Eric Swalwell said a staffer asked him if he wanted a House bulletproof vest to protect himself from conservative, pro-Second Amendment lawmakers like Representative Madison Cawthorn.
Cawthorn said at an event in Macon County, North Carolina on Sunday that “rigged elections” will end in “bloodshed.”
On Monday night, Swalwell suggested he fears Cawthorn could lash out in a way that would require him to have a bulletproof vest to protect himself.
“An employee emailed me yesterday asking if I wanted to buy a bulletproof vest because ‘it’s now an approved release by the House,'” the California congressman tweeted.
“I didn’t believe she was real,” Swalwell continued. “Apparently she was thinking about people like Cawthorn—not even people outside my office building—BUT inside.”
The House now allows lawmakers to spend on body armor if they want to — an obvious response to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that resulted in five deaths as rioters protested the results of the 2020 presidential election in the aftermath of a ‘Stop the Steal’ meeting.
The congressman’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Swalwell’s tweet.
Representative Eric Swalwell suggested he might need a bulletproof vest to protect himself from conservative members of Congress — such as Rep. Madison Cawthorn
Swalwell tweeted that a staffer asked him if he wanted a house-paid body armor to protect against internal threats in Congress rather than external threats
Speaking at a Sunday event in Macon County, North Carolina, Cawthorn said, “If our election systems continue to be manipulated and stolen, it will lead to one place — and that is bloodshed”
Cawthorn, as well as other far-right lawmakers, still insist that President Joe Biden won only through a series of fraudulent voting practices, compounded by the massive amount of mailed and allowed ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic.
North Carolina’s legislature, the youngest ever elected to Congress, is protesting the 2020 election during the event on Sunday.
“The things we want to fight for, it doesn’t matter if our votes don’t count,” Cawthorn told the crowd of about 350-400 people. “Because, you know, if our election systems continue to be manipulated and stolen, it’s going to lead to one place — and that’s bloodshed.”
“I’ll tell you, as much as I want to defend our freedom at all costs, there’s nothing I’d want to do more than take up arms against a fellow American,” he added.
“And the way we can defend ourselves against that is if we all passionately demand that we have electoral security in all 50 states.”
Video of Cawthorn’s comments were posted on the Macon County Republican Party Facebook page. The page also depicted Cawthorn at the event signing a raffle-winner camouflage shotgun.
Also at the Sunday event, Cawthorn drew a shotgun that could be won via a gun raffle
After those comments were widely circulated on Twitter — coupled with footage of him holding the gun — it was suggested that Cawthorn was encouraging violence to prevent voter fraud.
But a spokesperson for the representative said in a statement Monday that Cawthorn said the exact opposite.
“In his remarks, Congresswoman Cawthorn CLEARLY advocates the cessation of violence over questions of election integrity,” said Luke Ball. “He fears that others would wrongly choose this path and insists that problems with the integrity of the elections should be resolved peacefully and never by force.”
Cawthorn, Ball continued in the statement, “in no way supported or advocated violence of any kind.”
Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson also attended the Macon County event on Sunday and signed the shotgun.
Cawthorn, a Trump ally and vocal Biden critic, recently called for the 25th Amendment to replace the president with the vice president in response to the bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan that resulted in the deaths of 13 US servicemen.
“As the person who works most closely with the president, you are also the one who knows best the differences between the perception the West Wing wants to convey and the ugly reality,” Cawthorn wrote to Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday.
“I have become increasingly convinced of what you already know, President Biden is no longer able to carry out the duties of his office.”
Cawthorn said the United States, under watch’s watch, has lost “an undefended frontier,” “rising inflation” and “American honor in a dastardly retreat by the Taliban.”
“The crises I mentioned above require a president working at the peak of his cognitive abilities. It now seems clear that this is no longer the case,” he wrote.
Several lawmakers have called on Biden to resign or be impeached as a direct response to his handling of Afghanistan.