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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."

Go deeper

Liz Cheney: Trump is a threat “America has never seen before”

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) spoke on the House floor Tuesday evening, emphasizing the 2020 election was not stolen and saying that former President Trump's baseless claims of election fraud pose a threat that “America has never seen before.”

Why it matters: Much of the GOP establishment has turned on Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, due to her criticism of Trump and her vote to impeachTrump for a charge of inciting an insurrection at the Capitol.

House Republicans vote to remove Liz Cheney from leadership

House Republicans ousted Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as conference chair in a voice vote Wednesday, capping months of growing backlash over her criticisms of former President Trump, according to two sources in the room.

Why it matters: The stunning removal of the No. 3 House Republican over her condemnation of Trump's election lies reflects the influence the former president still retains over the GOP.

Hispanic Democrats target House Republicans over Jan. 6 votes in new ads

The political action committee of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is releasing bilingual ads that target four House Republicans over their support for former President Trump and their votes to challenge the election results, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The four Republicans represent districts with large Latino populations in Florida, Texas, New Mexico and California. They each won their seats by narrow margins last year.