Rep. Curtis responds to ‘treason’ poster left on office door, citing “troubling time”

Jan 14, 2021, 3:26 PM | Updated: 4:30 pm
Curtis treason poster...
Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) holds a poster depicting two skull and crossbones symbols over his Congressional headshot, with the words "Wanted for Treason" written above. Curtis said the poster did not make him "fearful or angry," but he urged his constituents to show civility. (Photo: Screenshot from MSNBC broadcast)
(Photo: Screenshot from MSNBC broadcast)

After the violent protest in Washington, D.C., that left several members of Congress worried for their personal safety, Rep. John Curtis of Utah is calling on Americans to exercise “civility and respect.” 

During an interview with MSNBC Thursday, Curtis, a Republican, showed a poster that was left on his office door that accused him of treason. The flyer was left in response to the Utah representative voting against objections to the Electoral College vote. 

“Wanted for treason!” the poster reads. “For resisting the true electoral victor Trump and willful failure to stand to object to the corrupt and vitiated states!”

The poster depicted Curtis’ headshot with two skulls and crossbones symbols over his eyes. In the bottom corner, it quoted a paragraph from Federalist No. 28 which argues representatives have the duty to listen to their constituents. 

“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,” it reads. “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.” 

Rep. Curtis responds to ‘treason’ poster left on office door

Curtis found the flyer outside his office door minutes before his interview with MSNBC’s Katy Tur. It’s unknown who left it. 

“I know my colleagues are very, verv concerned,” Curtis said. “It’s just a very troubling time for all of us.”

Other members of Congress chimed in on social media over the weekend, citing concerns they had while sheltering in place inside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told followers in an Instagram Live video she feared for her life, unsure if she would survive. 

Curtis said he still has confidence in the country, but acknowledges it’s in a “tough spot.”

“This (the poster) doesn’t make me fearful or angry, it makes me sad for the divisiveness in our country,” he tweeted. “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.”

Utah representative acknowledges ‘tough’ time but looks to future

This comes as states across the country prepare for planned protests in response to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, which is scheduled for Wednesday. The Defense Department reports increasing its National Guard presence at the inauguration ceremony to avoid a repeat of the attacks on the U.S. Capitol last week. 

Similar protests are planned in Utah, with state troopers planning extra security at the state Capitol building over the weekend. 

In response, Curtis urged MSNBC viewers to forge unity. 

“I personally am waking up and looking in the mirror and saying, ‘What do I need to do different? How do I play my role in changing what’s going on in our country?'” he told MSNBC. “I hope every single individual who watches your program and listens to me will ask themselves what they too can be doing.”

Part of this includes restoring faith in elections. However, in terms of the 2020 election, it’s time to move forward, Curtis said. 

“So, let me see if I can help,” he said. “To everyone listening, to my colleagues: We lost. Right? It’s time to move on. We need to worry about winning elections in the future.”

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Rep. Curtis responds to ‘treason’ poster left on office door, citing “troubling time”