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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Rep. John Curtis said he isn't mad, he's disappointed after he found a flyer on his door Thursday that labeled him treasonous for his decision last week to certify the election results that finalized President-elect Joe Biden's win over President Donald Trump in November's presidential election.
Curtis appeared on MSNBC and held up the flyer he said was taped to the door of his office in Washington. The flyer featured a picture of the representative with a pair of skulls and crossbones over his eyes. The poster said: "Wanted for treason! For resisting the true electoral victor Trump & willful failure to stand to object to the correct & vitiated states!"
It also included a snippet authored by Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States, in The Federalist Papers: "If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state."
In an interview with MSNBC's Katy Tur, Curtis said that he knew his Washington colleagues were "very, very concerned" about the current political climate.
Here is a picture of the threat from @RepJohnCurtis office. It says, "for resisting the true electoral victor Trump & willful failure to stand to object to the corrupt & vitiated states!" pic.twitter.com/q7DjodHWqT— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) January 14, 2021
"This doesn't make me fearful or angry, it makes me sad for the divisiveness in our country," Curtis tweeted afterward. "I invite my colleagues and constituents alike to show civility and respect — especially when disagreeing. That is the only way we can heal as a nation."
In a subsequent tweet, he added that emailing, calling or attending town hall meetings were "better ways to voice your opinions with our office."
The bicameral meeting to certify the presidential election results was interrupted on Jan. 6 by pro-Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol. The failed insurrection was blamed for five deaths, including a police officer assigned to handle protesters.
After the meeting resumed, Curtis and Utah Rep. Blake Moore voted to accept election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania. Utah Reps. Chris Stewart and Burgess Owens accepted results in Arizona but not Pennsylvania. Biden's 306-232 win in the electoral college was ultimately certified early the next morning.
Although the election process is now over, the fallout of last week's incident is still ongoing. The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach Trump on one charge of incitement of insurrection. With the vote, Trump became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. Curtis and his three Utah colleagues in the House all voted against impeachment. The Senate's portion of the process isn't expected to be completed until after Trump leaves office next week.
Even before the Washington incident, videos surfaced on social media showing pro-Trump supporters heckling Utah Sen. Mitt Romney on his flight to the nation's capital over his decision to certify the presidential election.
Curtis also posted a video message Thursday afternoon about his thoughts on the current political climate. In it, he called on Americans to come together to find solutions to calm political tensions.
"It's going to take every one of us to think about what we're posting on social media. It's going to take every one of us to think about what we're saying about other people," he said. "It's going to take every one of us to stop rumors. It's going to take every one of us to be better people."
Curtis also said he would commit himself to "do a better job" of being more accepting of people with different viewpoints. He added that he will attend Biden's inauguration ceremony next week even though he attested that he has "vast political differences" with the incoming president. The decision, Curtis explained, was due to his respect for the office of the presidency.