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Rep. John Curtis calling for civility after threatening flyer taped to his office door

Utah Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, shows a flyer that was taped to his office door on MSNBC.
MSNBC

A threatening flyer taped to Rep. John Curtis’ office door in Washington, D.C., has the Utah Republican urging civility during what he calls a “very troubling” time in the country.

“Wanted for treason!” the flyer reads. “For resisting the true electoral victor Trump and willful failure to stand to object to the corrupt and vitiated states!”

Two skull and crossbones symbols cover Curtis’ eyes in a photo on the flyer.

“This doesn’t make me fearful or angry, it makes me sad for the divisiveness in our country. I invite my colleagues and constituents alike to show civility and respect, especially when disagreeing. That is the only way we can heal as a nation,” Curtis said.

Curtis displayed the flyer during an interview on MSNBC after host Katy Tur asked him how he feels as members of Congress are fearing for their lives.

“I know that my colleagues are very, very concerned. It’s just a very troubling time for all of us,” he said.

Politico reported earlier this week that top lawmakers are increasingly alarmed by a rash of new threats that could once again endanger their lives on the job since the deadly incursion on the U.S. Capitol last week.

Details of the ongoing threats have emerged in a series of private lawmaker briefings this week, including one on Monday night in which Capitol Police and other officials warned House Democrats of multiple plots to harm lawmakers, Politico reported, citing several people who listened to the call.

On Tuesday, senators received their own briefing from representatives of the Secret Service, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, and a key group of House Democratic leaders separately met with the FBI, according to Politico.

Asked how he’s able to do his job under the current circumstances, Curtis said he has confidence in the foundation of the country and its people.

“We’re in a bad spot right now. I understand that. There’s lots of blame to go around,” he said on MSNBC. “I personally am waking up and looking in the mirror and saying, ‘What do I need to do different? How do I play my role in changing what’s going on here in our country?’”

The flyer left on Curtis’ door also quoted Federalist No. 28, which argues, among other things, that state governments would act as natural centers of resistance to the national military were it to become an instrument of tyranny.

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense,” it reads. “Which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state.”

Curtis voted last week to certify the presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated next Wednesday.

“We lost. We need to move on. We need to worry about winning elections in the future. We need to worry about how we can change election law so not just Republicans but Democrats, too, have more confidence in this moving forward,” he said on MSNBC.

Curtis favors a bipartisan, bicameral commission to study elections to restore people’s confidence that their votes matter and ballots are counted correctly.

Although Curtis voted against impeaching President Donald Trump, he said his decision might have been different had Democrats not rushed the process.

“A lot of us felt robbed that we had 48 hours to gather facts and make this decision,” he said. “A lot of us may have come up with different votes if more facts had come forward. To me that’s just a tragedy that we moved this so quickly.”

Curtis said Trump’s phone call to Georgia election officials and his pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to overturn electoral votes were not discussed and he also said that the articles of impeachment were narrowly defined.

“People get this confused. We vote on the articles of impeachment, not what’s out there,” he said.

Everybody wants to blame the president for the riot, but information is now coming out that it was premeditated among some who went to Washington, he said.

“Now, I’m not saying that absolves the president. Perhaps some of his actions and words before the riot inspired that, but we didn’t get a chance to explore that,” he said. “Who made the decisions not send the National Guard sooner? Who made the decision not to have the National Guard there to begin with? These are all questions that a lot of use would like answered.”