GOP Condemns Attack on Connolly’s Fairfax Office

Violence ‘Has No Place in Our Commonwealth,’ Youngkin Says

A man wielding a metal bat assaulted two staffers on Monday inside the Fairfax office of Congressman Gerry Connolly. The suspect was arrested and later identified as 49-year-old Xuan-Kha Tran Pham. The motive for Monday’s attack is currently unknown.

“All of us were shocked and outraged to learn of today’s attack in Fairfax. Our hearts go out to Congressman Connolly, his staff, and their loved ones,” Fairfax GOP Chairman Steve Knotts said Monday afternoon. “Everyone — whether a public servant or private citizen — deserves to feel safe in their place of employment. In the face of senseless violence, we are reminded of our shared humanity, and must stand together as one.”

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin condemned the violence in a tweet sent Monday. “Violence does not belong in our political system and my prayers are with Rep. Gerry Connolly’s staff for a speedy recovery,” the governor said. “We’ve seen this against our judiciary, we’ve seen this against our legislative branch and it has no place in our Commonwealth.”

On Tuesday, the 11th District and Fairfax County GOP Committees jointly issued the following statement:

The 11th Congressional District of Virginia Republican Committee and the Fairfax County Republican Committee unequivocally condemn the attack on Rep. Gerry Connolly’s (D-VA) district office in Fairfax on May 15. We are praying for the speedy and complete recovery of the victims of this attack and we call for law enforcement to fully prosecute the perpetrator of the attack to the maximum extent of the law.

“There is no place for violence in American political life,” said 11th District Republican Chairman Mike Ginsberg. “A democratic society must resolve its differences in debate and at the ballot box. We are thankful that no lives were lost in this attack and we pray for the recovery and return to work of the victims.”

Fairfax County GOP Chairman Steve Knotts added, “The violence we saw in Representative Connolly’s office yesterday is reprehensible and must be dealt with quickly and with every tool at law enforcement’s disposal. A forceful response to this crime will show that we do not tolerate political violence in any way, shape, or form, and that its perpetrators will face justice. We are grateful for the prompt response of Fairfax police to the situation.”

We are also dismayed by political and media figures rushing to indict the Republican Party for this attack. We caution the press and the public from jumping to the conclusion this was a crime motivated by political ideology. While the attack was on the office of a political figure, news reports indicate the attacker was an individual suffering mental illness who had previously assaulted law enforcement officers on multiple occasions. He also sued the Central Intelligence Agency last year for “wrongful imprisonment” and torturing him “from the Fourth Dimension”. He appears to have assaulted a neighbor with a baseball bat in the hours before his attack on Rep. Connolly’s office.

“Law enforcement must gather all the facts of this crime,” Knotts stated. “Making assumptions about what motivated this attack will only further poison the political discourse in Virginia and the nation. If, as reports indicate, this individual was suffering from mental illness and had previous encounters with police, we need to understand fully why he remained at large and in a position to perpetrate this violent attack.”​

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