Ex-GOP Rep: Not Many GOPers Would Be ‘In The Search Party’ If Trump Went Missing

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 27: Former Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) speaks to the press after a meeting with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) to urge for a January 6 commission on May 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Officer Sicknick suf... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 27: Former Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) speaks to the press after a meeting with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) to urge for a January 6 commission on May 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Officer Sicknick suffered two strokes and died a day after fighting a pro-Trump mob during the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
May 30, 2021 1:37 p.m.

Former Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) on Sunday argued that if former President Trump disappeared, many Republicans would not be in “the search party,” following Senate Republicans using their first legislative filibuster to block the Jan. 6 commission.

During an interview on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” Comstock shared her thoughts on the Senate’s rejection of the bill that would implement an independent commission investigating the deadly Capitol insurrection. Comstock accompanied the family of fallen Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick when they visited Capitol Hill last week to meet with Republican senators and lobby for the bill’s passage.

When host Chuck Todd pointed to Sen. Bill Cassidy’s (R-LA) argument that an independent commission would have more credibility than a legislative panel formed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Comstock replied that she and Sicknick’s relatives made the same argument in lobbying for the commission to Republican senators.

After saying that she agrees with Cassidy, who was “gracious” in meeting with Sicknick’s family, Comstock added that the senators who voted in favor of the commission also agree with the Louisiana Republican’s argument.

Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

“But that’s the whole point, it would be non-partisan,” Comstock said.

Comstock then argued that Republicans want to “get away” from former President Trump, but that he still has a stronghold on the GOP.

“I understand Republicans want to get away from Donald Trump,” Comstock said. “I mean, if Donald Trump disappeared tomorrow, I don’t think you’d have many Republicans in the search party. Maybe a few prosecutors, but not Republicans. So they want to get away from him. But the problem is, he’s not going to go away.”

Comstock stressed that the Jan. 6 commission shouldn’t be a partisan issue and that it’s important than an independent commission is implemented to ensure that an attack like the deadly Capitol insurrection doesn’t happen again.

Only six Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Cassidy — joined Democrats in voting for the bill. Ultimately, Senate Republicans killed the House-passed commission bill in a 54-35 vote, using the filibuster to block the legislation from advancing. The bill was crafted by the bipartisan team of House Homeland Security committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and ranking member John Katko (R-NY).

After Republican senators blocked legislation to form the commission on Friday, Sicknick’s relatives expressed their disappointment during an interview on CNN Friday afternoon.

“It’s all talk and no action,” Sandra Garza, Sicknick’s longtime partner, said of Republican senators who have cast themselves as champions of police officers, but voted against the bill. “Clearly they’re not backing the blue.”

Watch Comstock’s remarks below:

Latest News
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: