Georgia GOP Chairwoman Arrested By Feds Over Jan. 6 Capitol Attack

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A county Republican Party chairwoman from Georgia has joined those to face arrest by federal authorities for participating in last year’s riot at the Capitol. The individual in question is Mandy Robinson-Hand, the chair of the Taylor County Republican Party — the county is pretty small, with under 10,000 residents, but Robinson-Hand was listed as the county GOP’s chairperson by the Georgia Republican Party. In other words, the size of the county doesn’t detract from the official nature of her position. Now, she and her husband, Charles Hand III, have been arrested by the FBI and are facing four misdemeanor charges associated with the riot. Per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, they’re “each charged with entering a restricted building, two separate counts of disorderly conduct and another count of unlawful demonstrating at the Capitol.”

Relatedly: why does it remain so difficult for certain individuals within the Republican Party to unequivocally condemn specific incidents of violence — meaning the Capitol riot? A statement from Georgia GOP Executive Director Brandon Moye apparently regarding the Robinson-Hand situation asserted that the “Georgia Republican Party has repeatedly condemned political violence, including any violence that took place on January 6, 2021… We have repeatedly urged, and will continue to urge, that political protest be peaceful and orderly.” This isn’t about some kind of grand theoretical argument regarding the nature of appropriate political protest, no matter the fact that it’s obviously technically accurate that political protest should be “peaceful and orderly” (although not in the way that angry right-wingers use those concepts to go after legitimately peaceful left-wing demonstrators). No: this is about the specific incident of the attack on the Capitol — which isn’t something that just happened to take place like some kind of big whoopsie — and the executive director of the Georgia GOP apparently can’t even bring themselves to condemn that violence and leave it at that.

As summarized by the Journal-Constitution, while at the Capitol, the Hands were seen holding hands, and “a documentary video archived online shows the couple in the plaza by the West Terrace amid a crowd of rioters fighting with a line of Metro DC Police. At one point in the video, Charles Hand appears to shout at Robinson-Hand, pulling her by the arm toward the crowd, then using his shoulder to push the mob as it tried to break the police line.” Overall, nearly 800 individuals — and it’s probably soon to be (if it’s not already) more than that — have been arrested for participating in or otherwise being criminally connected to the violence at the Capitol, with new arrests continuing. Recent high-profile apprehensions include that of Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the former national leader of the far-right group known as the Proud Boys, who was recently charged with criminal conspiracy in relation to the riot and was even more recently ordered to remain in pre-trial custody.