform Rumble on Sept. 26.

Finchem blamed law enforcement at the Capitol for not stopping the mob, questioning how the Justice Department could press charges against people who entered through doors in the building that weren’t locked.

“I continue to ask a question that I hope that one day we can get an answer to: How is it that this has been promoted as an insurrection when we have a malicious destruction of property and something that falls short of illegal entry?” Finchem said. “Something doesn’t add up here.”

“Now, there’s this narrative out there that five officers were killed by the insurrection,” Finchem continued. “That is absolute BS. That has proven to be debunked. That is an outright lie, it’s fantasy and fabrication.”

Finchem was also present on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6.

Five officers who responded to the Capitol insurrection died following the attack. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died one day after he was assaulted by several rioters while defending the building; four other officers who were on duty on Jan. 6 have died by suicide.

Sicknick’s death was determined to be a line-of-duty death by the Capitol Police. Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith’s death on Jan. 15, 2021, determined to be caused by suicide, was ruled a line-of-duty death by the District of Columbia Retirement Board.

The widow of Capitol Police Officer Howard S. Liebengood, who died by suicide four days after responding to the attack, is petitioning for his death to be acknowledged as a line-of-duty death.

Jackson and more than 860 people who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 have been subjects of criminal charges. More than 100 have received convictions as a result of trials or plea deals, according to the Department of Justice.

Jackson has since blamed the violence at the Capitol on police, falsely calling the attack he participated in a “psyop.” Jackson compared himself to Jesus, saying that he was being “persecuted for the entire country to witness.” After he was sentenced and serving 90 days in a halfway house, Jackson posted on Twitter, “American citizens should have the liberty to use lethal force against unconstitutional law enforcement agents.”

Finchem is a supporter of conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. He participated in the Trump campaign’s efforts to stop the certification of Electoral College votes in favor of Joe Biden and sought to decertify the election results altogether; held a sham hearing with Trump campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani to spread lies about voter fraud; and tried to convince the Department of Homeland Security to seize voting machines in hopes of carrying out an “examination” of them.

Finchem faces Adrian Fontes, the Democratic nominee for secretary of state in Arizona, in the election next month. Democrat Katie Hobbs, who took office as secretary of state in 2019 after 24 years of Republicans occupying the position, is currently running for governor against incumbent Republican Gov. Doug Ducey.

If elected, Finchem would be in charge of running Arizona’s elections and first in the line of succession for governor. He has suggested he might not certify a potential Biden victory in Arizona in the 2024 election.

poll conducted by OH Predictive Insights in early September found Finchem leading the race with 40% of polled voters’ support, while Fontes received 35%. Approximately 25% of voters polled remained undecided.

Some members of his own party are warning of the dangers of a Finchem win.

“What happens here in Arizona is not just important for Arizona, but it’s important for the nation and for the future functioning of our constitutional republic,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) warned voters at an Oct. 5 event at Arizona State University in Tempe. “I don’t know that I have ever voted for a Democrat. But if I lived in Arizona now, I absolutely would.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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