President Biden on Friday condemned an attack on GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin (N.Y.) during an event for Zeldin’s gubernatorial campaign the night before, when a man carrying a sharp object confronted Zeldin on stage.
“I condemn the attack on Congressman Zeldin in the strongest terms,” Biden said in a statement. “As I’ve said before, violence has absolutely no place in our society or our politics. I am especially grateful for the courage of those who immediately intervened, and that he is unharmed and was able to continue his speech.
“I also want to thank the law enforcement officers who quickly took action and are investigating this attack that defies our fundamental democratic values,” Biden added.
The president tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and has been working remotely while in isolation.
Zeldin was holding a rally in Monroe County, near Rochester, N.Y., when a man who appeared to be holding a blade approached Zeldin on stage. Photos and videos show Zeldin was able to grab the man’s wrist before others jumped on stage to restrain him. The congressman was unharmed.
David Jakubonis was charged with attempted assault in the second degree, a felony. He was arraigned on Wednesday night and released on his own recognizance, according to the Monroe County sheriff’s office.
“After being charged with a felony for last night’s attack, the man who tried to stab me was instantly released back onto the street due to New York’s insane cashless bail law. We MUST repeal cashless bail in New York!” Zeldin tweeted on Friday.
Zeldin won the Republican primary last month and will take on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in November’s general election.
Political violence has been on the rise in the U.S. in recent years, culminating in the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Source: The Hill