On Monday, The New York Times painted a picture of how GOP lawmakers faithful to outgoing President Donald Trump whipped up the masses into a frenzy that culminated in the attack on the U.S. Capitol — and potentially more armed demonstrations at state houses next week.
"A handful of Mr. Trump's most loyal allies in the House had gone even further in the days and weeks before the riot, urging their supporters to come to Washington on Jan. 6 to make a defiant last stand to keep him in power," reported Catie Edmondson and Luke Broadwater. "They linked arms with the organizers of the protest and used inflammatory, bellicose language to describe the stakes."
"Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, first-term lawmakers who ran as outspoken defenders of Mr. Trump, referred to the day as Republicans' '1776 moment,'" continued the report. "Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, who for weeks promoted the Jan. 6 protest and other 'Stop the Steal' events across the country more than a dozen times, repeatedly referred to Mr. Biden as an 'illegitimate usurper' and suggested that Mr. Trump was the victim of an attempted 'coup.'"
Meanwhile, said the report, "For weeks before the rally, mimicking Mr. Trump's tone, Republican operatives and lawmakers had used inflammatory language to describe the president's effort to overturn Mr. Biden's victory. At a Turning Point USA event in December, Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina encouraged attendees to 'call your congressman and feel free — you can lightly threaten them.'"
Some of these lawmakers even carried on their encouragement even as the assault unfolded. Gosar posted an image of people climbing the walls on Parler with the words "Americans are upset," and Boebert actually live-tweeted the movements of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as the Capitol was breached.
As the report noted, many Democratic lawmakers want there to be punishment for this behavior: "Representative Cori Bush, Democrat of Missouri, introduced a resolution on Monday with 47 co-sponsors that would initiate investigations for 'removal of the members who attempted to overturn the results of the election and incited a white supremacist attempted coup.'"
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