Ex-Republican South Carolina governor and United States Representative Mark Sanford has urged lawmakers within his political party to embrace the congressional investigation into former President Donald Trump’s January 6th insurrection at the Capitol, which Sandford believes was an act of sedition.
CNN’s Brianna Keilar hosted Sanford on Tuesday’s edition of New Day:
Former Republican governor and Congressman from South Carolina Mark Sanford has a message for his party: ignore what happened on January 6th at their own peril and the peril of the country. Sanford writes in a new book, ‘The president of the United States should not be given a pass on sedition and treason. Common sense tells me if it swims, quacks, and walks like a duck, it’s a duck, and therefore what looks, sounds, and feels like sedition to me is sedition. I think the president’s acts were sedition, and I think we are terribly mistaken in looking the other way and pretending this does not matter.’
Mark Sanford joining us now, former Republican governor and congressman from South Carolina, whose book ‘Two Roads Diverged: A Second Chance For the Republican Party, the Conservative Movement, the Nation, and Ourselves’ is out today. Okay. First, I want to ask you, you just heard Whitney Wilde’s reporting there that they’re going to be seeking the phone records of members of Congress. How do you think Republicans should handle this?
Lay the cards on the table and see what comes. I mean, as I write in the book that was just released today – a mouthful as you put it, just a moment ago – that, you know, this is kind of a core issue.
I mean, we’ve had the peaceful transition of power as one of the great institutions that has held our republic together for over 200 years, and for the first time that was disrupted, this last go-around. We better get to the bottom of what was going on because if not, it’s not just at the peril of the Republican party, it’s the peril of our nation.
But you have this message for your party which is, you know, welcome an investigation. You should want to look at what happened. And I just have to say – and I’m sure you feel it too – it kind of seems like you and other Republicans who are saying this are screaming into the wind. There’s no indication that Republicans on the Hill are taking any of this advice, right?
Well, I’m not on the Hill these days so I don’t know the degree to which people are obstructing or cooperating. I would say to your larger point, people are sort of reticent about phone records and others being released. It’s highly unusual. I don’t remember a time over my 25 years of politics wherein you had phone records being released in this form, en mass. But it is what it is and again it goes back to a problem that is much more than the Republican Party or anybody elected within the Republican Party. It goes to the heart of, again, these institutions and traditions that have been the glue that have held our system in place. And you know, if we disregard those, it comes at, again, not Republican peril, but American peril, and at the end of the day, we’re all in the boat together, so yeah, people may be reticent, but let’s lay the cards out and let’s see what comes because we got to get to the bottom of this.
Do you have faith the January 6th investigation is going to be fulsome and really get to the bottom of things?
Well, I hope so. I mean, there are a lot of powers that go with congressional authority in terms of oversight. I suspect that, you know, Benny and others will use it to full effect. So I don’t know, I can’t predict the future but I hope so, and what I do know is the blatant tribalism that exists right now on both sides, not just the Republican side, the Republican and Democratic side, I think it was put on sort of steroids under the Trump era, and it’s still with us, that that’s dangerous because if it’s just my team versus your team at the end of the day, our system doesn’t work. Our Founding Fathers gave us a reason-based republic, and if we, again, lose reason to tribalism, we got some real problems, but I’ll be watching along with you and others to see what comes as a result of the investigations.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.