On Monday, Bennie Thompson, the chair of the Homeland Security Committee has stated that he wants to see senators, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley placed on the no-fly list.
Thompson raised the issue during an appearance on SiriusXM’s The Joe Madison Show.
When Thompson was asked if rioters should be subjected to the domestic air travel ban, he rebounded with, “there’s no question about it. First of all, these folks, in my opinion, can be classified as domestic terrorists because of the actions they participated in on Wednesday. Now under normal circumstances, international terrorists are out on no-fly lists. These are domestic terrorists–the same thing. A terrorist is a terrorist, no matter who you are.”
Thompson went on to explain that the House has “a protocol” for engaging with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the FBI in order to place individuals on the government’s no-fly list. He shared that those measures have already been taken in regard to several participants in the attack on the Capitol.
He then went on to note that many airlines have taken additional efforts to institute lifetime bans on these alleged terrorists.
A viral video incorrectly claimed that supporters of Donald Trump were already placed on the list over the weekend. The FBI is currently working on the situation. The individuals that found themselves stuck in airports after the insurrection at the Capitol were because of private bans put in place by the airlines.
Host Joe Madison asked Thompson if the two GOP senators who led the charge to invalidate Joe Biden‘s 2020 election win could find themselves on the no-fly list.
“There’s talk about liability for inciting this insurrection falling, maybe, in the laps of Senator Hawley and Senator Cruz and a member of Congress who may have Facetimed or led people to Nancy Pelosi’s office,”
Madison noted suspicions about Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado), a QAnon adherent who may have been the source that helped rioters find lawmaker’s offices. Thompson continued stating that “there’s no question about it. There’s no exemption for being put on the no-fly list.”
“Even a member of Congress that commits a crime, you know, they expel from the body. There are ethics charges that can be brought against those individuals. And people are looking at all this. What Hawley did and what Cruz did was horrible. What—the new member from Colorado, who basically tweeted directions and everything that was going on—that’s not something you do. Somebody said, well she’s new. Well, the point is ignorance of the law is no excuse. So, if you don’t know, you’ve still done something wrong,” Thompson stated.
Democrats have bashed both Cruz and Hawley for their actions before and after the attack on the Capitol. Many lawmakers are calling for both men to resign.
“Both [Hawey] and [Cruz] have betrayed their oaths of office and abetted a violent insurrection on our democracy,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) stated over the weekend. “I am calling for their immediate resignations. If they do not resign, the Senate must expel them.”
Brown was not alone in his calls for the call duo to be fired or resign.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used Twitter to call for the senators to resign and wrote that their “craven, self-serving actions contributed to the deaths.”
Hawley and Cruz responded to criticism on Twitter. They both complained about being compared to Nazis.
Hawley has reportedly lost a book deal over the situation. He complained that his first amendment rights were being violated. However, Twitter is a privately owned company and First Amendment violations can only take place when the government takes action.
“You fist-pumped insurrectionists and baselessly attacked our elections,” Ocasio-Cortez said in another tweet. “Your actions fueled a riot and you fundraised in the chaos. Five people are dead. Even your GOP colleagues have distanced themselves from your acts. Yet here you are crying over a book deal. You should be expelled.”
Rep. Cori Bush has started an effort to expel multiple GOP members of Congress.
On Monday, Thompson reiterated widespread concerns that multiple members of law enforcement sympathized with the Capitol rioters.
“There’s suspicion that some of the sympathizers were also employees of the Capitol Police,” he said. “You don’t open the doors and let people in. You don’t take selfies with people who just broke into your job site and put folks at risk.”
The Congressional Black Caucus has also voiced its concerns. Thompson stated that he was hopeful that the newly-appointed Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman would be able to aid investigators as they reviewed the department for culpability.
“We believe that that double standard existed on the sixth of January,” Thompsom said. “We want to know why. Obviously, we do know why. But somebody’s going to have to tell us why it occurred. Other than the fact that their white people involved and you treat white protesters with kid gloves and black and white protesters you threw the full faith and power of the government on them to suppress them. It ought to be one policy.”
A hearing on law enforcement’s response to the attack was scheduled for this coming Wednesday, Thompson said.