Democratic voters increasingly want ‘fighters.’ Cheney plans to deliver in Jan. 6 hearings

House Democrats have been here before: debating exactly how to handle an unprecedented congressional proceeding involving the most prominent Republican in the country who, once again, committed unconstitutional and potentially unlawful acts. This time around, the sometimes heated discussions surround preparation for next month’s televised hearings on the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

During Donald Trump’s first impeachment hearing, Democrats anguished over exactly what angle, tone, and how far to reach, according to what one person involved in those deliberations told The Washington Post.

The difference now as the select committee investigating Jan. 6 plots its next phase is that an old-school rock-ribbed Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, is in the room alongside Democrats, fighting for what she clearly views as an existential battle for her future, her party, and indeed the country.

By all accounts, Cheney—who serves as vice chair of the panel—has led the way in adopting an aggressive prosecutorial posture during the Jan. 6 investigation. Her counterparts say she is the most well-versed, well-read, and prepared member of the panel, and she has leaned heavily on her legal training to inform her approach.

The Daily Kos Elections Team talks about how the MAGA civil war might be hurting the GOP in races across the country on The Downballot podcast

So as the panel debates format, tone, and priorities for the upcoming hearings, Cheney has championed making Trump the focal point while some Democrats have reportedly argued for emphasizing the security and intelligence failures that allowed the MAGA mob to storm the Capitol.

“Cheney has wanted to make sure we keep the focus on Trump and the political effort to overthrow Biden’s majority in the electoral college and to attack the peaceful transfer of power,” a committee member told the Post. In other words, Cheney is focused on Trump’s intentional effort to subvert U.S. democracy rather than the technocratic failures that played out during the attack.

"Rep. Cheney’s view is that security at the Capitol is a critical part of the investigation, but the Capitol didn’t attack itself," explained Cheney spokesperson Jeremy Adler.

Amen: The Capitol didn't attack itself.

The committee is still grappling with multiple questions, such as how much to emphasize the legal significance of its findings and whether to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department (a purely symbolic act); whether to adopt a more prosecutorial tone during the hearings; and whether to make a bid to interview Donald Trump and/or Mike Pence before they conclude their work.

But one person who is crystal clear about the threat Cheney poses to him is Trump himself, who told the Post he views the Wyoming Republican as a bigger rival than Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who led Democrats' first impeachment effort.

“From what people tell me, from what I hear from other congressmen, she’s like a crazed lunatic, she’s worse than anyone else,” he said. “From what I’ve heard, she’s worse than any Democrat.”

That's because Cheney has always known where the bodies were buried, and Trump knows it.

While much about the hearings is yet to be determined, here's what we do know:

  • Committee Chair Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Cheney will co-lead the hearings, while a third lawmaker joins them depending on the topic.
  • They expect to field eight hearings covering material mined from more than 1,000 interviews and 125,000 records.
  • The panel is considering interviewing witnesses such as top Pence aide Marc Short as well as former Justice Department officials Jeffrey Rosen, who was acting attorney general during Trump's post-election pressure campaign, and Richard Donoghue, Rosen's top deputy.
  • The final hearing is expected to be in September, when the panel will enumerate its key findings and recommend action items aimed at preventing future coup attempts.

In focus groups, Jan. 6 accountability has emerged as an important and motivating issue for some voters. Democrats in particular likely want to see heads roll among GOP officeholders who stoked 2020 conspiracy theories, fomented violence, and worked to overturn the election.

Democratic voters in two other recent focus groups written about by Amy Walter of Cook Political Report expressed a desire for more "fighters" among Democratic lawmakers and candidates, more generally. Walter writes:

When asked to describe Democrats in Congress as an animal, almost all picked docile creatures, or as one man described them, animals that are "slow and arboreal." When asked what kind of animal they wished Democrats would be, they chose "great white shark," and "grizzly bear." Another said she wanted them to be like a hyena, an animal that is "fast, aggressive, assertive, and gets what they want done."

What Democratic voters are effectively describing there is a desire for what Cheney has brought to the Jan. 6 probe, at least in approach and disposition if not her actual politics.

And while the committee has no legal authority to hold Trump and GOP lawmakers criminally liable for the Capitol attack, it is certainly positioned to make a moral judgment about who was responsible for the deadly assault that day.

At the very least, Cheney seems hell-bent on delivering that to the American public.

Can Kevin McCarthy be any more gutless? Yes, he can ‘forget’ what he said to Trump on Jan. 6

In the days following the deadly terrorist insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had no issue going around publicly telling whomever was listening that former President Donald Trump was the man behind the curtain, responsible for leading the mob to riot—which is exactly why the House select committee wants to hear from McCarthy himself. 

According to CNN, McCarthy appeared on KERN, a local Bakersfield, California, radio station on Jan. 12, and spilled the beans on heir Trump. 

"I say he has responsibility," McCarthy said. "He told me personally that he does have some responsibility. I think a lot of people do."

Here's the audio of McCarthy saying Trump has responsibility for Jan. 6th and Trump admitted responsibility. He strongly urges a commission to investigate the attack. McCarthy said Thursday he didn't recall telling members Trump took responsibility.

— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 14, 2022

McCarthy also blabbed about Trump to House Republicans during a private conference on Jan. 11. CNN obtained a copy of a transcript of the call. 

"Let me be clear to you and I have been very clear to the President. He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No if ands or buts," McCarthy told House Republicans on Jan. 11, 2021, according to the readout obtained by CNN from a source listening to the call. "I asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened. If he feels bad about what happened. He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. But he needs to acknowledge that."

But now, all of a sudden, McCarthy apparently has no memory of ever having this conversation, he said during a press conference Thursday. 

During today’s presser, McCarthy said he didn’t remember a call days after January 6 where he told House R’s that Trump had accepted some responsibility for the riots.   @Olivia_Beavers & I reported on it at the time, but I’ve just obtained a more detailed readout of the call:

— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) January 13, 2022

But in the radio interview, McCarthy said he’d spoken with Trump during the insurrection and in fact, was the first person to call him. 

“I told him to go on national TV, tell these people to stop it. He said he didn't know what was happening. We went to the news then to work through that. I asked the president, he has a responsibility. You know what the President does, but you know what? All of us do,” McCarthy said. 

He later added that he told Trump to call in the National Guard and go on TV. 

All of this is of particular interest to the House committee. But of course, McCarthy is a pulling a McCarthy and refusing to cooperate. 

"As a representative and the leader of the minority party, it is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee's abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward," McCarthy said in a statement Wednesday night.

The Republican leader is putting the blame on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the fact that she rejected some of picks to serve on the panel. Pelosi “is not conducting a legitimate investigation,” he’s claiming and the committee "is not serving any legislative purpose."

But Rep. Liz Cheney isn’t playing footsie with these ne’er do wells, and hasn’t ruled out a subpoena for McCarthy, saying, "We're going to evaluate our options, but we will get to the truth."

A letter from the committee outlines the investigation into McCarthy. 

“We also must learn about how the President's plans for January 6th came together, and all the other ways he attempted to alter the results of the election," wrote committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi. "For example, in advance of January 6th, you reportedly explained to Mark Meadows and the former President that objections to the certification of the electoral votes on January 6th 'was doomed to fail.'"

The committee believes that all of McCarthy’s interactions with Trump go toward explaining the ex-president’s state of mind during the attack. 

"The Select Committee has contemporaneous text messages from multiple witnesses identifying significant concerns following January 6th held by White House staff and the President's supporters regarding President Trump's state of mind and his ongoing conduct. It appears that you had one or more conversations with the President during this period," the letter states.
"It appears that you may also have discussed with President Trump the potential he would face a censure resolution, impeachment, or removal under the 25th Amendment. It also appears that you may have identified other possible options, including President Trump's immediate resignation from office," it added.

The Jan. 6 Committee wants you, Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy once said former President Donald Trump bore responsibility for the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Now, investigators probing the deadly assault have asked the Republican House leader to take some responsibility of his own and voluntarily cooperate with a probe into the insurrection that Trump incited. 

The committee did not subpoena McCarthy. Rather, they asked him to engage with the panel voluntarily for a meeting on Feb. 3 or 4. That offer may seem like an overly generous maneuver and could understandably frustrate watchers of the probe but as Thompson pointed out already this week, the committee is still untangling whether it has the legal ability to subpoena fellow lawmakers under the Constitution.  

McCarthy is now the third lawmaker to be called upon in the probe. Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania received letters last month. Both have indicated they will not cooperate and hopes are not high that McCarthy will cooperate either given his very public track record slamming the Jan. 6 Committee.  

McCarthy Letter From Jan. 6 Cmte by Daily Kos on Scribd

In its six-page letter to McCarthy, the committee notes how integral the Republican’s testimony would be, however.

McCarthy has openly acknowledged speaking directly to Trump while the attack was unfolding—he shared his account of the conversation with fellow Republican Rep. Jamie Herrera-Beutler ahead of Trump’s second impeachment proceedings.

Herrera-Beutler said McCarthy told her that when he and Trump finally got on the line on Jan. 6, Trump told McCarthy that antifa had breached the Capitol. 

“McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said; ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,’” Herrera-Beutler said. 

McCarthy also summarized his thoughts rather plainly on Trump during a speech from the House floor exactly one week after the Capitol attack.

“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action by President Trump: Accept his share of responsibility. Quell the brewing unrest. And ensure that President-elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term,” McCarthy said on Jan. 13, 2021. 

McCarthy also appeared on CBS while the attack was happening, telling host Norah O’Donnell that he knew Trump had “put a tweet out there” during the attack. 

“I told him he needs to talk to the nation. I told him what was happening right then,” McCarthy told O’Donnell.

The California Republican continued, saying he was “very clear” when he called Trump and that he “conveyed to the president” what he thought was “best to do.”

When O’Donnell asked McCarthy if he spoke to Trump’s chief of staff that afternoon, McCarthy admitted again that he spoke to Trump but was less clear with the next part, saying he spoke to “other people in there and to the White House as well.” 

Of his own admission, McCarthy has also called his exchange with Trump “very heated.” 

“As is readily apparent, all of this information bears directly on President Trump’s state of mind during the Jan. 6 attack as the violence was underway,” committee chair Thompson wrote Wednesday. 

Beyond that communication, the panel also wants more details about what happened with Trump after the riot dispersed. 

Documents already obtained and reviewed by the committee have suggested that Trump and a team of legal advisers “continued to seek to delay or otherwise impede the electoral count” long after the mob was gone and McCarthy, they note, even after the day’s violence, still objected to electoral results.

“The select committee has contemporaneous text messages from multiple witnesses identifying significant concerns following Jan. 6 held by White House staff and the president’s supporters regarding President Trump’s state of mind and his ongoing conduct,” Thompson wrote to McCarthy, adding: “It appears that you had one more conversation with the president during this period.”

That included a conversation on or around Jan. 11 when, according to McCarthy’s interview with a local news outlet in California, he “implored President Donald Trump during an intense, hourlong phone conversation” to accept his defeat and move on with the peaceful transition of power. 

“Stop this!,” McCarthy recalled telling Trump last January when sitting for an exclusive interview for 

Investigators also pointed to a Jan. 12 report by The New York Times which said that “three unnamed Republican sources” indicated to reporters that McCarthy suggested Trump should resign in the wake of the attack and welcomed the impeachment because it would be “easier to purge him from the GOP” that way. 

McCarthy also made comments publicly about the prospects for new or future violence that would result after the attack, a reasonable position, the committee notes, since the GOP leader received numerous briefings about potential violence following the Jan. 6 attack. 

“Did you communicate with the president or White House staff regarding those concerns?” the committee asked in its letter Wednesday. 

McCarthy’s insights to Trump are also valuable because the Republican met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago a week before his second impeachment trial began. He reportedly discussed how the GOP could retake the majority in the U.S. House. 

While the committee says it has “no intention of asking you about electoral politics or campaign-related issues,” it does want McCarthy to come clean about any information during that meeting that may tie back to Jan. 6. 

“Your public statements regarding Jan. 6 have changed markedly since you met with Trump. At that meeting, or at any other time, did President Trump or his representatives discuss or suggest what you should say publicly, during the impeachment trial, if called as a witness, or in any later investigation about your conversations with him on Jan. 6?” the committee wrote. 

Investigators also want McCarthy to disclose how Trump’s former White House chief of staff reacted  when McCarthy told him that objection to the certification of votes on Jan. 6 was “doomed to fail.” 

“How did they respond? Were they nevertheless so confident that the election result would be overturned?” Thompson wrote Wednesday. 

McCarthy, who has not returned several requests for comment from Daily Kos since October, has been mum about his potential participation with the probe. 

He did say in Dec. 2021 that he “doesn’t really have anything to add” to his existing comments about the attack. 

“I have been very public, but I wouldn’t hide from anything,” McCarthy said. 

A social media field guide to lawmakers who pushed Trump’s lies before, on, and after Jan. 6

Earlier this year, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat and member of the Jan. 6 committee, compiled and released a report. Its contents feature the comprehensive statements of sitting U.S. lawmakers who nearly a year ago posted messages on social media endorsing former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.

They are lawmakers who, as seen in this badland of their own admissions, sometimes reveled in Trump’s lies as rioters—many armed with makeshift weapons—scrambled up the marble facade of the Capitol. They are lawmakers who objected to the certification of votes after people were maimed and killed. They are lawmakers who, until today, have chosen to overwhelmingly stand behind these statements while continuing to prop up moldering delusions about a victory never won. 

As the anniversary of the insurrection looms, plans are underway for public hearings hosted by the Jan. 6 committee. Solemn events commemorating the sacrifices made by those who defended the Capitol will be held. The former president, who incited the insurrection and found himself impeached by Congress for that conduct, has plans to hold something he believes resembles a press conference. If the hundreds of rallies he led and thousands of statements he made over four years of his presidency are any indicator, his event at Mar-a-Lago on Jan. 6 will be nothing more than a dusting off of sad old songs. 

The following are excerpts from Lofgren’s nearly 2,000-page social media review. The following is not a comprehensive representation. To see everything, click this link. These statements do not deserve to be relegated to the shadowy corners of our nation’s collective memory. To forget them, to ignore them, is to treat democracy like it is guaranteed. If nothing else, Jan. 6 served as a reminder that it is not. 

Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican from Alabama, posted messages on social media repeatedly before the insurrection casting doubt on the validity of mail-in ballots and suggesting, baselessly, that a “criminal element” was at hand courtesy of Democrats. He also shared disinformation from Breitbart. 

This December, ‘Stop the Steal’ movement founder Ali Alexander told investigators on the Jan. 6 committee that he exchanged a text message with Brooks in the run-up to the attack. Brooks initially denied communicating with Alexander. This week Brooks admitted to the text and as noted by the Alabama Political Reporter, he played it down. It was “so innocuous and forgettable that Congressman Brooks did not recall it,” a spokesperson for Brooks told APR. 

The text from Alexander to Brooks:

“Congressman, this is Ali Alexander. I am the founder of Stop the Steal, the protests happening in all 50 states,” Alexander wrote in the text, shared by Brooks. “We met years ago back in 2010, during the tea party when you were first elected. I texted the wrong number. I had intended to invite you to our giant Saturday prayer rally in DC, this past weekend. Also Gen. (Michael) Flynn should be giving you a ring. We stand ready to help. Jan 6th is a big moment in our republic.”

Alexander also said he spoke to Arizona Republican Paul Gosar. Gosar, was censured by the House in November for sharing a video depicting the murder of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden. Alexander also claimed to have spoken to Rep. Andy Biggs, another Arizona Republican. Gosar, Brooks, and Biggs are members of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus. Lofgren’s social media report also archives multiple public remarks from Gosar and Biggs. 

Brooks on Nov 5: 

But in a bigger sense, part of the problem is the uncertainty interjected into the election process by this early mailing of ballots en masse… The only weakness in the Alabama system is that you don’t really know if a person is an American citizen who can lawfully vote, and that’s because the Democrats out of Washington, D.C. have made it extraordinarily difficult for election officials to determine if a person is a United States citizen when they register to vote… Well of course Democrats want that kind of process because it has more vulnerabilities to election fraud. And the Democrats are renown for engaging in election fraud, voter fraud, election theft, however you want to categorize it… You don’t see the Democrats doing anything at all that minimizes the risk of election fraud, of non-citizens voting. Everything that the Democrats seemingly push for, creates another weakness that the criminal element that wants to steal elections can exploit… I have concerns about all of them… I’ll tell you right now, I don’t have confidence, if Joe Biden is reportedly elected President of the United States, I do not have confidence that the person who would be sworn in, was sworn in because that person in fact got the lawful votes needed to win the electoral college… based on all of the things I know about election theft and voter fraud from the past, coupled with how much easier it is to steal an election or engage in voter fraud with this system that the Democrats have been so successful in implementing around the country that has weakened my and a lot of other[s’] faith in the system.”

As a U.S. House member, I’m going to be very hesitant to certify the results of this election if Joe Biden is declared the winner under these circumstances b/c I lack faith that this was an honest election. Listen to my interview on @WVNN where I explain why.

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) November 6, 2020

Ten days after President Joe Biden was declared winner of the 2020 election, Brooks pushed discredited theories of “uncounted ballots” in Georgia. Georgia was a key target of the Trump administration’s election subversion strategy, according to records and witness testimony obtained by the Jan. 6 Committee.

Jeffrey Clark Draft Letter by Daily Kos on Scribd. 

Jeffrey Clark, a former Department of Justice attorney, focused on Georgia as a part of his alleged attempt to oust former Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at Trump’s behest and install himself. Rosen ultimately refused to go along with a pressure campaign. 

More Brooks on Georgia:

#FakeNewsMedia claims no facts supporting @realDonaldTrump election challenges. Another one: Georgia “finds” 2,600 uncounted ballots in conservative county for 800 vote net Trump gain. USA elections need safeguards #Socialist #Democrats oppose.

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) November 17, 2020

IMHO, Joe Biden DID NOT win lawful vote majority in Georgia. Per its right & duty, Congress should reject any Georgia submission of 16 electoral college votes for Joe Biden. That is EXACTLY what I hope to help do. See below lawsuit for more! SORDID!

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) November 27, 2020

Brooks continued well into December, addressing Trump on Twitter and making claims of “illegal alien block votes” influencing the election.

My pleasure, Mr. President. Joe Biden must not be allowed to "win" election by "buying" illegal alien block votes via amnesty & citizenship promise to 11+ million illegal aliens. IMHO, if only lawful votes by eligible Americans counted, you won electoral college & reelection.

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) December 3, 2020

He also used a winky-face emoji to confirm reporting that he was voting to overturn the election results on Jan. 6:


— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) December 2, 2020

Before a segment where Brooks said the 2020 election was plagued by the “worst election theft in the history of the United States,” the host of Fox & Friends First opened the show saying Brooks had “earned him[self] a big thank you from President Trump.”

“THIS IS THE WORST ELECTION THEFT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.” - Alabama Congressman @RepMoBrooks says he’ll challenge the Electoral College vote when Congress convenes after the holidays to finalize the election results.

— Fox & Friends First (@FoxFriendsFirst) December 4, 2020

Joined by two dozen fellow Republicans, Brooks called on Attorney General William Barr to investigate in Georgia. He also objected to counts in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin, Texas, Arizona, Michigan, and elsewhere. He railed against Mitch McConnell when the former Senate majority leader warned Republicans not to object on Jan. 6.

Roughly two weeks before the Capitol attack, Brooks called on Americans to fight, saying: “The Socialist Democrats have successfully stolen votes from the American people in2020 and we need to fight and take it back.”

All throughout American history, time after time, American men and women have stood strong and fought for their country. That’s what we need to do now!

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) December 18, 2020

The “fight for America” was on on Jan. 6. And with bicameral support from Sen. Josh Hawley:

SENATOR JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO) JOINS 30+ CONGRESSMEN IN OBJECTING to electoral college vote submissions from states with such flawed election systems as to render their election results untrustworthy. BAM! The fight for America’s Republic IS ON! WATCH JANUARY 6, STARTING 1PM ET.

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) December 30, 2020

On Jan. 2, Brooks said “morale is high” and it’s time to “fight” as he and more than 50 lawmakers including Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan prepared for a conference call with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and President Trump.

Our fight for honest & accurate elections gains momentum!@Jim_Jordan & I co-lead conference call w 50+ Congressmen who join & fight for America's Republic! Conf. call began 6PM ET. Now 715PM & continuing. President Trump & CoS Mark Meadows speaking. Morale is HIGH! FIGHT!

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) January 3, 2021

On Jan. 5 Brooks announces he will speak at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally at the Capitol. Trump invited him personally to speak about the so-called election fraud conspiracy:

BIG DAY: I speak at tomorrow’s #StoptheSteal rally @ 7:50 am CT. @realDonaldTrump asked me personally to speak & tell the American people about the election system weaknesses that the Socialist Democrats exploited to steal this election. Watch:

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) January 6, 2021

On Jan. 6 at 12:01 p.m., Brooks streams his speech at the rally at the Ellipse. The riot would ensue in less than an hour. 

Is America the greatest nation in world history because we’re lucky? NO! I would submit that we are great because our ancestors sacrificed their blood, sweat, tears, and lives for America’s foundational principles.

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) January 6, 2021

At 1 PM, rioters began to breach the Capitol.  At 1:16 PM Brooks says the “battle is joined” as he, Gosar, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas objected to the electoral votes from Arizona

BREAKING FROM HOUSE FLOOR! Congressman Paul Gosar (R, AZ) & Sen. Ted Cruz (R, TX) join to object to the electoral college submission of Arizona. BATTLE IS JOINED! Now we will find who supports, and who fights, voter fraud & election theft! FIGHT FOR AMERICA’S REPUBLIC IS ON!

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) January 6, 2021

Brooks sent out seven tweets while the riot was unfolding just outside the chambers. He called Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado “passionate” and praised other lawmakers joining the objection. Then as he recorded Gosar’s objection, he acknowledges the breach saying doors are locked and noting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left.

.@RepGosar OF ARIZONA = Objection sponsor. GOP #7. Details massive AZ election fraud compounded by AZ officials refusing to investigate fraud allegations, thus aiding voter fraud & election theft. DOORS LOCKED! CAPITOL COMPLEX BREACHED! CHAMBER DOORS LOCKED. SPEAKER LEAVES!

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) January 6, 2021

During the riot, Brooks spreads rumors before being forced to evacuate the chamber:

Tweets available in report; pg. 124.

After 5 PM, Brooks issues a statement condemning the violence and says he is a former target of “Socialist Democrat gunfire.” Later that night he would continue to stoke disinformation while demanding an investigation into the storming of the capitol. 


— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) January 6, 2021

Evidence mounts that fascist ANTIFA infiltrated Trump rally & stormed Capitol. I don’t know the true facts yet, and neither does 99.99% of public. I suggest no rush to judgment until an investigation reveals whatever the truth may be. Then Prosecute!

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) January 7, 2021

For weeks after the attack, Brooks was on the defensive, attacking the media for reporting his own words and actions back to him. 

.@RepCohen & other Socialists should prove their wild, off-the-wall, panicky statements . . . Or apologize. Proof is simple. What do Capitol security cameras show? Where is news media? If a Republican had said the same about a Democrat....

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) January 19, 2021

Reps. Jerry Carl and Barry Moore, also of Alabama, were equally vocal from November through Jan. 6.

Found on pg. 161 of Lofgren’s social media report.

Moore, in a Breitbart interview on Jan. 5, laid the rhetoric on thick, saying: “We've got to fight for election integrity for the future of this country… A lot of people don't think we can win this fight but we have to fight."

Twitter suspended Moore’s personal Twitter account after the riot exploded and after he spread conspiracy about “racial justice” and antifa activists inciting the insurgence. 

Moore also made this tweet on Saturday night about the US Capitol Police officer who shot and killed a woman as she tried to get into a lobby off the House floor, where lawmakers were sheltering from the attack by Trump supporters.

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) January 10, 2021

Rep. Andy Biggs, never a shrinking violet, pushed the election fraud agenda hard. He tweeted and then deleted a post from Charlie Kirk inviting people to protest in Arizona on Nov. 6 and to “hold the line.” He retweeted Donald Trump Jr.’s call for his father to “go to total war” on Nov. 5. He retweeted Dan Bongino’s plea on Nov. 7 for the “biggest political rally in modern American history” and then deleted that retweet nine weeks later on Jan. 9. On Nov. 7 he wrote an opinion column for titled “The Only Way Forward is to Fight”—the link to which is now unavailable on Biggs’ Facebook page. Biggs did not immediately return request for comment on Dec. 22.

A little over a month after Biden was declared the winner, Biggs used his social media platform to amplify voter fraud allegations. Two days before a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in Washington erupted in violence, Biggs tweeted:

The radical left and their allies in the mainstream media attempted to overthrow America’s duly elected president, @realDonaldTrump. Americans do not trust them, nor will we take orders from them when they command us to stop trying to ensure the integrity of our elections.

— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) December 11, 2020

Biggs also tweeted “Never surrender!” on Jan. 4 and in the same breath linked to a tweet from Dan Bongino reading: “CONCEDE NOTHING!” During the breach, Biggs posted clips of his remarks from the floor objecting to the count. On Jan. 8, he railed against anti-Trump Democrats and defended the former president, saying that an “impeachment plot” was brewing. By Jan. 11 after his political rival Joan Greene said on Facebook that he, Rep. Mo Brooks, and Paul Gosar plotted the insurrection, he threatened a defamation suit.

"Inflammatory and splenetic accusations against Congressman Biggs are by any metric wholly, objectively, and knowingly false. They are injurious to him and reflect an irresponsible heedlessness of the truth."

— Andy Biggs (@andybiggs4az) January 12, 2021

On Jan. 20, Biggs’ own brothers gave an interview laying blame on the lawmaker for the Capitol attack. Ali Alexander had a higher opinion of Biggs. He called him his “hero.”

Rep. Paul Gosar’s social media feeds were littered with conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. He was seen posing for photos with members of hate groups like the Proud Boys over six months before the Capitol assault, but his affinity for the group reportedly stretches back years. 

Here's Congressman Paul Gosar posing for a photo with what appears to be a member of the Proud Boys, a known hate group. As a bonus, the man on the far left of the photo is wearing a T-shirt for the Oath Keepers, an anti-government extremist organization.

— Nick Martin (@nickmartin) July 4, 2020

In November, Gosar joined rallies at state capitols. He championed “conquering the Hill” at a rally in December in Arizona.

NEW: Republican Rep. Paul Gosar at a rally promoting the January 6 event: "You get to go back home once we conquer the Hill. Donald Trump is returned to being president." (2 minute mark)

— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) January 12, 2021

On Nov. 6, Gosar asked to be first in line for scrutiny and later praised Ali Alexander. Alexander has since deleted the message retweeted by Gosar where Ali said: “Ali Alexander addresses nation ahead of nationwide State Capitol rallies happening NOON tomorrow.”

Put me down as No. 1. My name is Congressman Paul Gosar. I am a proud American and I love this country more than you hate it. See you in the gulag comrade. #AmericaFirst #MAGA2020 @ali @realDonaldTrump #stopthesteal #FU

— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) November 7, 2020

Gosar attended various rallies demanding an audit and spent weeks promoting Trump’s claims to victory. Dozens of pages from Lofgren’s social media report are devoted just to Gosar’s missives alone. He lauded “teamwork” with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and on Dec. 6 dug himself deeper, demanding audits in Arizona. On Dec. 7 he wrote a letter to the state of Arizona, questioning if the U.S. was witnessing an “open coup” and tagged Trump and Giuliani, saying he was responsible for the first ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in the state. He called news of an audit “28 bitch slaps” for Arizona Gov. Doug Doucey as he demanded Doucey’s recall.

Are we witnessing a coup d’état? An Open Letter to Arizona by Congressman Gosar. @realDonaldTrump @RudyGiuliani

— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) December 8, 2020

He was outraged at Doucey for refusing to “talk to Trump” on Dec. 9. 

The fact that @dougducey ignored the election issues and refused to talk to @realDonaldTrump is just one more reason to support the recall election. Sign the petition here: @RecallDougDucey

— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) December 9, 2020

After the insurrection, on Jan. 11, Gosar deleted a Dec. 19 tweet where he bragged about making a ‘Stop the Steal’ stage his own. Before the insurrection, on Dec. 21 and Dec. 22, he bragged about meeting with Trump in the Oval Office.

Just left the Oval with @realDonaldTrump and several other members of Congress. Stay tuned...

— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) December 22, 2020

Great meeting today with @realDonaldTrump and @MarkMeadows and @RudyGiuliani my homies @andybiggs4az @RepMoBrooks @mattgaetz and others. President is resolute. We will not accept disenfranchisement of 80 million who cast a vote for @POTUS This sedition will be stopped.

— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) December 22, 2020

On Dec. 23 he promoted a bunk theory that Vice President Mike Pence could control the outcome of the election. 

Interesting read: “Pence can deny Electoral College certificates from states with widespread election fraud.”

— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) December 23, 2020

The next day on Dec. 24, he announced a press conference with ‘Stop the Steal’ leaders. On Jan. 11 he deleted that tweet. Eight days before the Capitol breach, Gosar amplifies Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene:

We meet to defend the legitimately elected president @realDonaldTrump and deny the fraudulent usurper the spoils of a technology coup. Why use tanks or bullets when you have 3:00 am massive data dumps? Same result. #stopthesteal @ali

— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) December 29, 2020

Gosar announces on Dec. 30 that he will attend the rally on Jan. 6 with Ali Alexander. In this message Gosar retweeted Trump, who wrote at the time, “JANUARY SIXTH, SEE YOU IN DC!”

I’ll be in DC with @ali and the rest of America. We will fight back against the leftists who’ve have engaged in sedition to run a Techology Coup. No tanks needed when you can drop hundreds of thousands of ballots or switch votes electronically. #StopTheSteaI

— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) December 31, 2020

Four days before the attack, Gosar asked for “patriots” to “HOLD THE LINE.”

Patriots: The time is now. HOLD THE LINE. Join me in DC January 6th. #FIGHTFORTRUMP

— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) January 3, 2021

Two days before the attack, with a glossy graphic, Gosar asked who would join him on Jan. 6:

Who is joining me?

— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) January 4, 2021

The morning of Jan. 6, Gosar retweeted an interview where he discussed what he would do if he were Pence. Evidence obtained by the Jan. 6 Committee has illuminated the breadth and depth of the pressure campaign on Pence to go along with Trump’s attempts to overturn the election

Congressman @DrPaulGosar explains what he would do today if he were in @Mike_Pence’s position:

— Raheem J. Kassam (@RaheemKassam) January 6, 2021

Just before the riots erupted, Gosar tweets: “Don’t make me come over there” as he demands Biden’s concession and tags Alexander Ali.

Biden should concede. I want his concession on my desk tomorrow morning. Don’t make me come over there. #StopTheSteaI2021 @ali

— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) January 6, 2021

As the riots were underway, there were two sides to Gosar: one on Twitter and the other on Parler, where he posted a photo of rioters scaling the Capitol and said, “Americans are upset.”

His main His alt

— Nick Martin (@nickmartin) January 7, 2021

During the attack, Gosar became defensive:

When you engage in election fraud and then refuse to allow an audit you @hiral4congress spray gasoline. This is on you. The people demand transparency.

— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) January 6, 2021

Another Arizona Republican, Rep. Debbie Lesko, tweeted an interview where she would not say how she would vote on certification, even as the riot was underway. She later said she predicted “there would be a problem” but she did not foresee something happening at “the magnitude” it did on Jan. 6. She ended up voting against certification.

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, spent weeks posting messages on Twitter attacking Pelosi and suggesting that Democrats were engaged in voter fraud.

Before the attack, he asked people not to be quiet: 

.@GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy was laying the groundwork for the attack on the Capitol for months. 11/5/2020: “President Trump won this election, so everyone who’s listening, do not be quiet. We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes... join together and let’s stop this.”

— Jesse Lee (@JesseCharlesLee) January 12, 2021

He was largely quiet on Twitter on the day of the attack, tweeting archived footage from election objections filed by Democrats in 2005 at around noon. He posted another message after 10 PM on Jan. 6: His own speech from the floor condemning the violence of the day. 

Other lawmakers, like Rep. Lauren Boebert, promised to fight early on and invoked the ubiquitous “hold the line” rhetoric: 

We’re always the party expected to give up and accept however the left wants to treat us. President Trump changed that. We’re not going to roll over anymore. I hope the rest of my colleagues are ready for the fight ahead of us! FREEDOM!

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) November 7, 2020

This is going to be one of the biggest weeks in the history of our country. Stay strong. Hold the line. Let’s fight for fairness.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) November 9, 2020

Boebert’s rants continued unabated for weeks and weeks after the election. The Lofgren social media report provides pages upon pages of Boebert’s tweets alone. 

Just a daily reminder that there is currently no “President-Elect”, and our current President is Donald J. Trump.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) November 11, 2020

She was a blanketing the false message of widespread voter fraud regularly. 

I told @realDonaldTrump to keep fighting. We have so much evidence to prove that this election was not right. The American people are behind you 100%, President Trump! Thank you @MariaBartiromo for having me.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) December 4, 2020

And on Dec. 6, one month before the attack, Boebert wrote: “The fight for freedom never ended, some of us just got too comfortable being told how to live life. The determination of 1776 has been reignited.”

The fight for freedom never ended, some of us just got too comfortable being told how to live life. The determination of 1776 has been reignited.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) December 6, 2020

In a video posted to Facebook 48 hours later, Boebert said she met with Trump in the Oval. In the clip she said: “I want President Trump to fight until this election is actually over… I had the privilege of spending time with President Trump in the Oval Office a few days ago, and I encouraged him to use all of the legal means he had to make sure this was a fair election… I can assure you he’s definitely in this fight until the end… This election is not over.”

On Dec. 19, Boebert for the first time asks followers to mark their calendars for Jan. 6. She announced her intent to object to certification on Christmas eve. 

Save the Date: January 6, 2021

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) December 19, 2020

Two days after Christmas she asks who will stand with Trump in D.C.: 

Who is going to be in DC on January 6th to stand with President Donald Trump?

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) December 26, 2020

A day after that, Boebert says the people are needed to put pressure on state legislatures to rescind certification and calls for pressure on senators and congressman to object on Jan. 6:

We need THE PEOPLE to put pressure on AZ, GA, PA, NV, WI, MI state legislatures to rescind their certifications. Then we need THE PEOPLE to put pressure on their Senators and Congressmen to object on the 6th. WE THE PEOPLE!

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) December 27, 2020

The attack was now days away. Boebert lashed out at Democrats and urged against playing by the rules:

For years, we’ve allowed the Democrats to set the narrative and we’ve just responded to it and played within their rule book. If we’re going to take this country back, it’s time for that to end.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) December 29, 2020

Boebert was excited by the impending certification ceremony, saying the first six days of 2021 would be decisive. On Jan. 2 she would express gratitude to senators for announcing their plans to object. 

Sending love and declaring blessings to all on this first day of 2021. The first six days of this year will include a new Congress, the most decisive Senate special election in years & possibly the most important day in our nation’s history: 1/6/2021. Happy New Year!

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 1, 2021

The pressure on Pence was palpable:

VP Pence needs to be Thomas Jefferson in this moment. We have your back if you’ve got ours, @VP.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 3, 2021

On Jan. 5 Boebert tweeted: “Remember these next 48 hours. These are some of the most important days in American history.”

Remember these next 48 hours. These are some of the most important days in American history.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 5, 2021

On the day of the insurrection, Boebert wrote: “Today is 1776.”

Today is 1776.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 6, 2021

As Trump began his speech and the attack was less than an hour from unfolding, Boebert made urgent calls on Twitter and said she would “fight with everything” she had.

America is depending on all of us today. This is something I don’t take lightly. I will fight with everything I have to ensure the fairness of the election.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 6, 2021

Once the riot was underway, Boebert announced the lockdown and disclosed that Speaker Pelosi was removed from the chamber

We were locked in the House Chambers.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 6, 2021

The Speaker has been removed from the chambers.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 6, 2021

Two days after the insurrection, Boebert changed her profile picture to a portrait of Trump and posted a video on Twitter defending her vote to object. For a week after the attack, she appeared on social media chastising Democrats, accusing them of violence and playing coy around questions about her tweet saying Pelosi had been removed from the chamber on Jan. 6. Boebert condemned the violence after the attack but continued to amplify Trump’s election fraud conspiracy.

Other vocal Trump allies like Rep. Matt Gaetz—currently under investigation by the Justice Department—spent weeks before the election crying fraud without proof and on Nov. 5, Gaetz suggested the Justice Department could step in and evaluate votes in Pennsylvania. Similar pleas would be made by Gaetz for DOJ involvement for weeks after the election. Attorney General William Barr last December found no proof of election fraud. 

The DOJ isn’t as powerless as it currently looks. They should be in court NOW to put the legally non-compliant ongoing Philadelphia count into FEDERAL RECEIVERSHIP!

— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 5, 2020

He also posted and deleted tweets about alleged voter fraud in Pennsylvania and on Nov. 9 tweeted an article where Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said only legal votes would be cast. “Great hearing from you,” Gaetz wrote.

Great hearing from you.

— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 10, 2020

He said on Nov. 12 that he spoke to Trump about election fraud and that Trump was “ready for battle." He appeared on Steve Bannon’s show War Room a week after that. Bannon, investigators say, may have been integral to coordinating the attack, He was indicted on contempt of Congress charges this winter and awaits a summer trial. On Nov. 30, Gaetz appeared on Fox News, calling for people to “stand and fight”

On Dec. 21, just after 6 p.m. Gaetz called for a defense of the election.

Democracy is left undefended if we accept the result of a stolen election without fighting with every bit of vigor we can muster.

— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) December 21, 2020

A day later he retweeted a post from Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, which said several members of Congress had met with Trump.

On Jan. 4, Gaetz urged people to “fight like hell” for America “with all that we have.”

America needs us now more than ever. We'd better fight like hell for her with all that we have.

— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 4, 2021

America, he added, would not be left undefended on Jan. 6. 

Republicans will not leave democracy undefended on January 6th.

— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 4, 2021

Tens of thousands might be marching in the streets on Jan. 6, Gaetz said 24 hours before the siege. He also cast doubt on whether Pelosi would permit debate. She made no indication she would not.

“One question remaining is whether or not Nancy Pelosi will even allow the two hours of constitutionally-authorized debate on these questions. But when you’ve got tens of thousands of people potentially marching in the streets in Washington, D.C., tomorrow, I think it would be a very bad look for the People’s House not to entertain debate if we have a constitutionally acceptable objection signed by a House Member and a Senator,” Gaetz said.

Tomorrow, Republicans will defend democracy and object to states that didn't run clean elections.

— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 5, 2021

On the day of the attack, Gaetz tweeted lightly. Around noon, he suggested criticism of elections made them better. He tweeted again at 10 PM, sharing an article suggesting facial recognition was used to pick up extremists in the crowd. The Washington Times removed the article he posted below after the facial recognition company said the claims were false.

"Facial recognition firm claims Antifa infiltrated Trump protesters who stormed Capitol"

— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 7, 2021

In the weeks that followed and as a second impeachment brewed for Trump, Gaetz defended Trump unceasingly and said “the left” was engaged in rhetorical warfare. Gaetz bristled at the suggestion that Jan. 6 was an insurrection and when an independent government watchdog announced it was investigating improper attempts to overturn the election 20 days after the attack, Gaetz expressed outrage:

This is nothing more than an effort to purge any pro-Trump people left at the corrupt and highly political DOJ. (There aren’t many)

— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) January 26, 2021

Representatives like Bill Posey chalked up Jan. 6 to a disturbance by a small number of individuals. Rep. Greg Steube falsely stated that violence at the Capitol was started by “antifa” and “BLM” activists.

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene got an early start, appearing in a video on Oct. 27 endorsing political violence. 

“The only way you get your freedoms back is … with the price of blood,” she said. 

SCOOP: In a pre-election video just uncovered by Mother Jones, Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene is seen endorsing political violence. “The only way you get your freedoms back is it’s earned with the price of blood," she says. More here:

— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) January 29, 2021

Hurling insults at “weak-kneed” and “spineless” Republicans who wouldn’t join the chorus of election fraud claims, Greene caped for Trump incessantly. She called for people to attend a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in Georgia on Nov. 7 and later deleted that tweet only to replace it with more posts of her appearance at that rally. On Nov. 10 she called for the Georgia governor to step in.

Tell @GaSecofState to complete the steps necessary to STOP THE BIDEN STEAL! 1. Verify no double voting with absentee ballots 2. Purge ineligible votes from felons and others 3. Most importantly, Georgia MUST have a RECOUNT BY HAND due to irregularities cc: @CollinsforGA

— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) November 10, 2020

She called for “fighters” who wouldn’t give up before the “war is over” in November. She offered gun giveaways, urged noncompliance with mask mandates, and kept on tweeting at Georgia officials about bogus fraud claims. On Dec. 14, she vowed to ‘Stop the Steal’ on Jan. 6.

In June, I issued a warning to Antifa terrorists: Stay the HELL out of NW Georgia Now I’m giving away my famous AR-15. If Joe Biden steals this election, he’ll try to ban it. Get yourself a gun before it’s too late! ENTER NOW:

— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) November 15, 2020

On Dec. 19:

I’m planning a little something on January 6th as well, @realDonaldTrump.

— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) December 19, 2020

Greene also retweeted the following message from Kylie Kremer, a chief organizer for Women for America First. Kremer is reportedly now cooperating with the Jan. 6 committee after receiving a subpoena this fall. Kremer wrote: “The calvary is coming, Mr. President! JANUARY 6th | Washington, DC”

The calvary is coming, Mr. President! JANUARY 6th | Washington, DC 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸#MarchForTrump #StopTheSteal

— Kylie Jane Kremer (@KylieJaneKremer) December 19, 2020

More “hold the line” rhetoric:

VOTE RED on Jan. 5 HOLD THE LINE on Jan. 6#FightForTrump

— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) December 20, 2020

And in a video shared from her Twitter page the next day, Rep. Greene said: “Just finished with our meetings here at the White House this afternoon. We had a great planning session for our January 6th objection. We aren’t going to let this election be stolen by Joe Biden and the Democrats. President Trump won by a landslide… Stay tuned.” 

Greene also said online that she spoke to Trump by phone on Dec. 22. She said they spoke again on Jan. 2.

.@realdonaldtrump deserves his day in court, AND we are definitely going to give him his day in Congress. We have a rapidly growing group of House Members and Senators. Jan 6 challenge is on. 🇺🇸 Call your Rep: 202-225-3121 Call your Senators: 202-224-3121#FightForTrump!

— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) December 21, 2020

She also used Jan. 6 as a chance to fundraise, saying she would need a massive grassroots army behind her to “stop the steal.”

Congress will hear THE PEOPLE loud & clear on January 6th. I need a massive grassroots army behind me to STOP THE STEAL. Join the #FightForTrump!

— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) December 30, 2020

Like Boebert, Greene too called it a “1776 moment” in an interview with Newsmax on Jan. 5. She said in a post later that same day that she held planning meetings with Republicans to discuss their objections. 

'THIS IS OUR 1776 MOMENT': @mtgreenee tells @ShaunKraisman "I was happy to go up there with @realDonaldTrump and encourage our voters to get out to vote."

— Newsmax (@newsmax) January 5, 2021

During the riot, Greene called for people to "be smart.” She spent the morning tweeting out claims of election fraud in Georgia and called on Pence to “be bold and courageous.” Just after 9 PM on Jan. 6 she tweeted the later-debunked story about facial recognition picking up on antifa extremists. “We’ve seen what they’ve done all year long,” she said.

A message from the Capitol. Be safe. Be smart. Stay peaceful. Obey the laws. This is not a time for violence. This is a time to support President Trump and support election integrity. God bless!

— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) January 6, 2021

In the aftermath, Greene condemned the violence on Jan. 6 but was aggressively promoting Trump’s claims nonetheless. She appeared on the House floor six days after the assault sporting a mask with the phrase molon labe. As pointed out by Rep. Lofgren’s report: “Molon Labe is a classical Greek phrase meaning “come and take [them],” attributed to King Leonidas of Sparta as a defiant response to the demand that his soldiers lay down their weapons. Gun-rights advocates have adopted the phrase as a challenge to perceived attempts by the government to confiscate arms.”

I don't think the Fake News Media likes my mask

— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) January 13, 2021

The lawmakers highlighted in this lengthy guide are far from the only individuals who posted messages promoting Trump’s claims of election fraud. But the lawmakers mentioned up to this point consumed some 880 pages of the nearly 2,000-page social media report. Rep. Billy Long, a Missouri Republican, alone, consumed dozens of pages showing how regularly he promoted disinformation and then later, insisted there was no insurrection. Dozens of pages also feature Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York. Stefanik later assumed a House leadership role when Leader McCarthy ousted Rep. Liz Cheney. Cheney was booted from the role when she refused to go along with her party’s overarching insistence that Trump won the election. 

Neophyte lawmakers like Rep. Madison Cawthorn also eagerly promoted the ‘Stop the Steal’ agenda. 

The fate of a nation comes down to the events of tomorrow. This New Republican Party will not back down. I look forward to seeing millions of patriotic Americans stand for their country.

— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) January 5, 2021

Other more tenured lawmakers, like Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio—who received a notice from the Jan. 6 Committee on Dec. 22 asking for his voluntary compliance with the probe—appeared to make promotion of election fraud lies a cornerstone of their job. During the riots he tweeted his objections routinely.

Then there are legislators like Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, who also received a request from the committee to remit documents and sit for deposition. He refused. Many questions remain. So many lawmakers, like Rep. Pete Sessions, appeared to openly support Trump’s subversion efforts. Sessions tweeted a photo of himself with supporters of the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement on Jan. 2, for instance.

In this sweeping assessment of social media activity, there are many commonalities. Perhaps the most common was a desire by so many Republicans in the House for a thorough review of issues they deemed of national importance. Their nearly wholesale refusal of the Jan. 6 probe, however, has spoken volumes in the year since the Capitol attack.

McConnell didn’t text Meadows on Jan. 6. But he’s damn sure excited about finding out who did

Capitol Hill reporters have been atwitter ever since Monday evening, when Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, read aloud a series of Mayday texts sent to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows by Fox News hosts and Don Jr. as Trump supporters swarmed the Capitol.

But their excitement reached fever pitch on Tuesday when Cheney gave a follow-up performance, this time reading off Jan. 6 texts to Meadows from unnamed GOP lawmakers.

"It is really bad up here on the Hill," one GOP lawmaker texted Meadows.

"Fix this now," urged another.

The select committee investigating Jan. 6 plans to release those Republicans' names at some mystery date in the near future, but one reporter immediately queried Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday on whether he was one of the unnamed lawmakers appealing to Trump to intervene.

"I was not," McConnell offered, "but I do think we're all watching, as you are, what is unfolding on the House side, and it will be interesting to reveal all the participants who were involved."

McConnell, with his ritual glum affect, revealed no investment in the outcome of that information. But inside, he was likely doing a happy dance as he teased the big reveal of "all the participants who were involved." Participants, eh?

This is undoubtedly where McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy part ways. To some extent, the McConnell wing of the GOP, which is at loggerheads with the Trump wing, wants—and maybe even needs—the Jan. 6 panel to succeed. The bigger the chunk the panel can take out of the crazy Trumpers currently running roughshod over the House GOP caucus, the better for McConnell. Who knows—McConnell might not even mind if some Trump-aligned GOP senators took a hit. Seriously, who except Ted Cruz isn't rooting for Ted Cruz to get tangled up in legal trouble?

Unfortunately, it appears none of those texts came from GOP senators, according to Jan. 6 Committee Chair Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.

That doesn't mean, however, that the investigative committee still couldn't unearth some interesting information about Trump's Senate allies. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina seemed pretty eager to unburden himself of the fact that he spoke with Ivanka Trump on Jan. 6, urging her to tell her father to call off the dogs.

But the bottom line here is that McConnell—who has no use for Trump—likely didn't have any contact with him or his cadre around their Jan. 6 coup effort. So personally, McConnell likely has little to lose as the sweeping probe reveals who was in on Trump's coup attempt and who wasn't.

McConnell, for some unfathomable reason, missed his opportunity to put a final nail in Trump's political coffin during Trump’s second impeachment earlier this year. The Jan. 6 panel might just offer McConnell another opportunity to take a bite out of the Trump wing, which is currently overrunning McConnell and his allies.

So keep your on eye on McConnell to potentially turn the knife a little here or there as the Jan. 6 probe continues to bear anti-Trump fruit.

Republicans won’t whip against Jan. 6 commission vote, but McCarthy has ensured its failure

The House is scheduled to vote this week—as soon as Wednesday—on the deal struck by Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson and ranking committee member John Katko for a Jan. 6 commission. Structured much like the 9/11 Commission, the bipartisan committee would investigate the insurrectionist attack on the Capitol.

Thus far, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy hasn't said whether he'll endorse the deal, but leadership seems spooked enough over backlash against the idiot Republicans who insist that it wasn't a violent insurrection but just another "normal tourist visit." Republican leaders will not whip against the bill, meaning it will be a vote of conscience for their members.

That's after a handful of their members—including Rep. Liz Cheney, who secured a very large megaphone thanks to the House GOP deciding to kick her off the leadership team—spent the last several days blasting the revisionist history coming from their colleagues.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 · 3:33:26 PM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Speaker Pelosi reacts to McCarthy: "I am very pleased that we have a bipartisan bill to come to the floor and [it's] disappointing, but not surprising that [there's] cowardice on the part of some on the Republican side, [to] not to want to find the truth."

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 18, 2021

On Friday, Cheney told ABC's Jon Karl that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy—who's done nothing but promote Trump's Big Lie in recent months—should testify before the commission. If he doesn't agree to that, Cheney said, he should be subpoenaed. "I think that he very clearly, and said publicly, that he's got information about the president’s state of mind that day," Cheney said. "I would anticipate that, you know—I would hope he doesn't require a subpoena, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he were subpoenaed."

Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton called out his colleagues on Sunday, calling their claims that the insurrection was just a patriots' play-date "bogus," and that those claims prove the need for the commission. "It's absolutely bogus. You know, I was there. I watched a number of the folks walk down to the White House and then back. I have a balcony on my office. So I saw them go down. I heard the noise—the flash bangs, I smelled some of the gas as it moved my way," Upton told CNN's Dana Bash on State of the Union. "Get the facts out, try to assure the American public this is what happened, and let the facts lead us to the conclusion," Upton said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski blasted House Republicans who downplayed the attack on Friday. "I'm offended by that," Murkowski told CNN. "This was not a peaceful protest. When somebody breaks and enters, and then just because you know they don't completely trash your house once you're inside does not mean that it has been peaceful. This was not a peaceful protest." She continued. "We got to get beyond that rhetoric and acknowledge that what happened were acts of aggression and destruction towards an institution, and there were some people intent on (harming) the people that were part of that institution."

She's going to be supporting the commission when the bill gets to the Senate. It is likely to pass there, too, but that's in part because there's a lot that Republicans, including Sen. Mitch McConnell, can do to weaken it.

The legislation creates a commission made up of 10 members, an equal number of members chosen by Democratic and Republican leadership. None of the members can be currently serving government officials and all must have a depth of experience in a combination government, law enforcement, civil rights, and national security service. Democrats would appoint the chair, Republicans the vice chair. The committee would have the power to subpoena McCarthy or anyone else, but if the vice chair wanted to veto that subpoena decision, they could.

The chair—appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer—has the sole power to secure information from the federal agencies and has control over appointing staff. That gives them significant power. But there are still pitfalls for the commission.

One of the key faults of the commission as negotiated is that it has a deadline of the end of this year. Republicans have already dragged it out for five months, and have the chance to do so again, even after the bill passes. Even if McConnell decided against filibustering the bill, he and McCarthy can simple draw out the process of naming their five members.   It's going to hinge a lot on how much McConnell wants to distance the Senate and the party from Trump, how much he wants to try to salvage any measure of dignity for his party. There's certainly no love lost between McConnell and Trump, who he blamed point blank for the Jan. 6 attack. That blame, however, didn't happen until after he voted to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 · 1:22:31 PM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

House GOP Leader McCarthy makes it official Tuesday morning: he’s officially opposing the legislation and the commission, saying that Pelosi “refused to negotiate in good faith on basic parameters.” Which is categorically untrue since she handed over the negotiations and had Thompson and Katko figure it out.

“Given the Speaker’s shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation,” he said. Meaning BLM and Antifa are not explicitly included in the scope of the legislation, though as the commission is structured, the GOP members of it could do McCarthy’s and McConnell’s bidding and yammer on about it all the time. McCarthy’s express opposition makes it much less likely 10 Senate Republicans will support the commission. It will pass the House, but is pretty unlikely to pass in the Senate.

Cartoon: Have your spine and eat it too

According to Mitch McConnell and other Republicans in the Senate, the Democratic impeachment managers proved the case that Donald Trump incited his mob to attack the Capitol in an insurrection with the goal of stopping the peaceful transfer of power in the U.S. presidential election. But, thanks to an imagined phrase in the Constitution, you can’t convict someone in an impeachment once they have left office.

Whatever happened to the Republican Party’s strict textual reading of our nation’s founding document? Never mind, Senate Republicans only wanted a fig leaf — any fig leaf — to be able to let Trump off the hook for an attack on our democracy.

McConnell went the even more craven route than just spouting constitutional nonsense to justify an acquittal. His speech taking Trump to task for his naughty actions made his vote to acquit look even more outrageous. It’s pretty clear that outside of some outliers like Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney, the Republican Party is going all-in with an autocratic cult leader.

Enjoy the cartoon — and please help support my work by joining me on Patreon! (You’ll get patron-only goodies and know your contributions really do keep the cartoons coming.)

Democrats lean on Ku Klux Klan Act to hold Trump and Giuliani accountable for Capitol riot

Republican enablers may have let former President Donald Trump get away with inciting a deadly Capitol riot, but his recent impeachment acquittal isn't squelching the seemingly endless and much-deserved flood of lawsuits against Trump. The NAACP, Rep. Bennie Thompson, of Mississippi, and the civil rights legal firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll filed a suit against the former commander in chief Tuesday in federal court.

In the suit, the advocates allege that Trump, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and the hate groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers "conspired to incite" the march to the Capitol to disrupt “by the use of force, intimidation and threat,” Congress’ certification of President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. “The insurrection at the Capitol did not just spontaneously occur—it was the product of Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani lies about the election,” Joe Sellers, a partner at Cohen Milstein said in a news release announcing the lawsuit. “With the Senate failing to hold the President accountable, we must use the full weight of the legal system to do so. The judicial system was an essential bulwark against the President during his time in office, and its role in protecting our democracy against future extremism is more important than ever.”

Trump urged the march to the Capitol during his Save America rally on January 6, and an insurrection that left Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick dead, reportedly hit with a fire extinguisher, followed. More than a dozen other police officers were injured; three people died in medical emergencies; and one rioter was shot and killed when she attempted to breach the Capitol.

Thompson, the NAACP, and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll cited the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 in their lawsuit, which is intended to “protect against conspiracies, through violence and intimidation, that sought to prevent Members of Congress from discharging their official duties.” 

The legal team stated in the suit:

“The insurrection at the Capitol was a direct, intended, and foreseeable result of the Defendants’ unlawful conspiracy. It was instigated according to a common plan that the Defendants pursued since the election held in November 2020, culminating in an assembly denominated as the “Save America” rally held at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, during which Defendants Trump and Giuliani incited a crowd of thousands to descend upon the Capitol in order to prevent or delay through the use of force the counting of Electoral College votes. As part of this unified plan to prevent the counting of Electoral College votes, Defendants Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, through their leadership, acted in concert to spearhead the assault on the Capitol while the angry mob that Defendants Trump and Giuliani incited descended on the Capitol. The carefully orchestrated series of events that unfolded at the Save America rally and the storming of the Capitol was no accident or coincidence. It was the intended and foreseeable culmination of a carefully coordinated campaign to interfere with the legal process required to confirm the tally of votes cast in the Electoral College.”

The NAACP cited in its news release a segment of Giuliani’s remarks at the Save America rally last month. “If we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail. So let’s have trial by combat,” the unscrupulous attorney said. The NAACP also quoted the former president in its release. “So we are going to … walk down Pennsylvania Avenue… we’re … going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country,” Trump said at the rally.

1 hour before MAGA stormed the Capitol: Trump: "We're going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue... and we're going to the Capitol... we're going to try and give our Republicans ... the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country." He specifically incited it.

— Brent Black (@brentalfloss) January 6, 2021

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement that Trump needs to be held accountable both "for deliberately inciting and colluding with white supremacists to stage a coup" and for "his continuing efforts to disenfranchise African-American voters." “The insurrection was the culmination of a carefully orchestrated, months-long plan to destroy democracy, to block the results of a fair and democratic election, and to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of African-American voters who cast valid ballots,” Johnson added. “Since our founding, the NAACP has gone to the courthouse to put an end to actions that discriminate against African-American voters. We are now bringing this case to continue our work to protect our democracy and make sure nothing like what happened on January 6th ever happens again.”

Thompson called January 6 "one of the most shameful days in our country’s history," and he added that "it was instigated by the President himself." “His gleeful support of violent white supremacists led to a breach of the Capitol that put my life, and that of my colleagues, in grave danger,” the congressman said. “It is by the slimmest of luck that the outcome was not deadlier.

“While the majority of Republicans in the Senate abdicated their responsibility to hold the President accountable, we must hold him accountable for the insurrection that he so blatantly planned,” he added. “Failure to do so will only invite this type of authoritarianism for the anti-democratic forces on the far right that are so intent on destroying our country.”

Rep. Thompson is also seeking punitive damages which is A+ trolling insofar as it may force Trump to admit he’s a broke ass.

— ⚓️🚢Imani Gandy 🚢⚓️ (@AngryBlackLady) February 16, 2021

Cartoon: Exhibit I(nsurrection)

Now that Donald Trump’s crack legal team is doing such a bang-up job, I thought I’d help them out with their very own video presentation. The Democratic impeachment managers have put video to good use in Trump’s second impeachment trial, why can’t the defense team do the same?

Um, maybe because they have no case and Trump is guilty as sin? Never mind that, though, the Inciter-in-Chief is nearly certain to avoid conviction thanks to the morally bankrupt Trumpist Republicans in the Senate.

When around half of the Republicans who will help decide Trump’s guilt or innocence pushed the very conspiracies and lies that sparked January’s attack on the Capitol, it doesn’t look like conviction is in the cards. And, yes, I think those Republicans should be impeached as well. (See: Fourteenth Amendment.)

Enjoy the cartoon, and remember to join me over on Patreon, where you can help support my work and get prints and other behind-the-scenes goodies!

‘Six people died’: More than 350 congressional staff members urge Senate to convict Trump

More than 350 congressional staff members signed an open letter Wednesday to the Senate, urging legislators to convict former President Donald Trump for inciting an attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. “As Congressional employees, we don’t have a vote on whether to convict Donald J. Trump for his role in inciting the violent attack at the Capitol, but our Senators do,” the staffers said in the letter. “And for our sake, and the sake of the country, we ask that they vote to convict the former president and bar him from ever holding office again.” Trump called for his supporters to march to the Capitol to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory last month. “We will never give up,” he said at a Save America rally in Washington, D.C. “We will never concede. It doesn't happen. You don't concede when there's theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore, and that is what this is all about.”

With those words, he effectively ended a 230-year tradition of peaceful transitions of power, the congressional staffers pointed out. “Six people died. A Capitol Police officer—one of our co-workers who guards and greets us every day—was beaten to death,” they said. “The attack on our workplace was inspired by lies told by the former president and others about the results of the election in a baseless, months-long effort to reject votes lawfully cast by the American people.”

Those who signed the letter represent more than 100 offices from the House, 15 from the Senate, and 10 committees, CNN reported. "No one should have to experience something like this in their place of work," an unnamed staff member told CNN before the letter was released. "And I think it's important to tell this part of the story, because it's not just members of Congress who come to work at the Capitol every day. And it's not just staffers who work at the Capitol who were traumatized by what happened. And I think that is a piece of it.

“The trauma is there; the trauma is very real. And anytime that new pieces of information come out, you know, you're kind of re-traumatized.”

Read the workers’ complete letter below:

“We are staff who work for members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, where it is our honor and privilege to serve our country and our fellow Americans. We write this letter to share our own views and experiences, not the views of our employers. But on January 6, 2021, our workplace was attacked by a violent mob trying to stop the electoral college vote count. That mob was incited by former president Donald J. Trump and his political allies, some of whom we pass every day in the hallways at work.

Many of us attended school in the post-Columbine era and were trained to respond to active shooter situations in our classrooms. As the mob smashed through Capitol Police barricades, broke doors and windows, and charged into the Capitol with body armor and weapons, many of us hid behind chairs and under desks or barricaded ourselves in offices. Others watched on TV and frantically tried to reach bosses and colleagues as they fled for their lives.

On January 6, the former President broke America’s 230-year legacy of the peaceful transition of power when he incited a mob to disrupt the counting of electoral college votes. Six people died. A Capitol Police officer—one of our co-workers who guards and greets us every day—was beaten to death. The attack on our workplace was inspired by lies told by the former president and others about the results of the election in a baseless, months-long effort to reject votes lawfully cast by the American people.

Our Constitution only works when we believe in it and defend it. It’s a shared commitment to equal justice, the rule of law, and the peaceful resolution of our differences. Any person who doesn’t share these beliefs has no place representing the American people, now or in the future. The use of violence and lies to overturn an election is not worthy of debate. Either you stand with the republic or against it.

As Congressional employees, we don’t have a vote on whether to convict Donald J. Trump for his role in inciting the violent attack at the Capitol, but our Senators do. And for our sake, and the sake of the country, we ask that they vote to convict the former president and bar him from ever holding office again.”