Many Republican lawmakers are trying to turn the page on the Capitol Hill insurrection they helped fuel with their amplification of President Donald Trump’s election fraud conspiracy theories.
That can’t happen. It’s as Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) said to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) this week, after Jordan laughably dismissed attempts to hold Trump accountable in the name of unity and healing: “We all want healing, but in order to get to healing, we need truth and we need accountability.”
The truth is, there’s a good chance last week’s mob wouldn’t have happened without these lawmakers cheerfully indulging Trump’s fact-optional narcissism, and using their status to lend credibility to his phony fraud allegations.
This list isn’t comprehensive, and there are valid arguments to be made for Republican lawmakers who propped up Trump in more indirect or subtle ways. But there is a distinct gang of Republicans who have devoted most of their waking hours to amplifying his fraud claims and trying to get the November election overturned.
Here are their names.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)
The aforementioned Jordan has spent weeks lending his perpetually-raised voice to the cause of spreading the Trump gospel. He and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) led the charge of House Republicans disputing the election results.
Even as recently as two days ago, after the election has been completely certified and Jordan had a front-row seat for the violence his lies can cause, he repeatedly refused to acknowledge that President-Elect Joe Biden legitimately won the election.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL)
Brooks, like Jordan, has spent all his time recently in a mad scramble to get the November election overturned. He even put in an appearance before the mob that would, minutes later, attack the Capitol, during which he proclaimed that “today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”
A couple of Democrats in the House have introduced a resolution to censure him. Brooks has refused to apologize, saying that his words are being misconstrued. “I will never apologize for fighting to win our causes at the ballot box,” he said in a statement.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
Gosar, a regular booster of “stop the steal” messaging, has been accused of helping to plan the rally that turned into the Capitol insurrection, alongside Brooks and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ). Right-wing activist Ali Alexander, who was a key promoter of the rally, has said that he was regularly in contact with all three. Brooks and Biggs have denied that they helped plan it; Gosar isn’t responding to questions about it.
— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) January 6, 2021
In an Ingrahamian turn, Gosar’s siblings are calling on him to resign or be expelled from Congress. His brother pointed out on CNN that Gosar’s conspiratorial tendencies stretch back to the Obama birtherism conspiracy. It’s not the first time Gosar has been criticized by his own kin: in 2018, six of his siblings put out an ad against his reelection.
Gosar is the only House member on this list who did not join Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s extraordinary lawsuit seeking to toss the November election results in multiple battleground states.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ)
Biggs has since tried to distance himself from the pro-Trump rally-turned-riot, saying he had no role in it. He has eagerly promoted election fraud conspiracy though, going on OAN (Trump’s new favorite network now that Fox News is too liberal) to do so.
Biggs has also baselessly claimed that it was actually incognito members of Antifa and Black Lives Matter behind the Capitol raid, just posing as Trump supporters. He is part of the movement seeking to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her leadership role as retribution for her vote to impeach Trump.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Gohmert can conspiracy peddle with the best of them, even throwing his hat in the ring of frivolous, unsuccessful lawsuits to try to overturn the November election results.
After his lawsuit was tossed, Gohmert said that the only remedy left was to “go the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.”
Louie Gohmert on Newsmax: “But if bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this. You have no remedy’ — basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.” pic.twitter.com/cZIdGTiQls
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 2, 2021
In a Wednesday floor speech, he stitched together quotes from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to try to make the galaxy brain argument that it’s actually she who’s fomenting insurrection.
Half of all impeachments ever conducted occurred under Speaker Nancy Pelosi
My speech today on the House floor: pic.twitter.com/CfePB7Luod
— Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) January 14, 2021
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
Seeking to style himself as the election fraud-boosting AOC of the right, Gaetz has gone full right-wing, infamously wearing a gas mask on the House floor in an attempt at an ironic sartorial expression of his COVID-19-denialism.
After the Capitol raid, he blamed the left for inciting more violence than the right and reiterated some of the election fraud claims embraced by the mob. Per pool reports, Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) pointed his finger at his head and twirled it in the universal sign for “crazy” as Gaetz began his speech ahead of the impeachment vote Wednesday. He ended it to a cacophony of Democratic boos:
WATCH: Rep. Matt Gaetz boo’d on the House floor during impeachment debate. pic.twitter.com/L9Z7HnMKwk
— Tony Morrison • ABC News (@THETonyMorrison) January 13, 2021
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
After Graham’s complete 180 — from being the late Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) best friend and closest ally to devoted Trump supporter — he has been at the forefront of the President’s causes, even reportedly going so far as to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to take steps that could wrongly hand that state’s electors to Trump. Last week, after the Capitol raid, Graham finally seemed to change his tune, proclaiming that “enough is enough.”
That didn’t last long. Within days, Graham was warning Pelosi against pursuing impeachment, riding with Trump on Air Force One and urging his Republican peers to put out statements expressing their intent to vote against impeachment to stop the tide of momentum in the other direction.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Cruz, known to foster continued presidential ambitions, appears to have decided some time ago that his best route to the Oval Office runs through Trump’s approval. He’s done so by trying to fashion himself into a MAGA superhero.
This is, I kid you not, is the actual tweet he put out advertising Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee:
When people started calling him out on Twitter for being a clear source of the lies that fed the Capitol mob’s fury, he decided to fight with Beto O’Rourke instead of taking any accountability.
Stop stoking division.
Stop spreading hatred.
Stop using malicious rhetoric (such as false & reckless charges of “sedition”).
Stop showing contempt for the half of the country that disagrees with you.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 6, 2021
The editorial board of his hometown paper, the Houston Chronicle, put out a piece after the raid titled “Resign, Senator Cruz. Your lies cost lives.”
Cruz has since devoted his social media presence to a mix of calling for unity and decrying Twitter’s purge of accounts peddling the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO)
Hawley has frequently been paired with Cruz in recent days, as Democrats and political observers alike call for retribution for those responsible for the raid. Some are already predicting that a picture of Hawley raising a fist in solidarity to the rioters hours before they invaded the Capitol will forever blemish his future political career.
Hawley too experienced a verbal lashing by his hometown paper, the Kansas City Star. In “Assault on democracy: Sen. Josh Hawley has blood on his hands in Capitol coup attempt,” the editorial board charges Hawley with being the person second-most responsible for the failed coup after Trump himself, noting that he was the first to publicly say he’d vote against the Electoral College certification of Biden’s win.
Hawley has spent his time since the insurrection going after the “woke mob” at Simon & Schuster for cancelling his book deal.
Honorable Mention: Rep. Marjorie Greene (R-GA)
While she wasn’t yet sworn into her seat while the above list was using their bully pulpits to blast out Trump’s conspiracy theories, she has, in just the first few days of her term, shown herself eager and willing to carry on these men’s legacy.
On January 21st, I’m filing Articles of Impeachment on President-elect @JoeBiden.
75 million Americans are fed up with inaction.
It’s time to take a stand.
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) January 14, 2021