(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Representative Mike Kelly held a news conference Friday morning to address an article from the Erie Reader that suggested Kelly received a pardon from former President Donald Trump following the 2020 election.

Congressman Mike Kelly said he has never been on a pardon list. Nevertheless, the Erie County Democratic Chair stands by his editorial.

Rep. Kelly was in Erie Friday, arguing an opinion piece written by Erie County Democratic Chairman Jim Wertz suggests Kelly is on a pardon list.

The congressman condemned the Erie Reader article, saying it promotes misinformation.

“When people can print whatever they print, whenever they want to print it, and be a blatant outright lie, and then sit back to see how you’re going to respond to it, my response to it is they don’t deserve a response,” said Representative Mike Kelly, R-PA 16th District.

Congressman Kelly engaged in a contentious back and forth with media during the news conference when asked about being on a pardon list.

“Are you kidding me? The chairman of the Democratic Party in Erie is the author of a blatant lie? And you want me to reply to it? Shame on it, shame on it. Yes, I am here. Yeah, I’m here for it, believe me. Yes… no, no, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me. No, you can ask a question when I say it’s time to ask questions,” said Rep. Kelly.

Erie County Democratic Chairman Jim Wertz says he stands by his editorial, and he believes Kelly owes the people of this district an apology.

Party chair Jim Wertz claims Kelly did not support mail-in ballots during the 2020 election.

“That would’ve taken away the votes of $2.5 million Pennsylvanians, Republicans, and Democrats who participated by mail ballot in the 2020 election. For Mike Kelly to try to disenfranchise voters in that way so close to the election shows that this was really just a partisan attempt to save President Trump at the time,” said Jim Wertz, chairman, Erie County Democratic Party.

Wertz declined to apologize to Congressman Kelly during a separate press conference Friday.