GOP Lawmaker Says Safety Concerns Will Keep Her From Inauguration

(Bloomberg) -- Republican Representative Nancy Mace says she won’t attend Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration over fears for her safety after a violent mob attacked the Capitol last week.

“I’m very concerned about violence,” Mace said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “I wanted to attend the inauguration. I will not be attending the the inauguration now because I am concerned about copycats. I’m concerned about the rhetoric.”

Mace had just been sworn in three days earlier when a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from counting Biden’s Electoral College victory. Mace, of South Carolina, has condemned Trump for encouraging the crowd.

Security has been tightened on Capitol Hill, with barriers and National Guard troops stationed to prevent further violence as the House votes Wednesday to impeach Trump. Increased safety precautions will also be in place for Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, which Trump said he won’t attend.

Mace has said that while she holds Trump accountable for inciting the Jan. 6 attack, she opposes the push by House Democrats to impeach the president. She was one of the Republican lawmakers that sent a letter to Biden on Jan. 9 asking him to persuade House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to back off her push for impeachment. Mace said she would prefer for Trump to censured, rather than impeached. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy echoed the same sentiment in a letter he sent to colleagues on Monday.

Mace was not one of the 138 Republicans that objected to the Electoral College results in at least one state last week.

In the interview, Mace acknowledged divisions within the Republican party driven by representatives who have bought into the conspiracy theories shared by many Trump supporters.

“We have QAnon conspiracy theorists that peddle in rumor and conspiracy and are dividing the country,” she said. “And then we have people who want to work together. We want to find solutions and not be part of the problem.”