Another “family values” Republican lawmaker is in trouble with the law.
On Tuesday, South Carolina Rep. Chris Corley, 37, was taken into custody by Aiken County Sheriff’s Office on charges of first-degree domestic violence, and pointing and presenting a firearm.
The alleged victim was Corley’s wife of 12 years. According to reports, the victim told authorities that Corley became physical during an argument and started punching her in the head and face. His wife said that he stopped beating her after he had noticed his children screaming. According to his wife, Corley then left the residence and returned from his vehicle with a 9mm pistol.
She then said he pointed the gun at her and announced that he “was going to kill himself. Corley then reportedly went into a bedroom, allowing his wife a small window of opportunity to escape the home with their children. According to the report, his wife ran across the street to her mother’s house and called the police.
Corley spoke with the deputy who arrived at the couple’s home, stating that he and his wife got into a heated argument after she accused him of cheating on her. He claimed that his wife then tried to punch him in the face, but he pushed her away. The lawmaker also claims that his wife scratched his forehead.
The arrest warrant does not specify if Corley is the legal owner of the Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm allegedly used in the incident.
According to the report, police arrived at the home around 9:50 p.m. on Monday, and made the arrest a few hours later at 1:15 a.m. on Tuesday. Corley now awaits a bond hearing at the Aiken County Detention Center.
Due to the nature of his charges, Corley could be suspended from the South Carolina House of Representatives, as well as serve up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the first-degree domestic violence charge. According to his spokesperson, Caroline Delleney, House Speaker Jay Lucas is taking a close look at the situation:
“If and when an indictment is issued, the speaker will take the necessary action to comply with the law and maintain the dignity of the House of Representatives.”
Corley has been a Republican congressman representing Aiken country since 2014. He’s well known for his staunch defense of the Confederate flag following the racially motivated mass shooting, which took place inside a Black church in Charleston on June 17, 2015. The shooting killed nine Black church goers, and after the young white male shooter was taken into custody, reports say that local police took him to Burger King before taking him to the station.
Following the shooting, there were calls in South Carolina as well as nationwide, demanding the removal of the Confederate flag from taxpayer funded property.
During the controversy, Corley was involved in a bizarre interview with a CNN reporter, in which he tries to duck the journalist’s questions while leaving for lunch. During the interview, Corley refused to state whether or not he supported the flag’s removal but did offer lame excuses as to why he didn’t support holding a debate on the subject. He told the reporter that debate should:
“…Go through the normal process which would be filing the bill in December and us coming back next year and talking about it.”
After which, he abruptly walked away.
After legislators had voted for the removal of the Confederate flag, Corley sent out a scathing “Christmas card” to his colleagues expressing his outrage over their “betrayal.” The GOP representative even compared Jesus Christ’s “decision” to be crucified for man’s sins to the vote on removing the flag. The card, which featured a picture of the Confederate flag, read as follows:
“May your Christmas be filled with memories of a happier time when South Carolina’s leaders possessed morals, convictions and the principles to stand for what is right”
How fortunate each and every one of us are that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ chose to be born into this miserable world. His sacrifice was difficult, but the best decisions are not always the easiest ones.
May you have a blessed and happy Christmas, and may you take this joyous time as an opportunity to ask forgiveness of all your sins such as betrayal.”
The card also featured this quote from Dante’s Inferno:
“This is Cocytus, the ninth cicle, the forth and last great water of Hell, and here, fixed in the ice, each according to his guilt, are punished sinners guilty of treachery against those whom they were bound by special ties.”
When asked about his bizarrely hostile “Christmas card,” Corley replied:
“If somebody’s feelings are legitimately hurt about that Christmas card, I think that might speak more to their conscience than the content of the card.”
It sure is a good thing Republicans have strong young leaders like Chris Corley to lead the way with their outstanding “morals, convictions and principals.”