Missouri lawmaker skips own inaugural to attend Trump rally

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — While most of his colleagues were being sworn into office at the Missouri Capitol, Republican state Rep. Justin Hill was in the nation's capital encouraging Congress to reject President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

Hill said he met Wednesday with U.S. Rep. Jason Smith to support his objections to the Electoral College votes of several states and attended a rally with President Donald Trump. But Hill said he didn't join other Trump supporters in marching to the Capitol and was eating lunch when he heard word that a crowd he denounced as “anarchists” and “agitators” had forcibly broken into the Capitol.

“The rally was very peaceful and it was actually great — a lot of patriotism and prayer and singing and a lot of family,” said Hill, of Lake St. Louis. "But what I saw at the Capitol was not the same people.”

Hill added: “I wasn’t there rallying troops to overthrow the government.”

Hill sponsored a Missouri House resolution last month that encouraged Congress to refuse to accept the electoral votes from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada. The measure cited an alleged lack of absentee and mail-in ballot oversight and suggested that state laws likely were ignored or violated in those states, among other things.

Though Hill's measure was signed by a majority of Republican Missouri House members, the full chamber did not vote on it.

Hill said he expects to take his oath of office when he returns to the state Capitol.