Virginia Democrats in the state Senate are calling for Republican Sen. Amanda Chase, a gubernatorial candidate from Chesterfield, to resign, citing her spread of conspiracy theories and comments supporting members of the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
In a statement Friday, the Democratic caucus wrote:
“As we all watched in shock and disbelief at the insurrection in Washington, D.C., Senator and gubernatorial candidate Amanda Chase was horrifyingly empowering a failed coup d’état. She galvanized domestic terrorists who violated the United States Capitol on Wednesday afternoon through riots, destruction and desecration, joining them on their march to Capitol Hill.
“For someone who defends herself and the insurrectionists she calls ‘patriots’ with the Constitution, she either willfully or unwittingly doesn’t understand what her sworn oath to defend it actually means. She has unequivocally committed insurrection, and the Fourteenth Amendment to that same Constitution charges us with the responsibility of holding her accountable.
“Senator Chase has not demonstrated either good judgement or leadership for Senate District 11 or the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is in the best interest for the Senate of Virginia and her constituents to resign.”
Chase didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and text message seeking comment, but told WRIC that it was General Assembly Democrats who should be resigning, criticizing their expansion of absentee balloting in response to the pandemic. Earlier in the day she posted on her personal Facebook page that her campaign account, where she has more than 100,000 followers, had been locked by the social media giant.
“Virginia Democrats have orchestrated a complete disenfranchisement of Virginia voters by allowing and legalizing what used to be considered fraud,” Chase said, according to the station.
Facebook labeled two of her recent posts false. The company didn’t respond to questions about the status of her account, but according to screenshots Chase shared, she is prohibited from posting or commenting on her campaign page for seven days and isn’t allowed to share live videos, which have become a hallmark of her campaign, for 60 days.
Call’s for Chase’s removal Friday were not limited to the Senate. The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus tweeted, “Anyone supporting hateful political violence, white nationalism, and insurrection against our country has no place in Virginia’s General Assembly. … We agree: She must go.”
Meanwhile, Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, sent a letter to the attorney general’s office asking for a formal opinion on the General Assembly’s options for enforcing the 14th Amendment, which bars elected officials from engaging in an insurrection or rebellion against the government. He also asked what level of participation in Wednesday’s events would justify action under the amendment. (Chase attended and spoke at the rally, but said she left before the group moved to the Capitol.)
Chase could be removed from office by a two-thirds vote, though no Senators have publicly floated that possibility. Senate Democrats declined to comment when asked if they are considering the step. Senate Republicans declined to comment on both the possibility of her removal and Democrats’ calls for her resignation.
Chase left the Republican caucus last year and has been the subject of frequent criticism from both sides of the aisle, however she has amassed a strong base of support in her campaign for governor.