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Tag: louie gohmert

Select Committee Depicts Meadows As Point Man In Trump Coup

The House Select Committee on January 6 filed a motion in court arguing that Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows should be compelled to testify about his role in the plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The filing uses Meadows’ text messages and witness testimony to paint a detailed picture of Meadows as Trump’s insurrection point man.

Meadows was subpoenaed to testify before the committee in December, but at the last minute he announced that he’d had a change of heart. In true Trumpian fashion, rather than showing up to testify, Meadows sued the committee.

There are no facts in dispute.

Either Meadows has to testify or he doesn’t. Therefore, the committee asked the judge to dispense with the formality of a trial and simply rule on that question.


In their motion, the committee had to explain why Meadows’ claims of executive privilege are worthless. In order to make that case, the committee painted a detailed picture of what Meadows was up to in the weeks before the insurrection.

The record shows that Meadows coordinated with a clique of far-right members of Congress and outside operatives to hype election fraud lies and pressure the Department of Justice to validate those lies.

The affirmation of the nation’s top law enforcement agency would then be used to pressure legislatures in states that Biden won into calling themselves back into session to send fake Trump electors in place of the real Biden delegates.

The committee argues in effect that Meadows doesn’t have executive privilege because he was operating either as a campaign staffer or as a criminal, since his attempts to influence the election would constitute blatant violations of the Hatch Act if he acted as a federal official.

The 26 exhibits attached to the motion include some of the 2,319 text messages from Meadows’ personal phone that the former chief of staff had already handed over, plus excerpts from the testimony of various J6 witnesses, including Trump aide Jason Miller and Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchison.

Indeed, the exhibits are so voluminous that one suspects the committee is taking advantage of the filing to get some shocking details into the public record.

And not a moment too soon.

Hutchison told committee investigators that Meadows schemed with a clique of far-right representatives that included US Reps. Scott Perry, Jim Jordan and Louie Gohmert. The group’s role was to identify and amplify election fraud conspiracy theories.

Armed with these baseless allegations, the clique badgered Justice Department officials to investigate and validate the claims so that they could be used to pressure state legislatures into overriding the will of the people and sending Trump electors in place of those duly pledged to Biden.

The officials found no evidence of significant fraud in any state, but Trump and his allies kept pushing. “Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” Trump said, according to notes taken by former senior Justice Department official Richard Donoghue and shared with the Times for a story that ran last December.

Donoghue later told the committee that he and his colleagues narrowly talked Trump out of firing the acting attorney general and replacing him with Jeff Clark, a toady who had never tried a criminal case, but who promised to throw the agency’s credibility behind the lies.

Meadows and Clark allegedly planned to use the fraud allegations to pressure the GOP-controlled legislatures of the Biden swing states to call themselves back into session to pick Republican electors.

The exhibits show that Meadows and his merry band of insurrectionists were big promoters of a John Eastman-esque pseudo-legal theory whereby Mike Pence could somehow send the election back to the states.

Gohmert even tried and failed to sue Pence in federal court to force him to act on a version of the Eastman plan to steal the election during the certification ceremony.

This filing sheds light on what the J6 committee has learned.

The good news is that they are getting closer to Trump, uncovering the machinations of high-level elected officials.

The bad news is that compelling members of Congress to testify will be time-consuming and difficult.

The clock is ticking for the committee.

Printed with permission from Alternet.

Louie Gohmert Wanted Coup So Badly He Sued Mike Pence

Article reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

In the last days of December 2020, Politico noted a decidedly odd story. That’s when Rep. Louie Gohmert, along with a group of would-be Donald Trump electors from Arizona, filed suit against Mike Pence—not for violating the 1887 Electoral Count Act, but for following it. And if that doesn’t sound strange enough already, Gohmert was likely acting as a stand-in for Trump.

In an update, Politico ponders why this story has gotten so little attention. And it’s a good question.

The suit against Pence seems to have been a proxy fight in two ways: First, the suit from Gohmert put more pressure on Pence to go along with the coup plan that was being circulated around the White House and briefed to Republicans in Congress. Second, it was a direct attempt to get the Department of Justice to weigh in on the constitutionality of the Electoral Count Act. Scoring points on either of those fronts might seriously advance the hopes of running through Trump’s plan to overthrow the election while giving it a patina of legality.

Despite claims that the plan presented to Republicans by Phil Waldron was not the same as the “official” plan that Mark Meadows, Trump, and attorney John Eastman pressed on Pence in the Oval Office, it’s clear that the critical points of the plan are the same. The details of Gohmert’s suit show that it follows the same basic themes. There was only one coup plan: Have Pence refuse to count enough electoral votes for Joe Biden so he could either claim that Trump was the outright victor or make a case that the election was “in dispute,” giving Trump the pretense to call for a do-over election under military supervision.

Well before January 6, Republicans were out there in public, explaining that scheme in court. It’s just that no one in the media took them seriously.

In that December 2020 lawsuit, Gohmert and company explicitly make the claim that would be repeated in the memos from Eastman and the PowerPoint from Waldron.

"Under the Twelfth Amendment, Defendant Pence alone has the exclusive authority and sole discretion to open and permit the counting of the electoral votes for a given state, and where there are competing slates of electors, or where there is an objection to any single slate of electors, to determine which electors’ votes, or whether none, shall be counted," claims the suit.

In other words, Pence, with no other authority or evidence, could determine which states got counted, and which states did not. The 1887 Electoral Count Act, according to the suit, is unconstitutional because it puts limits on that unlimited authority to decide what’s in, and what’s out.

It seems clear at this point that Gohmert was only acting as a stalking horse for Trump. It also seems clear that the real intent of the suit wasn’t to generate any kind of legal precedent but simply to force Pence to act. Opposing the suit would also mean opposing Trump, and would send an early signal of Pence’s intentions on January 6.

The signal on how all this would play out came just one day later when the Department of Justice stepped in to defend Pence. That came after Gohmert’s attorneys had a chat with Pence’s attorneys, offering what Gohmert’s team described as “a meaningful attempt to resolve the underlying legal issues by agreement, including advising the Vice President's counsel that Plaintiffs intended to seek immediate injunctive relief in the event the parties did not agree.” In other words, Gohmert offered to drop the suit if Pence would just commit to the scheme to overturn the election results. Pence did not sign on.

Gohmert’s suit was rejected by the federal district court in Texas. This was followed by a thumbs down in the circuit court of appeals. In both cases, judges ruled that decorating the suit with the names of people who would have been electors had Trump won did not give Gohmert standing to sue Pence for following the law.

At the time, it was easy to lose Gohmert’s suit in the sea of lawsuits that Trump’s legal team was launching against election results across seven states. The same team of attorneys who sued Pence for Gohmert were also responsible for some of the suits against the election outcome in Arizona—which is a pretty good clue to who was really calling the shots.

But a year later, it’s now clear that this suit was another piece of the plan represented by Eastman’s memo, Waldron’s PowerPoint, and the texts that were delivered to Meadows up to and during the assault on the Capitol. There was just one coup plot. And they were all in on it.

Article reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Greene, Gohmert, And Gaetz Stopped In Trespass At D.C. Jail

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) staged a press conference immediately after being denied entry to a District of Columbia corrections facility allegedly holding defendants who face charges related to the January 6 insurrection.

"We're in totalitarian, Marxist territory here. This is the way third-world people get treated," Congressman Gohmert declared for the cameras.

The three far-right Republicans delivered their remarks after a guard told them they were "trespassing" and "obstructing entrance into this facility."

The videos above come from the far-right website Right Side Broadcasting Network, which falsely deems the defendants "political prisoners" in its chyrons.

As the members of Congress spoke, two protestors held up signs reading: "Where is due process" and "Free Biden's political prisoners," which is rhetoric similar to that uttered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

GOP Extremists Plot Stunt For Jan. 6 ‘Political Prisoners’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The Department of Justice arrested and charged over 500 people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, many in a coordinated effort to overturn a free and fair election. DOJ expects to charge about 100 others as well.

"The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence," the U.S. attorney's office in D.C. wrote in March, when the list of people to be charged was estimated at about 400, The Washington Post reported at the time.

On Tuesday, as the newly-minted U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack launches, holding its first day of events, four far right wing House Republicans – some of whom has been linked to white nationalists – will be holding a different type of event.

Instead of working to uncover and piece together all the information about what happened on Jan. 6, including what led up to the attempted coup, four GOP representatives – Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene – will hold a press conference on the "treatment" of the January 6 "prisoners," suggesting they are "political prisoners," which is false.

The four extremists will hold that press conference Tuesday at 1 PM, "demanding answers on the treatment of January 6 prisoners" from Attorney General Merrick Garland, per a press release.

"This is taking place on the same day as the January 6 select committee's first hearing," Forbes' Andrew Solender reports. House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy "is also holding a presser ahead of that to counter-program."

"The lawmakers have all pushed a baseless conspiracy theory that federal agents were behind the attack, with Gosar also casting slain rioter Ashli Babbitt – who was shot by law enforcement while trying to breach the House chamber – as a martyr," Solender says in a Forbes article.

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.

Far-Right Republicans Vote No On Congressional Medal For Capitol Police

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

House Democrats are criticizing their GOP colleagues after 21 Republican members Tuesday night voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to law enforcement officers who responded to the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

The bill passed the House on Tuesday by a vote of 406-21 — with every "no" vote coming from Republican lawmakers. All but two of the 21 House Republicans who voted against the award for the law enforcement officers also voted to overturn the 2020 election results.

A number of the members have also tried to downplay the attack, such as Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) saying the violent riot was just a "normal tourist visit" and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) falsely saying the rioters weren't armed.

"I think this is a new low for this crowd. They voted to overturn an election. But in their vote today, they kind of sealed the deal of basically affiliating with the mob," Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said in an interview with CNN.

Connolly added, "They now are part of the insurrectionist mob. They brought enormous disrepute and dishonor on themselves in not honoring the brave men and women who defended the Capitol of the United States — everybody in it, but also defending the symbol of democracy in the world, not just here in the United States."

Meanwhile, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) tweeted that the Republicans who voted against the award amount to "a sad commentary on the @HouseGOP."

And Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) called the Republican votes against the award "sick."

"I mean, they have to live with themselves," McGovern told Politico. "It's sad, pathetic."

The vote was made by agreement between members of the House and Senate. The Senate had voted only to award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman — who helped steer the insurrectionists away from the Senate chamber to give senators time to safely evacuate — with the Congressional Gold Medal.

But the bill that passed the House on Tuesday awarded four Gold Medals, to the entire Capitol Police force, to the Metropolitan Police Department officers who responded to the attack, and two to be displayed in the Smithsonian Institution and in the Capitol.

The House had passed a similar bill in March, and at the time 12 Republicans voted against it. But that number grew on Tuesday to 21.

Republicans said they voted against it because they took issue with the fact that the legislation called the rioters "a mob of insurrectionists."

"I wouldn't call it an insurrection," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told Politico of the January 6 attack, when a Donald Trump-supporting mob tried to block the peaceful transition of power from Trump to President Joe Biden.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

FBI Director Testifies Capitol Rioters Carried ‘All Sorts Of Weapons’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified under oath on Thursday that at least one person among the supporters of Donald Trump who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 carried a firearm, while many used other items as weapons, refuting GOP attempts to portray the insurrection as less violent than it was.

Asked by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee whether anyone involved in the riot had been armed with a firearm, Wray responded, "I can think of at least one instance where there was an individual with a gun inside the Capitol, but for the most part the weapons were weapons other than firearms."

Gohmert is one of several GOP lawmakers who have downplayed the attack that left five people dead and 140 law enforcement officers injured. Republicans like Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) falsely described the riot as a "normal tourist visit," while Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) described the Trump supporters who violently pushed their way into the Capitol and beat up police officers guarding the building as "peaceful patriots."

Gohmert, for his part, falsely claimed back in May that there was no evidence to suggest the attack was an "armed insurrection" and said the FBI was "unfairly" targeting Donald Trump supporters.

At the hearing, Wray said that nearly 500 people have been arrested and charged with crimes in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot, when a mob of Trump supporters tried to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

Wray said that the insurrectionists had "all sorts of weapons, you know, kevlar, tactical vests, bear spray."

A Senate report released on Tuesday detailed the brutal attacks law enforcement officers suffered at the hands of the pro-Trump mob, finding that insurrectionists used weapons such as flag poles, metal fence stakes, and chemical irritants that left some officers with burns that they are still recovering from months after the attack.

The report did not delve into how the attack was fomented, nor how a future one like it can be prevented.

Democrats — and a very small minority of Republicans — are calling for an independent probe of the attack.

But the Republican minority leaders in Congress, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are blocking the formation of a bipartisan commission to answer those questions. Reports say Republican leaders fear such a probe could be imperil their party's chances in the 2022 midterm elections, with Sen. John Thune (R-SD) telling CNN he was concerned the results of an investigation "could be weaponized politically and drug into next year."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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.