RICHMOND, VA, 16 JANUARY 2020: House and Senate Republican leaders have written to Governor Northam requesting a secure briefing for General Assembly leaders on the threats he cited Wednesday to justify his declaration of a state of emergency in regard to the January 20th Lobby Day event.
Senate Republican Leader Thomas K. Norment (R-James City), House Republican Leader C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), House Republican Caucus Chairman Kathy J. Byron (R-Campbell) and Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover) have formally requested Governor Northam brief the General Assembly leadership of both parties on the threats as quickly as possible.
“We, as members of the General Assembly, have received none of the information you have referenced to justify these restrictions,” the leaders wrote. “As such, we request that your office conduct a secure briefing on the threats identified by the Virginia Fusion Center and the Unified Command for the leadership of the General Assembly at the earliest possible time.
“We understand the need for operational security and to protect intelligence sources and methods. As such, we would suggest this briefing be conducted in a secure location of your choosing, with only the leadership of the respective majority and minority caucuses of the General Assembly — the Speaker of the House, Majority and Minority Leaders of the House and Senate, and the Chairs of the Democratic and Republican House and Senate Caucuses. No legislative staff would be included in this briefing...
“Considering the abridgment of the constitutional rights of Virginians your declaration has imposed, and because we have serious concerns about whether a governor has the authority to enact such restrictions, we believe it is imperative that leaders of the General Assembly – representing both majority and minority caucuses – are appropriately briefed as to the nature of these threats.”