A burgeoning number of Republican politicians are spreading a misleading picture of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, brazenly alleging that the rioters who used flagpoles as guns, violently beat police officers, and screamed that they wished to hang Vice President Mike Pence were still behaving calmly in their attempt to overthrow the presidential election.
At a hearing on Wednesday, a Republican described the rioters as a “mob of misfits.”
Another individual likened them to Washington DC tourists.
A third indicated that the broad criminal investigation into the riot, which has resulted in over 400 convictions and counting, correlates to a nationwide campaign of intimidation.
See the timeline of the US Capitol Attack on January 6, 2021 by NowThis News below to understand what happened that day in the Capitol:
The events of that day, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was also a victim of the rioters, found “appalling” and “sick,” raises the possibility that the public’s view of the worst domestic attack on Congress in 200 years, which was caught on tape, could be twisted and turned, similar to the same kinds of misinformation that fueled former President Donald Trump’s misleading statements on a stolen election.
The rioters were sparked in the first place by a falsehood about the nation’s choice of President.
“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,” stated Pelosi, who has argued for a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection.
To reference the full violent action, watch The Capitol stormed, an election completed: January 6 in six minutes published by the New York Times on Youtube, below.
The hearing on Wednesday was expected to be the first look at the mayhem of Jan. 6, looking for the missing warning signals, misunderstanding, and failures that caused rioters to terrorize the Capitol for an entire afternoon.
However, some Republicans used their time of questioning to downplay the violent attack on America’s seat of government, rather than facing the witnesses with questions.
“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 GA Republican serving his first term.
According to Clyde, one video feed of the rioters seemed to show them on a “normal tourist visit.”
After rioters smashed through windows, pummeled police, and burst through the doors while lawmakers were frantically evacuated, those in the video were able to reach Statuary Hall.
They were on their way to the House chamber, where they attempted to smash down the doors with frightened members inside.
Clyde wasn’t the only Republican who thought that way. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona made a hero out of a woman who was shot and killed by Capitol Police when she attempted to bust through a door next to the House chamber.
He described Ashli Babbitt as having been “executed,” noting that she was an Air Force veteran who was wearing an American flag.
After an inquiry, the Department of Justice opted not to prosecute the cop who shot her.
When federal attorneys file lawsuits against hundreds of protesters who entered the Capitol and joined in the riot, Gosar said at one point that the Justice Department is “harassing peaceful patriots across the country.”
The sweeping investigation, which is one of the widest in American history, is currently underway, with special investigators serving search warrants and trying to find scores of other suspects who are still wanted for questioning.
Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia also painted the violent protesters as victims, mentioning that four of the people were killed, including Babbitt.
Although part of the Trump mob laid siege to the Capitol, the other three faced medical emergencies.
“It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others,” Hice exclaimed.
A fifth individual, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died the next day after collapsing shortly after the insurgency began.
While video shows two men spraying him and another cop with a chemical, the Washington medical examiner said Sicknick died of natural causes after suffering a stroke. The men who assaulted Sicknick were charged with assault.
In the days that followed, two officers committed suicide, and dozens more were injured, including one officer who suffered a heart attack and others who suffered traumatic brain injury and permanent disability.
According to the Capitol Police association, some of the officers will never return to work.
The decision to defend the insurrectionists occurred on the same day as House Republicans voted to remove Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney from their leadership committee for repeatedly chastising Trump for falsely claiming that the election was robbed.
Cheney joined Democrats in voting to impeach Trump for urging backers hours before the Jan. 6 attack to “fight like hell” to reverse Biden’s victory.
Trump’s lies alleging election irregularities have been refuted by a number of judges, election authorities around the country, and his own attorney general.
Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, who headed the Democrats’ impeachment trial and remains on the Oversight Committee, said after the hearing that he believes Cheney’s ouster earlier in the day “emboldened and emancipated” Republicans.
According to Timothy Naftali, a history and public service professor at New York University, dismissing the insurgency as “deeply cynical.”
He contrasts it to political leaders in Southern states after the Civil War who refused to investigate the origins, which he claims hampered racial integration and recovery and continues to have an effect on the nation today.
Clyde stressed that the rioters never made it to the House floor, despite their best efforts, only to be stopped by police officers with weapons drawn.
Many members sought refuge in the gallery of the chamber as the rioters attempted to break down the doors.
The crowd broke into the Senate moments after senators had fled, others bringing zip ties and military devices.
They rummaged around desks, shouting “where are they?”
They entered Pelosi’s office, taking a laptop and shouting out her name as some of her employees huddled silently under furniture.
Other Republicans, some quietly, some openly, have stated their disagreement with their colleagues.
“I was there,” said Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who was seen in surveillance video being taken 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.”
Another Democratic member of the Oversight commission, Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley, says the Republican protestations are wishful thinking that resonates with their more partisan electorate.
“These folks passionately want what they want to be true,” Quigley stated. “So it’s no longer I’ll believe it when I see it. It’s I’ll see it when I believe it.”