Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., claimed Wednesday on MSNBC that the Republican Party was “a pro-slavery, anti-police party that’s rolling with the cop killers.” 

Swalwell criticized opposition from some Republican members of Congress to a bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to U.S. Capitol Police officers for their actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, as well as a bill marking Juneteenth as a federal holiday. 

“It seems to me that now what Republicans are doing is trying to, not just ignore these officers, refuse to honor them, but now also vilifying them,” left-wing host Joy Reid said after playing a video clip of Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., calling for the name of the officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt on Jan. 6 to be released. 

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“That officer is a hero. He saved lives. He is not an executioner as Republicans are describing him,” Swalwell said, referencing Gosar calling Babbitt’s death an execution.

Swalwell claimed if rioters had broken through the doorway in which Babbitt was trying to get through, then members of Congress would have been killed. 

“If that mob had gotten around the final police officers who were there … you would have seen dead members of Congress, so God bless the officer who saved us,” he added, before claiming the officer would have a target on his back if his name were released to the public.

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“By the way, that officer has been cleared and that shooting has been deemed as, you know, a lawful, unfortunate shooting,” Swalwell said. “So now we have a Republican Party – by the way over double digits voted against recognizing Juneteenth – so it’s a pro-slavery, anti-police party that is rolling with the cop killers right now. That’s where we are here in Washington, D.C.”

His “cop killers” remark appeared to be in reference to Officer Brian Sicknick, who had two strokes and died of natural causes after confronting them that day. Washington’s chief medical examiner did say that the riots played a role in his condition.

Twenty-one Republicans opposed the bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the police, and only 14 opposed the bill marking Juneteenth as a federal holiday. In both instances several of the opposing Republicans cited semantics as their reason for voting against them. The Juneteenth measure was unanimously approved by the Senate in February.

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Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when slaves in Confederate Texas learned of their liberation through Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

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