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June 16, 2021

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Democratic group wants Nevada lawmaker ‘who cheered on rioters’ to resign

Nevada Legislature 32nd Special Session - Day 2


Inside the Assembly chambers on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020 during the second day of the 32nd Special Session of the Legislature in Carson City. (David Calvert/Nevada Independent)

Newly elected Nevada Assemblywoman Annie Black of Mesquite was in Washington this week in support of President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud, but says she was not part of the attacks on the U.S. Capitol Building.

The Republican lawmaker wrote on her campaign website that the insurrection at the Capitol was different than any other Trump rally she had attended, and disavowed the rioters. She has denied entering the Capitol building, telling KSNV that crossed a line into a “sacred space.”

Protesters to the constitutionally mandated process to affirm Joe Biden’s presidential election victory over Trump tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and were met by outnumbered Capitol Police officers in riot gear.

Hundreds of protesters pushed past the officers and made their way into the Capitol, parading and hollering through the halls and popping up at the Senate dais and in the House speaker’s office. Some in the crowd outside were shouting “traitors” as officers tried to keep them back.

“I’ve attended over a dozen Trump rallies over the past few years, including the one in Bullhead City in October,” Black said. “They’ve been nothing but peaceful, fun events. Wednesday’s started out that way … but went horribly and tragically wrong.”

She disagreed that Trump, who has repeatedly lied about the results of the 2020 election and pushed a false narrative that a win was stolen from him, egged on the rioters.

Black also took umbrage with the characterization of the riot in the Capitol as an insurrection. She discussed false conspiracy theories being perpetuated by some right-wing commentators that left-wing agitators had caused the insurrection, writing “I don’t know if this is true or not.”

“Regardless, I don’t care if they were Antifa, rogue Trump supporters, white nationalists (or) whatever,” she wrote. “Those who rioted inside the Capitol should be identified, arrested, charged, prosecuted and severely punished.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to positions in state legislatures, called for Black’s resignation Friday, along with 11 other state legislators from around the country the organization said were involved in the chaos.

“There is blood on the ground at Capitol Hill and Republicans have nothing to say about their own elected officials who cheered on the rioters,” said Jessica Post, president of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee in a statement. “There must be consequences for these shameful actions.”

Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, and Assembly Minority Leader Robin Titus, R-Wellington, released a joint statement Friday stating that it would be “disappointing to learn of any elected leader at any level of government participating in violent or criminal activities.”

“Nevada families deserve representatives who take their duty to uphold the fabric of our democracy with the level of seriousness it demands,” the statement read.

The two did not name Black in the statement.

“Any activities deemed criminal should be handled by law enforcement and any actions taken against any member will be carefully considered if appropriate, but we will not be distracted from doing the work Nevadans elected us to do to get through these unprecedented times,” they wrote.

At the end of her post describing the experience, Black said the insurrection does not “diminish the concerns about election problems that brought thousands of us to D.C. on Wednesday in the first place.”

There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud or any other prevalent issue in any state in the 2020 election. After the riot in the Capitol, Congress certified the Electoral College vote for President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office on Jan. 20.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.