May 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

GOP lawmakers downplay Capitol riot at House hearing

Photo of a crowd of pro-Trump supporters outside the Capitol
Photo: Jon Cherry via Getty Images

Republican members of Congress sought to minimize the Capitol insurrection at a House hearing on Wednesday, with statements calling pro-Trump rioters "patriots" and other lawmakers falsely denying demonstrators were supporters of the former president at all.

Driving the news: The hearing comes shortly after House Republicans voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from leadership over her criticism of former President Trump's actions leading up to and on Jan. 6.

What they're saying:

Rep. Ralph Norman (S.C.): "I don’t know who did the poll to say that they were Trump supporters."

Rep. Jody Hice (Ga.): "It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others."

Rep. Paul Gosar (Ariz.): "Do you recall the name of the young lady, a veteran wrapped in an American flag, who was killed in the U.S. Capitol?" Gosar asked former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. "As the death certificate says, it was a homicide. Who executed Ashli Babbitt?" Gosar added.

  • Gosar was referring to Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who was shot in the left shoulder by an officer after she tried to climb through a broken window on a door into the Speaker's Lobby — located just off the House chamber floor.

Rep. Andrew Clyde (Ga.): "There was no insurrection. To call it an insurrection is a bold-faced lie."

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