According to Talking Points Memo, Representative Denver Riggleman (R-VA) sent a letter to about 30 constituents falsely claiming that he voted to block Trump’s declaration of emergency, when in fact, he supported Trump’s declaration. Riggleman’s office said it was a “mistake.”
The emergency declaration was used as a means to secure border wall funding, and the Democratic resolution to block the declaration passed without Riggleman’s support.
Addressing the false claims in the letter, Riggleman spokesperson Joe Chelak said, “We had a couple different drafts depending on how the vote went, and I guess we sent the wrong one.”
Another spokesperson for Riggleman, Jimmy Keady, said, “It wasn’t misleading anybody, it was a mistake,” Keady said. “We have gone through our due diligence to go back and correct that mistake.”
In the letter, Riggleman wrote that while Trump was correct in wanting more money for a border wall, “the Constitution gives the power of the purse” to Congress, “not the President,” and therefore, “I voted to terminate the National Emergency.”
13 House Republicans joined Democrats in voting down the emergency declaration, and Riggleman was not one of them.
Publicly, Rigglement expressed that he was wary of the vote. “I understand why some people want a national emergency,” he said a week before the vote. “I do have border experience, but right now, I think we need to lean towards separation of powers and have a congressional way of doing this.”
Riggleman’s correction email read “CORRECTION: The last email you received mistakenly stated I voted for the resolution that condemned the national emergency. To clarify, I voted against the resolution and to uphold the declaration of national emergency.”