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Congressman Banks says he did not incite violence on the Capitol

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Many taking to social media to question if lawmakers and senators incited violence at the U.S. Capitol, including Indiana Congressman Jim Banks.  

Banks has been vocal on social media since the Capitol siege defending his decision to vote against electoral college votes Wednesday. 

Wednesday Banks tweeted he was “looking forward to welcoming thousands on Capitol Hill” and said he was encouraging people make their voices heard. He says he denies inciting any kind of violence on that day. 

"There is no more powerful place to make your voice heard than in Washington D.C.,” Banks said. "Busloads of people came out from Indiana to make their voices heard, to equate that to inciting violence and the riot that occurred at the capitol, is just beyond the bounds.” 

Journal Gazette editorial writer Karen Francisco quoted one of his tweets stating, “I pray you will do your part to stop the violence you helped incite,” you can see that tweet below.  

Many have shared that tweet and expressed their support for Francisco.  

"It’s sickening that someone from a reputable news outlet would accuse me of being responsible for the violence,” Banks said. He responded to Francisco stating her accusations were 'dangerous' and 'despicable'. 

Leaders with the Indiana Democratic Party issued a statement in response.

"Once again, Congressman Jim Banks is inciting violence. This time, it's on a member of the press. Banks has lost his Hoosier values. His violent temper tantrums are inexcusable and unbecoming for a member of Congress. It's another reason why we've called on him to resign."

Indiana Democratic Party

In an interview with ABC21, Banks says he will continue to deny he incited any violence and he does not regret his vote against the electoral votes.  

"My concerns with how the 2020 election played out continue to this day,” Banks said. "So many Americans have lost trust in our elections, we have to restore trust in our election process.” 

Banks says his actions are not about President Donald Trump losing, but he says there are problems with our system overall and he is fighting for election reform.  

ABC21 reached out to Francisco but she declined to do an interview. Instead she referred to their editorial post about Congressman Banks and other officials voting to stop the electoral vote.

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Karli VanCleave

Karli VanCleave is a multimedia journalist at WPTA for the evening newscast. Karli is a Fort Wayne native and Indiana University Bloomington graduate.
Feel free to connect with her on Facebook (@KarliVanCleaveNews) and Twitter (@Karli_VanCleave), or if you have a story idea send her an email at kvancleave@wpta21.com.

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