Gov. Inslee takes aim at 2020 Election lies | 2022 Legislative Session

Brooklynn Hillemann | WNPA News Service
Posted 1/12/22

On the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Gov. Jay Inslee announced he will support legislation criminalizing lying about election results.

“It should not be legal …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Gov. Inslee takes aim at 2020 Election lies | 2022 Legislative Session

Posted

On the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Gov. Jay Inslee announced he will support legislation criminalizing lying about election results.

“It should not be legal in the state of Washington for elected officials or candidates for office to willfully lie about these election results,” Inslee said while speaking to reporters in Olympia.

Making false statements about election results without evidence would be classified as a gross misdemeanor under his proposal, Inslee said. A draft is undergoing finishing touches but has no sponsors yet.

Inslee said he believes the proposal will not violate the First Amendment protecting freedom of speech, as it aims to only limit language that incites violence.

“The courts have held that speech that promotes violence is something that can be regulated to protect the civil society,” he said.

Speaking forcefully and with emotion, Inslee argued the legislation is needed to prevent violence, such as last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, which stemmed from former President Trump and his allies perpetuating the belief the election was stolen.

“The defeated President of the United States had a plan that failed on Jan. 6, but he is right back in the saddle of insurrection,” Inslee said.

Former President Trump issued a statement earlier in the day reiterating the presidential election was stolen, ending, “Never forget the crime of the 2020 Presidential Election. Never give up!”

Inslee also urged members of both parties to denounce three Republican State Legislators who attended a three-day “Cyber Symposium” which promised to provide evidence of hacking in the 2020 Election.

State Representatives Robert Sutherland, R-Granite Falls, Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, and Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, used taxpayer money to attend the South Dakota conference hosted by MyPillow founder Mike Lindell.

“It is most disturbing to me that we had three Republican legislators who went to an organizing effort to continue that insurgency and to continue to sow doubt in our electoral process,” Inslee said. “This is a cancer in our society.”

Additional House and Senate members addressed the anniversary of the Capitol attack during a preview of the coming legislative session, which opened Jan. 10.

“I want to be clear: What happened a year ago was indefensible,” said House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma.

She praised Senate Minority Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, and House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, for their condemnation of the insurrection at the Capitol despite criticism from fellow party members. Both Republican leaders called the violence wrong and unacceptable.

Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig said elected members of the Legislature must continue to speak out.

“We need to keep talking about it,” he said. “So we don’t forget and so we can counter the lies that are out there.”

Brooklynn Hillemann is a reporter with the WNPA News Service and the Washington State Journal, a nonprofit news website operated by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation. To learn more, go to wastatejournal.org.

Comments

1 comment on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • Thomas Camfield

    I expect that Trump forces will respond by upping their assault on a Free Press, the courts, the right to vote, etc. All the more reason for the righteous among us to vote in the 2022 midterm election in November, when majorities in the House and Senate will be at stake.

    Wednesday, January 12 Report this