Dozens of angry voters have accused freshman Michigan Republican Peter Meijers of 'betraying' them during a heated, virtual 'town hall' on Zoom in
Dozens of angry voters have accused freshman Michigan Republican Peter Meijers of ‘betraying’ them during a heated, virtual ‘town hall’ on Zoom in which the first-time legislator repeatedly defended his decision to impeach former President Trump.
The 33-year-old congressman, who represents the third district in western Michigan, was one of just ten Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the deadly attack on the Capitol and the only first time legislator to do so.
On Wednesday the former Iraq war veteran, who is also an heir to the multibillion-dollar Midwestern supermarket chain that bears his family name, held an hour-long public forum in front of 400 constituents, moderated by district director Rick Treur, that was streamed live on Facebook.
During the event two residents appeared on camera to express their anger and disappointment in his actions as well as dozens more who posted comments calling him a ‘liar’, an ’embarrassment’ and calling for him to resign.
Voter Cindy Witke appeared on the Facebook live event and said: ‘Why aren’t you doing what your constituents wanted you to do? I went against people who said not to vote for you because I believed in you. I’ve lost that belief’.
Nancy Eardley also appeared in the call and accused the politician of betraying the district within ‘two weeks of taking office’ and claimed that the election was stolen and that ‘a court never looked at the evidence’.
She added: ‘I could not have been more disappointed. I don’t know that there’s really much you can say that will ever change my mind and not work toward primarying you out after two years.’
Meijier replied to each speaker at length, apologised for ‘disappointing’ some voters but defended his actions.
In this Oct. 14, 2020 file photo, then-Michigan’s 3rd District Congressional Republican candidate Peter Meijer speaks at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Mich. Meijer, one of just 10 Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump over the deadly attack on the Capitol, defended his decision while taking pointed criticism from voters
Michigan voter Nancy Eardley accused freshman congressman Peter Meijers of betraying the district within two weeks of taking office and claimed that the election was stolen and that ‘no court’ looked at evidence of fraud
Cindy Witke asked the politician why he didn’t do ‘what your constituents wanted’ when he voted to impeach then President Trump, during a virtual ‘town hall’ event held on Zoom
Kim Reeder appeared on the Zoom to thank Meijer for his vote, saying that she didn’t vote for him but was ‘proud’ he was her representative
Jason Stark asked Meijers about the role of pharmacy managers when it came to drug costs
The election was fairly won by President Joe Biden and there was no evidence of fraud, as confirmed by voting officials and former attorney general William Barr.
Trump is the first president in American history to be impeached twice. His Senate trial will start next week.
During the town hall Meijer, who was in his office in Washington DC, acknowledged that a majority of Republicans in his district, ‘maybe a strong majority’, are upset with his impeachment decision.
He added: ‘That weighed on me. That was one of the reasons why I felt ultimately sickened by having to take this vote. How do I balance that immediate feeling with what we need to do as a country, what I feel my party needs to do and where I hope we can go?’
Speaking about the riot in the Capitol on January 6 which some have claimed was ‘incited’ by then President Trump, Meijers said: ‘This was a moment when we needed leadership and the president, in my view, did not show that.’
He added: ‘What we witnessed at the Capitol — the attempted insurrection, the involvement of a sitting American president propagating the falsehoods that led up to that — required a significant response.’
Meijers also received praise from some voters who appeared on the Zoom to thank him for his vote.
Kim Reeder said: ‘I’m proud of you for sticking by your conscience. I didn’t vote for you, but right now I’m sure glad you’re my representative.’
Impeachment took up half of the 60 minute forum.
Other questioners asked about the next federal COVID-19 relief plan, student debt forgiveness, gun rights and the role of pharmacy benefit managers in drug costs.
The forum also received more than 160 comments on Facebook from a range of opinions.
Peter Jongsma wrote: ‘So you admit you had NO EVIDENCE and the charges are a sham. But you voted for it anyway. 80 million ANGRY Americans are going to descend on you and make sure you are NOT REELECTED!’
Caryn Lynn added: ‘You are an embarrassment to the Republican Party…. and are clearly lying in several of your comments on what happened during the invasion of the Capitol. You should resign.’
Whereas Brigid Avery wrote: ‘There are folks on this call that do support your impeachment vote!’
Phil Yeiter added: ‘Integrity through action. Lead the way, Congressman. You set a high bar for the GOP. Incredibly proud to live in the MI 3rd.’
Peter Meijer, R-Mich, is seen during a group photo with freshmen members of the House Republican Conference on the House steps of the Capitol on Monday, January 4, 2021.
US President Donald Trumps supporters gather outside the Capitol building in Washington D.C., United States on January 06, 2021. Congressman Meijers said in his recent town hall that he supports his vote to impeach former President Trump
Supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol’s Rotunda on January 6.
Outgoing US President Donald Trump waves as he boards Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2021. He is the first president to be impeached twice
At least one Republican has already vowed to challenge Meijer in the 2022 primary Tom Norton, who finished third to Meijer in a five-way primary last year, Michigan Live reported.
In November Meijer won the open, longtime GOP-held seat by nearly six percentage points over a Democrat, a larger margin than Trump’s 3-point victory there.
Meijers was one of the ten Republican House members to vote to impeach Trump, including the third-highest-ranking GOP politician, Liz Cheney. Democratic Rep. Jason Crow claimed that more Republicans would have voted to impeach the president but they were ‘paralyzed with fear.’