Federal Investigation Of GOP Lawmakers For Insurrection Requested In Congress

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Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) is requesting a federal investigation into Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) for their involvement in inciting the January rioting at the U.S. Capitol. The examples of their incitement vary from Boebert’s tweet insisting that “today is 1776” shortly before the rioting unfolded to Brooks’s involvement in an outdoor rally in D.C. that was organized under the idea of “Stop the Steal” and preceded the deadly violence. The rioters hoped to forcibly stop the Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory on the basis of the delusional idea that the election was stolen, meaning rigged.

Republicans beyond those named in Jayapal’s investigation requests helped spread the utterly baseless claim that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. No court anywhere in the country ever even partially accepted the idea that fraud was responsible for Biden’s victory, but this basic reality did not stop Trump allies from continuing on in their delusional electoral fantasyland.

Jayapal directed her requests for investigations into Boebert and the others to the House Committee on Ethics and the Office of Congressional Ethics, the latter of which is an independent federal entity. Accusing Boebert, Gosar, and Brooks of “instigating and aiding” the rioting, Jayapal said as follows:

‘It is critical for the functioning of Congress — and therefore the functioning of our democracy — that this investigation is conducted. I urge the House Committee on Ethics and the Office of Congressional Ethics to thoroughly investigate Representatives Boebert, Brooks, and Gosar’s conduct, and refer any appropriate findings to the Department of Justice.’

Besides Boebert’s insistence on the day of the violence that the day was “1776,” in reference to the American Revolution, she also tweeted out the approximate location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as Trump’s mob swarmed the building and murderously hunted top leaders, including Pelosi. Boebert’s tweet could be credited to buffoonish incompetence rather than nefarious intent, but the danger was present either way. At one point, Boebert also released a video of herself traversing federal property while carrying a firearm.

Among other issues, Gosar has palled around with far-right extremist Ali Alexander, who helped work on the “Stop the Steal” campaign and helped organize the January 6 rally in D.C., where then-President Trump himself spoke shortly before the violence.

Jayapal commented as follows to CNN:

‘It’s clear — what I believe to be clear violation of our ethical standards and our responsibilities as members of Congress. That is what the House Ethics Committee can look at. But I also think that there are other pieces here that are even beyond just service in the House that are federal statutes. And so that’s why we asked for the referrals to the Department of Justice.’

Ex-President Trump has already faced his own consequences for his role in inciting the violence. After an impeachment by the U.S. House on a charge of incitement of insurrection, seven out of 50 Senate Republicans voted in favor of conviction at the conclusion of his subsequent trial. Conviction requires 67 votes from the 100-member chamber, so the step was not enacted.