Former GOP Rep. Tells Republicans Not to 'Fear' Donald Trump

Former Republican Representative Barbara Comstock urged members of her party to stop "fearing" former President Donald Trump and called on them to support an investigation into the events of January 6.

In an op-ed for The New York Times on Wednesday, Comstock called Trump "the patron saint of sore losers" and warned about unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Comstock represented Virginia's 10th congressional district from 2015 to 2019. During the 2016 presidential election, she called for Trump to drop out of the race following the release of the Access Hollywood tape, which showed him using offensive language about women.

Comstock's op-ed was headlined: "My fellow Republicans, stop fearing this dangerous and diminished man."

The former congresswoman highlighted Trump's remarks about then Vice President Mike Pence at a rally on January 6 urging Pence to do "the right thing" and have states "rectify" the Electoral College results to grant him a second term.

"Or consider Mr. Trump's harassment of Georgia's Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, with the request to 'find' him votes, or his relentless harassment of other election officials and governors," Comstock wrote.

She said that many Republicans wanted to move on from the deadly Capitol riot on January 6, but that it wasn't possible while Trump was still focused on the 2020 election.

"Republicans, instead of opposing a commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6, need to be at the forefront of seeking answers on the insurrection and diminishing the power of QAnon and the other conspiracy theories that Mr. Trump has fueled," Comstock wrote.

"While he is still popular within the party, Mr. Trump is a diminished political figure: 66 percent of Americans now hope he won't run again in 2024, including 30 percent of Republicans," Comstock said, citing a Quinnipiac poll published on May 26.

"He is not the future, and Republicans need to stop fearing him. He will continue to damage the party if we don't face the Jan. 6 facts head-on."

Comstock went on to urge a proper, bipartisan investigation of the events of January 6, suggesting it could take the form of a commission or a congressional committee and said: "Republicans should be part of the process, to help provide accountability and prevent future attacks."

She argued that the GOP can win elections on policy issues and that the party doesn't need to embrace falsehoods about the last presidential election.

"Reconsider the commission, let the investigation go ahead, and run and win in 2022 on the truth," Comstock concluded.

Trump has frequently teased a return to electoral politics, saying he may wait until after the 2022 midterm elections before announcing another run for the White House in 2024.

Newsweek has asked President Trump's office for comment.

Trump Addresses the North Carolina GOP Convention
Former U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the NCGOP state convention on June 5, 2021, in Greenville, North Carolina. Former Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock has called on Republicans to stop "fearing" Trump. Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images