After a week of silence on Donald Trump’s role in inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Gov. Doug Ducey said in a radio interview on Thursday that the president was partially responsible.
“The president bears some responsibility,” Ducey said on The Mike Broomhead Show on KTAR.
Ducey has repeatedly condemned the attack by Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol in an attack that ultimately left five people dead, including a police officer who was killed by the violent mob. But he refused to comment on whether Trump, who promoted the gathering and urged the crowd to march to the Capitol in an attempt to persuade Congress to overturn his loss in the Nov. 3 election, bore any responsibility.
The governor also pushed back against baseless allegations by Trump and some of his supporters, including Republican members of the legislature and Arizona’s congressional delegation, that President-elect Joe Biden won the state through election fraud. Those false claims led three members of Arizona’s House of Representatives delegation — Republicans Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar and Debbie Lesko — to vote against certification of the state’s 11 electoral votes.
“They were misleading people,” Ducey told Broomhead of the lawmakers who voted against certification for Arizona’s electoral votes. “Arizona’s vote count was accurate and it was audited. And all challenges were heard in court, and none had any credibility. I do want people to have confidence in our system.”
Ducey has largely avoided comment on those claims since the election, even holding off on acknowledging that Biden won Arizona or was the president-elect of the United States. He affirmed the integrity of the vote on Dec. 4 when he certified Arizona’s election results, prompting Trump, an ally through four years of his presidency, to attack him.
“I did my duty. I followed the law. I took an oath to uphold the constitution. I had all 15 counties that had certified the election, so I did my constitutional duty as the governor and I certified the election. The vote in Arizona was audited and it was accurate,” Ducey said.
The governor announced on Thursday that he’ll attend Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, just as he did for Trump four years ago.
“In America, we believe in the peaceful transition of power. It doesn’t matter who you supported in the election — once the election is over, we put country before party. Never has it been more important than right now to observe these traditions for the whole world to see,” Ducey said in a press statement.
Ducey’s criticism of Trump and of the members of Congress who voted against certifying Arizona’s electoral votes didn’t extent to support for impeachment.
The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on Tuesday for inciting the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, making him the first president in American history to be impeached twice. The Senate won’t take up impeachment until after Biden’s inauguration, meaning Trump can’t be removed from office. But he can be barred from serving again as president, which would block a potential 2024 campaign.
“I do think there is a take that you can have on this that you can be for retribution or you can have the wisdom of turning down the heat. The country is divided and healing may be too high of an objective. But calming is something we can aspire to. In six days we’re going to have a peaceful transition of power. I think people want to move forward,” Ducey said.