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resignations

Top GOP aide resigns, says Republicans 'put political theater ahead' of defending Constitution

Jason Schmid, a longtime senior Republican aide on the House Armed Services Committee, announced his resignation in a letter obtained by Politico on Tuesday, and he did not mince words.

He criticized some GOP members of the committee — which includes Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), one of the lawmakers to most fervently push President Trump's election conspiracy theories — whom he previously considered "leaders in the defense of the nation," for putting "political theater ahead of the defense of the Constitution and the Republic" by allowing the "poisonous lie" about the presidential election being stolen to gain steam, ultimately leading to the deadly riot at the United States Capitol riot last week.

Failing to halt the false information and prevent the riot, Schmid warned, could put Americans at risk, not only from the "domestic enemies" that stormed the capitol, but also from foreign adversaries who he believes were keeping tabs as the events unfolded. "These self-inflicted wounds are a gift to autocrats who seek a diminished America and are fundamentally inconsistent with the responsibility to provide for the common defense," he wrote. "Foreign intelligence services were likely on the scene and will certainly capitalize on the crisis it has caused — our people will pay a steep price. Congressional enablers of this mob have made future foreign conflict more likely, not less."

Schmid went on to express regret that "some members may no longer have the credibility needed to accomplish" the committee's necessary task of holding the Pentagon accountable for bringing any riot participants who serve in the armed forces to justice. Tim O'Donnell