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Politics What insurrection? Growing number in GOP downplay Jan. 6

07:50  14 may  2021
07:50  14 may  2021 Source:   msn.com

Adam Kinzinger Attacks McCarthy for Changing Capitol Riot Stance, Praises Cheney Consistency

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WASHINGTON (AP) — What insurrection?

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters try to break through a police barrier, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters try to break through a police barrier, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Flouting all evidence and their own first-hand experience, a small but growing number of Republican lawmakers are propagating a false portrayal of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, brazenly arguing that the rioters who used flagpoles as weapons, brutally beat police officers and chanted that they wanted to hang Vice President Mike Pence were somehow acting peacefully in their violent bid to overturn Joe Biden's election.

Takeaways from a day of congressional Republicans embracing Trump and downplaying the US Capitol riot

  Takeaways from a day of congressional Republicans embracing Trump and downplaying the US Capitol riot The ongoing battle between truth and lies, and the continued fallout from the January 6 insurrection, played out Wednesday on Capitol Hill with critical oversight hearings and a landmark vote among the House Republicans to oust Liz Cheney from their leadership ranks. © Provided by CNN The extraordinary day saw Cheney removed by voice vote in a 20-minute session that featured her fellow lawmakers booing her remarks about former President Donald Trump's falsehoods about election fraud and then having members mock her on social media. RELATED: The vote to oust Liz Cheney took only 16 minutes. Here's what happened.

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, U.S. Capitol Police hold rioters at gun-point near the House Chamber inside the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File): Capitol Breach Denialism © Provided by Associated Press Capitol Breach Denialism

One Republican at a hearing Wednesday called the rioters a “mob of misfits." Another compared them to tourists. And a third suggested the sweeping federal investigation into the riot — which has yielded more than 400 arrests and counting — amounts to a national campaign of harassment.

It’s a turn of events that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, another target of the rioters, called “appalling” and “sick,” and it raises the possibility that the public's understanding of the worst domestic attack on Congress in 200 years — an attack that was captured extensively on video — could become distorted by the same kinds of disinformation that fueled former President Donald Trump's false claims of a stolen election. It was the lie about the election that motivated the rioters in the first place.

What insurrection? Growing number in GOP downplay Jan. 6

  What insurrection? Growing number in GOP downplay Jan. 6 WASHINGTON (AP) — What insurrection? Flouting all evidence and their own first-hand experience, a small but growing number of Republican lawmakers are propagating a false portrayal of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, brazenly arguing that the rioters who used flagpoles as weapons, brutally beat police officers and chanted that they wanted to hang Vice President Mike Pence were somehow acting peacefully in their violent bid to overturn Joe Biden's election. © Provided by Associated Press Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., speaks with Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer, R-Ky., listens during a House Oversight and Reform Committee regarding the on Jan.

“I don’t know of a normal day around here when people are threatening to hang the vice president of the United States or shoot the speaker, or injure so many police officers,” said Pelosi, who has pushed for a bipartisan commission to investigate the riots.

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, U.S. Capitol Police try to hold back rioters outside the east doors to the House side of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Jan 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, U.S. Capitol Police try to hold back rioters outside the east doors to the House side of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Jan 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The hearing Wednesday was supposed to be the latest dive by congressional investigators into the chaos of Jan. 6 — the missed warning signs, confusion and delays that allowed the rioters to terrorize the Capitol for an entire afternoon. But several Republicans used their rounds of questioning not to pepper the witnesses with questions, but to downplay the brutal assault on America's seat of democracy.

House strikes deal on commission to investigate insurrection, with vote expected next week

  House strikes deal on commission to investigate insurrection, with vote expected next week The agreement would set up an independent commission to investigate the failings that allowed a pro-Trump mob to overrun the Capitol.The panel will investigate the circumstances of the attack as well as the factors that led to it, according to Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and ranking member John Katko, R-N.Y., who negotiated the deal.

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, people shelter in the House chamber as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, people shelter in the House chamber as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

“Let’s be honest with the American people — it was not an insurrection, and we cannot call it that and be truthful,” said Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Republican from Georgia serving his first term.

Clyde said one video feed of the rioters looked like they were on a “normal tourist visit.” Those in the video, taken in Statuary Hall, were able to enter the building after rioters broke through glass, pummeled officers and busted through the doors as lawmakers were frantically evacuated. They were headed to the House chamber where they tried to beat down the doors with lawmakers still inside.

Clyde wasn’t the only Republican making that argument. Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar portrayed a woman who was shot and killed by Capitol Police as she tried to break through a door next to the House chamber as a martyr. He said Ashli Babbitt was “executed” and noted she was an Air Force veteran who was wearing an American flag. The Department of Justice decided after an investigation not to charge the police officer who shot her.

The GOP whitewash of the Capitol attack shows the need for a January 6 commission

  The GOP whitewash of the Capitol attack shows the need for a January 6 commission Two House Republicans have suggested that a commission could subpoena Kevin McCarthy.Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) joined former Republican House conference chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), who was ousted from that job Wednesday, in indicating that a subpoena could be on the table for McCarthy, telling CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union that “I would suspect Kevin would be subpoenaed.

The Justice Department, Gosar said at one point, is “harassing peaceful patriots across the country” as federal prosecutors file charges against hundreds of people who stormed the Capitol and participated in the riot. The massive investigation, one of the largest in American history, remains ongoing with federal agents continuing to serve search warrants and attempting to locate dozens of other people still being sought for questioning.

Georgia Rep. Jody Hice also painted the rioters as the victims, noting that they were four of the people who died, including Babbitt. The other three suffered medical emergencies while part of the crowd laying siege to the Capitol. “It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others,” Hice said.

A fifth person, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, collapsed immediately after the insurrection and died the next day. Video shows two men spraying him and another officer with a chemical, but the Washington medical examiner said Sicknick suffered a stroke and died from natural causes. The men have been charged with assaulting the officers.

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, members of the U.S. Secret Service Counter Assault Team walk through the Rotunda as they and other federal police forces responded as violent protesters loyal to then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File): Capitol Breach Denialism © Provided by Associated Press Capitol Breach Denialism

Two other officers took their own lives in the days afterward, and dozens more were hurt — including one officer who had a heart attack and others who suffered traumatic brain injuries and permanent disabilities. The union that represents the Capitol Police said some of the officers may never return to work.

DOJ Says Capitol Rioter Carried Semi-Auto Handgun After Republicans Claim They Weren't Armed

  DOJ Says Capitol Rioter Carried Semi-Auto Handgun After Republicans Claim They Weren't Armed At least 15 people have been charged with carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon during the Capitol riots, despite Republican claims that the insurrectionists weren't armed.The DOJ indictment accuses defendant Christopher Alberts of carrying a Taurus G2C semi-automatic handgun on Capitol grounds on January 6. The indictment also says he had a "large capacity ammunition feeding device.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., speaks with Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer, R-Ky., listens during a House Oversight and Reform Committee regarding the on Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., speaks with Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer, R-Ky., listens during a House Oversight and Reform Committee regarding the on Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP)

The attempt to defend the insurrectionists came on the same day that House Republicans voted to oust Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney from their leadership team for repeatedly rebuking Trump for his false claims that the election was stolen. Cheney voted with Democrats to impeach Trump for telling his supporters hours before the Jan. 6 attack to “fight like hell” to overturn Biden’s win. Trump’s lies about widespread election fraud were rebuked by numerous courts, election officials across the country and his own attorney general.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., listens during a House Oversight and Reform Committee regarding the on Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., listens during a House Oversight and Reform Committee regarding the on Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP)

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, who led the Democrats’ impeachment prosecution and sits on the Oversight Committee, said after the hearing that he believes that Republicans were “emboldened and emancipated” by Cheney’s ouster earlier in the day.

“They have declared themselves to be on the side of Donald Trump and the ‘big lie,’ and the ‘big lie’ now has spread outwards to include denial of what happened on Jan. 6,” Raskin said.

Timothy Naftali, a professor of history and public service at New York University, says it is “deeply cynical” to set aside the insurrection as if it didn’t happen. He compares it to political elites in Southern states after the Civil War who failed to examine its causes, which he says prevented racial reconciliation and healing and still affects the country to this day.

House backs commission on Jan. 6 riot over GOP objections

  House backs commission on Jan. 6 riot over GOP objections WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted to create an independent commission on the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, sending the legislation to an uncertain future in the Senate as Republican leaders work to stop a bipartisan investigation that is opposed by former President Donald Trump. Democrats say an independent investigation is crucial to reckoning what happened that day, when a violent mob of Trump's supporters smashed into theDemocrats say an independent investigation is crucial to reckoning what happened that day, when a violent mob of Trump's supporters smashed into the Capitol to try and overturn President Joe Biden's victory. Modeled after the investigation into the Sept.

“Political amnesia never helps,” Naftali said. “It’s a source of poison.”

Given the extensive record of the attack, captured in video and photos seen the world over, defending the insurrectionists required some creative omissions. One point Clyde emphasized was that the rioters never made it to the House floor — even though they tried, only to be held back by police officers with guns drawn. Some lawmakers were taking cover in the gallery of the chamber as they tried to beat down the doors.

“I can tell you the House floor was never breached and it was not an insurrection," Clyde said. "This is the truth.”

The mob did break into the Senate minutes after senators had evacuated, some carrying zip ties and tactical equipment. They rifled through desks and hunted for lawmakers, yelling “where are they?” They walked into Pelosi’s office, stealing a laptop and calling out her name while some of her staff huddled quietly under furniture.

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, police try to hold off supporters of then-President Donald Trump who tried to break through a police barrier, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, police try to hold off supporters of then-President Donald Trump who tried to break through a police barrier, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Other Republicans — some quietly, some publicly — have made clear they don’t agree with their colleagues.

“I was there,” said Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who was caught in security video being diverted away from the rioters by a police officer. “What happened was a violent effort to interfere with and prevent the constitutional order of installing a new president. And as such, it was an insurrection against the Constitution. It resulted in severe property damage, severe injuries and death.”

Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley, another Democratic member of the Oversight panel, says the Republican denials are wishful thinking that reverberates with their most partisan voters.

GOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase

  GOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase Attempts to whitewash the violence of the Jan. 6 insurrection and cast the rioters as sympathetic characters are becoming increasingly common among Republican members of Congress.Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) this week said it was a "false narrative" to say "there were thousands of armed insurrectionists breaching the Capitol," while Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said the rioters charged with crimes were facing overly harsh treatment in jail and questioned why Congress isn't also investigating liberal protests over racial justice last year that at times turned violent.

“These folks passionately want what they want to be true,” Quigley said after the hearing. “So it’s no longer I’ll believe it when I see it. It’s I’ll see it when I believe it.”

____

Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro, Michael Balsamo and Nomaan Merchant contributed to this report.

GOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase .
Attempts to whitewash the violence of the Jan. 6 insurrection and cast the rioters as sympathetic characters are becoming increasingly common among Republican members of Congress.Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) this week said it was a "false narrative" to say "there were thousands of armed insurrectionists breaching the Capitol," while Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said the rioters charged with crimes were facing overly harsh treatment in jail and questioned why Congress isn't also investigating liberal protests over racial justice last year that at times turned violent.

usr: 0
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