In a classically convoluted logical journey, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) went from claiming an insurrectionist had ties to antifa to blaming Democrats for the January 6 attack wholesale in a cool five minutes on Wednesday.
“Democrats have never come to understand that one of the more insightful things that they do is not only to misrepresent things as they did with the Russia hoax but then turn around and try to silence Republicans or opposing views, get ‘em off the internet,” he said. “When you seal up a pressure cooker and continue to turn it, test it, heat it, it’s not gonna turn out well.”
He made the comments at a Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security subcommittee hearing on the rise of domestic terrorism in the United States.
Gohmert took to Twitter on the day of the attack to hint at the “false flag” conspiracy theory, a fabrication that had burbled up through QAnon communities and that claims the insurrection was actually carried out by members of antifa in disguise.
Please people; no violence. That only hurts our cause. Those leading the charge like the guy in yellow with the communist hammer & sickle tattoo: stopping the violence applies to you too. pic.twitter.com/XLKU9Y2y4x
— Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) January 6, 2021
He acknowledged Wednesday that “most” of the mob were Trump supporters, though spent time and displayed video of John Sullivan, an activist he said has antifa ties but who has seemed to incur the dislike of activists of all stripes.
He also inadvertently showed where his loyalties lie when expressing his anger that white supremacists are blamed for violence, but that Black Lives Matter protesters were not during the largely peaceful demonstrations last summer.
“It’s hard to sit and listen that all of the problems were white supremacists when we know that last summer, [there were] an estimated $2 billion, many deaths, many injuries,” he said.
Analyses have repeatedly found that 2020’s racial justice protests occurred with little or no violence. One review by the Washington Post found that of 27 deaths linked to the protests, those ultimately alleged to be culpable “were almost never actually part of the protest movement.”
Gohmert filed a bizarre lawsuit after the November election asking for former Vice President Mike Pence to challenge President Joe Biden’s legitimacy, and seemed to call for violence after it was tossed.
“Basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you got to go to the streets and be as violent as antifa and [Black Lives Matter],” he said on Newsmax. The insurrection happened less than a month later.