For Immediate Release
February 12, 2021
PHOENIX – Representatives César Chávez and Athena Salman today criticized the dismissal without investigation of ethics complaints against Representative Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, for his role in to incite the Jan. 6 attempt to overthrow the United States government.
Chávez filed the original ethics complaint against Finchem for violating his oath of office to defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic by supporting the violent attempt to stop members of Congress from certifying the electoral college vote. Nutt dismissed an additional 81 citizen complaints. Salman introduced a resolution to seek Finchem's expulsion for helping to incite the Jan. 6 insurrection through spreading misinformation about the integrity of the November election with "Stop the Steal" organizer Ali Alexander (who remains in hiding), taking part and posting support on social media about the rally after it had turned violent, and then spreading more information about who was responsible for the violence, falsely blaming leftists and not supporters of President Donald Trump.
"To disregard this many complaints out of hand with no inquiry or investigation is beyond troublesome and disappointing," said Chávez, D-Phoenix. "Representative Mark Finchem has deleted his social media and is refusing to comply with a public records request on the advice of his attorney citing a potential criminal prosecution for his role in the January 6 insurrection, but Chairwoman Nutt has said there's nothing to see here. The oath we all take to defend our Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic should mean something, but that oath loses all meaning when our leaders look the other way at legitimate allegations of sedition and insurrection."
"When we don’t hold people accountable for inciting an insurrection, we increase the chances that it will happen again," said Salman, D-Tempe. " We now know even more about the danger the violent mob presented to members of Congress and Vice President Pence, and the level of planning and coordination that occurred between the Stop the Steal organizers and President Trump that incited the riot. What we have witnessed today is a failure in leadership by Ethics Chair Becky Nutt and the majority party to investigate legitimate complaints against Rep. Mark Finchem. But the fact still remains: Every day the member remains in office is a threat to the integrity of the Arizona House of Representatives, a threat to national security, and a threat to the future of our Democracy."