In a contentious House hearing on Wednesday, Republicans attempted to downplay and shift the narrative surrounding the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, decrying attempts to call the violent attack an “insurrection.”
One notable GOP Representative went so far as to say that calling the deadly attack — which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer, and 140 police officers injured — an insurrection “is bold-faced lie” in his opinion.
“There was an undisciplined mob,” Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde said on Wednesday. “There were some rioters, and some who committed acts of vandalism. But let me be clear, there was no insurrection and to call it an insurrection in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie.”
“Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes, taking videos, pictures,” Clyde continued. “You know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”
Rep. Clyde’s account contradicts the violent events of Jan. 6, which millions of Americans saw broadcast live, as well as via video from inside the Capitol captured by journalists, surveillance video and, later, released by authorities, including prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Shortly after a speech at the Ellipse near the White House, in which then-President Trump encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which he lost, supporters marched to the Capitol, where Vice President Mike Pence and a joint session of Congress were meeting to certify now-President Joe Biden’s victory.
Rioters went on to storm the Capitol, smashing through windows and caused major damage. Some chanted “Hang Mike Pence” with a gallows erected on the Capitol grounds, and “Where’s Nancy?” as they searched for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, banging on her office doors. Some of the assailants attempted to breach the House chamber, which ultimately led to the death of Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by police officers after attempting to climb through a glass door.
The hearing took place shortly after Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming was removed from her House GOP leadership position for rebuking former President Donald Trump’s false claims about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Cheney was one of 10 Republican lawmakers in the House who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riot.
The hearing before the House Oversight Committee saw former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen testifying publicly for the first time about Jan. 6, defending their respective agencies’ responses to the chaos. Democrats clashed with Miller in addition to clashing with their Republican counterparts over what they said was revisionist history.
Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona said that Babbitt was “executed,” despite the fact that the Department of Justice said that the officer involved in the shooting will not face criminal charges.
Georgia Rep. Jody Hice also brought up Babbitt at the hearing, saying ”it was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the…