The Trumpian state senator running to become the GOP’s candidate for governor in Virginia has received the endorsement of Michael Flynn, the disgraced, former three-star general who has since become a hero in the QAnon conspiracy movement and a star of the so-called Stop the Steal movement. The stamp of approval comes amidst Amanda Chase’s battle with the state Senate following its censure of her for promoting the events of Jan. 6.
“I fully and wholeheartedly endorse Amanda Chase to be the next Governor of Virginia,” Flynn said in an issued statement. “She is the strongest voice for VA’s small businesses, she is a leader and champion for our 2nd Amendment, Amanda is a strong advocate for the Pro-Life movement, for family values and she will fight against the socialist agenda denying our Liberty and Constitutional Freedoms.”
The endorsement is fitting: In the month preceding the insurrection, Chase joined Flynn’s call for martial law and stated in a Facebook post that she was partnering with Flynn’s lawyer and QAnon conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell to expose the “extensive fraud” she falsely claimed took place in the 2020 presidential election.
In late January, the state Senate voted to censure Chase in a 24-9 vote for “fomenting insurrection against the United States,” citing her promotion of conspiracy theories about the election being stolen, declaration that “We are at war,” and her support of Trump loyalists who broke into the Capitol as being all a part of a long “pattern of unacceptable conduct.”
Chase, never one to back down from confrontation or the opportunity to grab another headline, filed a federal lawsuit against the censure resolution in February, claiming that the process deprived her of her constitutional rights. “The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as the Plaintiff is being singled out and selectively penalized for taking unpopular political positions that the majority of the members of the Virginia Senate disagree with,” the legal team representing Chase stated, according to WSET, an ABC affiliate in Richmond.
On Feb. 15, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring filed a motion to dismiss Chase’s suit, and last Thursday, a federal judge heard arguments but has not yet decided whether to dismiss the case or allow it to proceed.
On Jan. 6, Chase attended the Stop the Steal rally immediately preceding the Capitol insurrection and spoke to a crowd assembled there, though she left D.C. before rallygoers stormed the Capitol. After the country watched the events of Jan. 6 play out in horror, Chase took to Facebook to praise the insurrectionists as “Patriots who love their country.”
The night before the siege on the Capitol, Chase joined Stewart Rhodes, founder of the far-right paramilitary group the Oath Keepers, in a Facebook live video recorded by Virginia activist Goad Gatsby, where she told viewers, “Tomorrow we have a real choice: Are we a republic, or are we turning our country over to communism and socialism?” At this point, Rhodes had already called for martial law, adding that if Trump failed to declare it, his followers would take matters into their own hands in a much more “much more bloody war,” Right Wing Watch reported in December. Court documents show that 12 Oath Keeper members have been charged in a conspiracy to lay siege to the Capitol and Rhodes himself is under scrutiny for his role.
I cannot emphasize this enough, Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase made a Facebook live video with Oath Keepers leader Steward Rhodes the night before the Capital Seige. pic.twitter.com/XPttlj515T https://t.co/jMI2hXukWs
— Goad Gatsby (@GoadGatsby) February 20, 2021
No stranger to conflict, this was not the first time Chase’s behavior was criticized by those within her own party—or that she’s gone on the offensive afterwards.
Following the vote to censure Chase, her Republican colleagues issued a statement that the state’s Republican senators were all “united in their disappointment in Senator Chase and their disdain for her actions.” They laid the blame for censorship at Chase’s feet: “Senator Chase’s selfishness and constant need for media attention, with which the Senate Republican Caucus is keenly familiar, brought us to the situation in which the Senate found itself today.”
Chase is neither a member of the Republican caucus nor the Chesterfield Republican Party. She was booted from her district’s GOP after she verbally assaulted the state capitol clerk over a parking space. Following her refusal to apologize to the clerk, a member of her own party withdrew his endorsement of her senatorial campaign, and she proceeded to campaign for his opponent.
In a Wednesday interview with Spirit of VMI, a political action committee formed by Virginia Military Institute alumni, Chase claimed she had never seen systemic racism, telling viewers, “I reject the notion that there is racism.”
Virginians head to the polls on May 8 to vote for their choice for Republican nominee for governor.