Tag: capitol riot lies
Rep. Louie Gohmert

Gohmert Claims Jan. 6 Insurrection Was FBI ‘Entrapment Scheme’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is demanding the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department tell Congress what they know about their own alleged "participation" in Donald Trump's January 6 insurrection, which led to at least seven deaths. Gohmert falsely claims the attack on the U.S. Capitol – which in reality was an attempted coup designed to overturn a free and fair election – was instead a "monumental entrapment scheme used as a pretext to imprison otherwise harmless protestors" and used to "frame the entire MAGA movement as potential domestic terrorists."

News organization The Recount calls Gohmert's assertions "a bullshit baseless conspiracy theory."

The Texas Republican congressman, explained on Thursday on the floor of the House that his "friend," Fox News white supremacist host Tucker Carlson "covered this last night," called the conspiracy theory "really disturbing... because we don't like to see government agents stirring up trouble or find that there are criminal acts that would not likely have occurred had not the federal government been participating."

Having no evidence that January 6 was an "inside job," which is what Gohmert is asserting, he goes on to make up possible scenarios, again, without any basis in fact.

"Whether they were actual agents, or an undercover agents, or informants that were working for the federal government. But this is scary stuff this is, This is kind of third world stuff, this is not only third world stuff but this is like Putin-like kind of activity. So, if there were federal agents that were involved on January 6, we really need to know what the FBI knew and when they knew it, and not only that, we need to know how much participation did any of our federal friends either at DOJ, FBI, or any of the Intel Community, what kind of role were they playing?"

It's almost like he is demanding Speaker Pelosi form a Special Committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection.

Rep. Louie Gohmert

Gohmert Repeats Debunked Claim That Jan. 6 Rioters Were ‘Anti-Trump’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Thursday advanced a long-debunked conspiracy theory that anti-Trump protesters wore pro-Trump gear and were part of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

While questioning FBI Director Christopher Wray during a session of the House Judiciary Committee, Gohmert claimed that on Jan. 5 he spoke to Capitol Police officers who he alleges told him they had been briefed on "online activity that there are people that are going to be coming that hate Trump, but they're going to dress up in red, MAGA, Trump paraphernalia to try to blend in and create trouble."

The allegation has frequently circulated in viral messages alleging a conspiracy about the attack.

In a Jan. 9 fact check, Reuters reported that viral images purporting to show antifa supporters infiltrating the Capitol were not real and noted that the FBI said there was "no indication at this time" that antifa supporters were part of the Capitol attack.

A fact check from FactCheck.org similarly described the claims as "bogus" and noted that the claims were part of "an unfounded conspiracy theory that anti-fascist activists in disguise orchestrated the event."

Fact checks from the Associated Press, Politifact, USA Today, and NPR have also debunked the allegation.

Wray did not get a chance to address Gohmert's claim, but in testimony given in March, Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that, up to then, he had not "seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or people subscribing to antifa in connection with the 6th."

Gohmert has a history of boosting unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and was recently a key speaker at a conference advancing the beliefs of QAnon supporters, who falsely allege that celebrities and politicians are involved in child trafficking, among other claims.

From a June 10 session of the House Judiciary Committee:

LOUIE GOHMERT: The night before Jan. 6, Jan. 5th, that evening I was talking to Capitol Police officers and I said, "You know, let's face it, most of the conservatives that come, they don't have any intention of being violent."
And they said, "Well, we've been briefed today that there's a good bit of, as I understand it, online activity that there are people that are going to be coming that hate Trump, but they're going to dress up in red, MAGA, Trump paraphernalia to try to blend in and create trouble."
We had Capitol Police Chief [Steven] Sund testify that they got no information from U.S. intel or from the DOJ, FBI, of any threat of the nature that came about. Did the FBI have information about the violent threat that occurred on Jan. 6 on Jan. 5th?

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Rep. Paul Gosar

For Defending Capitol Rioters, Rep. Gosar Faces Censure And Shunning

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has been one of the most vocal defenders in Congress of the Capitol insurrectionists. In recent days, he's started to face the consequences.

Last week, Gosar — who spread bogus conspiracy theories about the 2020 election that fueled the deadly Jan. 6 attack and voted to overturn its results — proclaimed the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol to be "peaceful patriots" being harassed by the Department of Justice. He also accused a Capitol Police officer of carrying out an execution by shooting one of the rioters.

On Thursday, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and 19 House Democrats filed a resolution to censure Gosar for "undermining the seriousness of the insurrection" and "dangerously mischaracterizing the events of that day."

If a majority vote for Cicilline's proposal, Gosar will have to stand in the well of the House of Representatives for censure and to hear the resolution publicly read aloud — a rare and embarrassing rebuke.

A Gosar spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

But even before that censure effort proceeds, Gosar is already being penalized by the Democratic majority through a growing boycott of his legislative efforts.

On Thursday, Reps. Anna Eshoo of California and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts went to the House floor and removed themselves as co-sponsors of H.R. 1127, Gosar's once bipartisan bill to crack down on foreign donations in American political campaigns.

In the last Congress, the bill had 11 co-sponsors — six of them Democrats. This year, Gosar filed it with only two Democrats (Eshoo and Moulton) joining the GOP backers.

A spokesperson for Moulton, who just returned to Washington, D.C., following paternity leave, made it clear in an email to the American Independent Foundation that he withdrew to avoid any association with Gosar:

When Congressman Moulton signs onto a bill with a Republican, he gives the Member of Congress that introduced it the credibility of bipartisanship, and, on foreign policy and national security, the credibility that comes with his background and his work in Congress. Republicans and Democrats who work across the aisle talk about that work at town halls and in meetings with their constituents to make the case that they are not the problem with Congress.
Congressman Gosar's participation in the riot on January 6th, his vote against the certification of the electoral college — which to be clear is a vote against the will of the American people — and his unwillingness in the days since to hold accountable President Trump and the people responsible for the attack on the Capitol are shameful and traitorous. Congressman Moulton needs to trust the colleagues he partners with on important legislation.

A spokesperson for Eshoo did not immediately respond to an inquiry about her withdrawal.

On Wednesday, Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced a renewable energy bill without Gosar — legislation that had been a joint effort by the two in 2019. Gosar, upset that Levin refused to make him an original co-sponsor, then filed an identical bill.

A spokesperson for Levin told E&E News on Thursday that Levin saw Gosar as toxic to the bill's chances.

"Congressman Levin invited Congressman Gosar to co-sponsor the bill like any other colleague," he explained. "However, Congressman Levin is determined to get this important legislation to President Biden's desk, and it's clear that having Rep. Gosar as a co-lead could be detrimental to that goal, particularly in the wake of the events of Jan. 6."

The House subcommittee plans to take up the Levin version of the bill on Monday — not the Gosar one.

Gosar has also been facing criticism recently for lying to the House clerk about why he was missing work in February and instead attending a white nationalist conference in Orlando, Florida.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Former President Trump recognizing Rep. Steve Scalise, center, at the White House with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, right.

GOP Leadership Betrays Bipartisan Deal On 1/6 Commission

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

EDITOR'S UPDATE: On Wednesday evening the House passed a bipartisan bill to establish an independent commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol insurrection, as 35 Republicans defied their party leadership and former president Donald Trump to support the commission.

.The bill now moves to the Senate where it faces an uncertain fate as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced his opposition on Wednesday.

Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced on Tuesday that he will not be supporting the bipartisan deal for a commission to study the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. And not only that, but the No. 2 Republican in the House, Rep. Steve Scalise, revealed that he'll be whipping Republican votes against the legislation.

It was a disappointing but predictable development for those hoping to have bipartisan consensus on the plan to analyze the monumental challenge to American democracy. With the right wing increasingly downplaying the events of January 6 and former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election, or even defending them, it was clear Republican leadership had little interest left in seeking accountability. While legislation for the commission is almost certain to pass the House because of the Democrats' majority, it faces a less certain future in the Senate, where it will need 60 votes. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he is undecided on the legislation.

In turning his back on the commission, McCarthy was essentially throwing one of his own under the bus. Indeed, this is exactly the sentiment New York Republican Rep. John Katko reportedly expressed to a colleague about the development, according to a recent report in The Hill.

"Katko feels like he's been thrown under the bus," the person said. "I think he feels frustrated he was given a direction to go in and had the rug pulled out from under him."

Katko is the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee. He was, it seems, given an impossible task: to negotiate a deal with Democrats on a commission that McCarthy and most the GOP caucus was bound to end up opposing.

McCarthy was initially outraged by the events of January 6, pinning the blame on Trump even as he opposed impeachment. But Republican voters have clearly signaled they don't want Trump held accountable, and they're unconcerned with the insurrection, so McCarthy has dutifully abandoned any interest in the commission.

In a statement released by Scalise, the House GOP leadership offered a series of excuses for their opposition to the commission, trying to put the blame on Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But the objections were frivolous.

The first three bullet points here are all basically the same point: that the commission only focuses on the events of January 6. That is, of course, the whole point of the legislation. The idea that the 2017 baseball shooting is suddenly among McCarthy's concerns strains credulity, and it has no credible link to January 6 attack. But if it did, nothing would prevent the commission from studying the link. (And if McCarthy had thought the event itself was worthy of study, he could have proposed that back in 2017.)

The point that the report is "due to late" is hard to parse even on its own terms.

The last two points just refer to other investigations of the events, such as in the DOJ and congressional committees, which serve different purposes from an independent commission. Notably, they're run ultimately by Democrats, while the commission is intended to be bipartisan.

Ultimately, the GOP's talking points against the commission just amount to an admission they don't want a commission at all. It's clear there was no reasonable agreement that would satisfy them, unless perhaps it was so watered down as to be pointless. And of course, they use the delay imposed by the negotiations they insisted upon as another reason to oppose the commission.

So why go through all this song and dance? McCarthy perhaps concluded that it would look too cynical to just oppose a commission outright, or mayube he genuinely wanted a commission at the start and changed his mind.

But the attempt to blame Democrats for the failure is falling flat. The arguments against the commission are laughable. And without a doubt, some House Republicans will vote for the commission, just as some voted for impeachment, giving it a seal of bipartisanship even if McCarthy is opposed. It's hard to imagine how the House minority leader's reputation comes out improved after all this.

Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern blasted McCarthy for abandoning the agreement after all the negotiation:

And according to Punchbowl News, many Republicans aren't impressed with McCarthy's excuses, either.

"Sure, there are some Republicans who can toe the line and say that they will oppose it because it doesn't allow for an investigation into all political violence," it reported. "But many in the party are finding that excuse incredibly lame."