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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Calls for Rep. Justin Price to resign swell

But Rep. Flip Filippi defends him

By Will Collette

Screenshot by Media Matters
It should be no surprise that wingnut Trumplican state Rep. Justin Price (R-Richmond) rejects calls for him to resign after his participation on the Trump mob attack on the US Capitol, an attack that Price claims – with no evidence – was led by Antifa.

He posted this claim of what he saw on Twitter: “Trump supporters stopped ANTIFA that were attacking our capitol!” Really? And how, pray tell, did Price see this?

Later, on January 9, Price tweeted again: Yes i marched to the capitol with 1 million peaceful patriots   Unfortunately ANTIFA /BLM infiltrated our peaceful movement and they got caught in the act..”

So now Black Lives Matter were in on it, too.

After initial calls by state Treasurer Seth Magaziner and state Rep. Brandon Potter for Price to step down, dozens more RI legislators and organizations have called for Price to go.

The House Trumplican Caucus, led by Charlestown's Rep. Blake “Flip” Filippi, rejected calls for Price to be expelled from the Caucus.

Price got into the RI House by beating solid progressive Rep. Larry Valencia in 2014, the same year Elaine Morgan ousted Sen. Cathy Cool Rumsey and Flip Filippi upset Rep. Donna Walsh.

Filippi's favorite militia, front and center in the Capitol
The Wingnut Class of 2014 were very much alike: sympathetic to armed militias, pro-guns, anti-immigrants, anti-vaccination and promoters of a wide variety of hard-right causes and conspiracies.

Filippi, for example, represented the Oathkeepers, a militia group that were among the leaders of the Capitol Coup, in court, when the Oathkeepers wanted to parade around with the automatic weapons on the sacred and historic Common in Concord, MA, contrary to Town Law. Filippi also spoke at their rallies and those of other fringe hard-right groups.

This, even though armed private militias are illegal in all 50 states – even Texas - and Flip know this. 

From Georgetown University Law School:

So of course he isn’t going to take action against Price for the kinds of radical actions that Flip himself has undertaken.

The push to sanction Price resulted from Price’s decision to pick a fight with RI public radio reporter Ian Donnis because Donnis did not publish Price’s false claim that Antifa was responsible for the insurrection. Donnis explained that he left Price’s claim out of his article because it was not true.

Price said he was at the mob scene but claims he didn’t do anything wrong, that he didn’t go inside the Capitol with his pals.

I don’t believe it. Here’s Price, a proud ex-Marine anti-leftist crusader, who went down to Washington after Trump’s call to arms. He's on the scene close enough to claim he saw Antifa agitators in the crowd and he just stands there and looks. Nah, that makes no sense.

While Price claims he didn’t go into the Capitol building, how far did he go? Did he go through any of the police lines or barricades and onto the Capitol grounds? He must have, since he says he saw Antifa lead the attack. Though honestly, I doubt Price would be able to identify someone from Antifa if they bit him in the ass.

I anticipate that we will see photos or video of Price on the scene. We might even see Price get a visit from the FBI.

Price may be found out by modern technology – cell phone GPS tracking could place him in the wrong place on January 6 – inside prohibited areas or even inside the Capitol. If Price had signed on to Parler, the far right alternative to Twitter, his January 6 wanderings could be traced as were the movements of many of his fellow insurrectionists (CLICK HERE).

But the new calls for Price to resign don’t hinge on the question of whether Price trespassed. Their charge is even more damning:

“In your oath of office, you swore to be true and faithful to the people of Rhode Island and to uphold the United States Constitution to the best of your ability. By supporting an attempt to thwart one of our democracy’s most vital traditions — the peaceful transfer of power — you failed to uphold the Constitution.”

Price was there at the Capitol – that is an undisputed fact. We do not have hard evidence that he trespassed or otherwise broke the law. However, he did violate his oath of office and compounded it by outright lies – blaming Antifa and Black Lives Matter with no evidence.

In Price’s three terms in the RI House, he has said and promoted many stupid if not reprehensible things. But he has crossed a line that cannot be crossed without consequences. He must resign or be removed.

Here is the full text of the group letter calling him out:

We, the undersigned, call for your immediate resignation in light of your public support for and participation in the white supremacist insurrection on the Capitol. 

In your oath of office, you swore to be true and faithful to the people of Rhode Island and to uphold the United States Constitution to the best of your ability. Yet according to your own (since deleted) Tweets, you marched to the Capitol with white supremacists you called “patriots.”

By supporting an attempt to thwart one of our democracy’s most vital traditions — the peaceful transfer of power — you failed to uphold the Constitution. And by propagating racist and unfounded conspiracy theories that Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement perpetrated violence during the uprising in which you participated, you lied to the people of Rhode Island and abused the platform your constituents have given you. Your seditious acts show that you are incapable of upholding your oath, of promoting the rule of law, and of meeting the high standards of elected office.

You further demonstrated your lack of judgment and flagrant disregard for Rhode Islanders’ safety when you refused to wear a mask at the State House. By refusing to follow basic health protocols, you recklessly undermined our state’s pandemic response efforts.

It is unacceptable for an elected official to defend a violent mob calling for antisemitic and anti Black violence, demanding the overthrow of a democratic election result, and waving the Confederate flag through the Capitol, as “patriots.” And it is unacceptable that you further embolden and normalize the spread of disinformation and anti-democratic fervor by continuing to walk the halls of the Rhode Island State House. Greater accountability is required from our elected officials than simply deleting incriminating Tweets. For the good of our democracy and the state of Rhode Island, we demand that you resign.


  • The College Democrats of Rhode Island 
  • Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus 
  • Representative Karen Alzate (D-Pawtucket) 
  • Representative David Morales (D-Providence) 
  • Representative Leonela Felix (D-Pawtucket) 
  • Representative Brianna Henries (D-East Providence) 
  • Rep. Brandon Potter (D-Cranston) 
  • Rep. Michelle McGaw (D-Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton) 
  • Rep. John J. Lombardi (D-Providence) 
  • Sen. Sam Bell (D-Providence) 
  • Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Pawtucket) 
  • Sen. Kendra Anderson (D-Cranston, Warwick)
  • Sen. Jonathon Acosta (D-Central Falls, Pawtucket) 
  • Sen. Tiara Mack (D-Providence) 
  • Sen. Cynthia Mendes (D-East Providence, Pawtucket) 
  • Councilor Katherine Kerwin (D-Providence) 
  • Councilor David Salvatore (D-Providence) 
  • Councilor Nirva LaFortune (D-Providence) 
  • Councilor Rachel Miller (D-Providence) 
  • Councilor Pedro Espinal (D-Providence) 
  • Councilor John Goncalves (D-Providence) 
  • Councilor Helen Anthony (D-Providence) 
  • Councilor John Donegan (D-Cranston) 
  • Councilor Lammis J. Vargas (D-Cranston) 
  • Councilor Aniece Germain (D-Cranston) 
  • Councilor Jessica Marino (D-Cranston) 
  • Councilor Linda Ujifusa (D-Portsmouth) 
  • Councilor J. Mark Ryan, MD (D-Portsmouth) 
  • Richmond Town Democratic Committee Chair B. Joe Reddish, III 
  • One Gun Gone 
  • Providence DSA 
  • Sunrise Rhode Island 
  • The Young Democrats of Rhode Island 
  • Southwestern RI Progressive Alliance 

Additional Rhode Island organizations and elected officials can sign on at