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Does Schweikert Still Find Gosar’s Conspiracies Impressive?

by Deedra Abboud in Political, Social Views
May 13, 2021 0 comments

The family of Ashli Babbitt plans to file a multimillion-dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the Capitol Police Department.

During Wednesday’s House hearing, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04) claimed Babbitt “was wrapped in a U.S. flag” and asked former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen “Who executed Ashli Babbitt?”

Ashli Babbitt, 35, of San Diego, was shot by a Capitol police officer as she attempted to break into the Speaker’s Lobby, deep inside the Capitol, while members of the House were being evacuated.

Wearing a Trump flag as a cape, Babbitt attempted to crawl through a broken window in the barricaded doorway as officers ordered rioters to stop.

No charges were brought against the police officer after an inquiry and release of several videos.

The Washington DC medical examiner said Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes and died from natural causes after being assaulted with pepper spray by rioters on January 6 and that “all that transpired played a role in his condition.”

Two men have been charged in the assault.

Also during the House hearing, Gosar asked former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen if Sicknick was killed by a fire extinguisher.

“Officer Sicknick was there acting in the line of duty and went into harm’s way,” former acting Rosen replied. “And I think as others have said, he acted as one of many heroes on that day, so –“

“He died of natural causes,” Gosar said, cutting him off.

About 140 officers were assaulted during the attack, according to a Justice Department spokesperson and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Robert Contee testifying before Congress.

An officer attacked during the riot, Mike Fanone, urged elected officials in a letter to recognize officers for their bravery that day, calling those who have downplayed the attack “disgraceful.”

Gosar also chastised the FBI for having the nerve to ask the public’s help in tracking down what he called “peaceful patriots” and he demanded the security footage of what occurred before and during the riot.

Hundred of hours of video footage are available online of the 4-hour Capitol siege as well as thousands of pictures – all showing Gosar’s “peaceful patriots” armed with flagpoles, hockey sticks, wooden clubs, bear spray, knives, and stun guns attacking police officers, even dragging some officers down the Capitol steps.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said in March that citizens from around the country had sent the FBI more than 270,000 digital media tips.

The investigation has included more than 15,000 hours of surveillance and body-worn camera footage from multiple law enforcement agencies. The government has also gathered approximately 1,600 electronic devices from over 900 search warrants, the results of hundreds of searches of electronic communication providers, over 80,000 reports, and 93,000 attachments related to law enforcement interviews and other investigative steps, authorities said in a filing.

So far, 472 people have been identified, arrested, and charged for illegally entering the Capitol to forcefully stop Congress from performing its normal duties on January 6.

More than 350 were charged with entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and more than 35 were charged with entering the Capitol with a dangerous or deadly weapon.

Of those, at least 172 defendants were also indicted by grand juries.

Authorities have connected at least 57 alleged rioters to extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Texas Freedom Force, and the conspiracy ideology QAnon.

So far, about 30 have been charged with conspiracy, a charge that alleges they coordinated with others to commit an offense.

But Gosar only sees a conspiracy by “the deep state.”

Or does he?

Asked whether it’s appropriate for members of Congress to tweet conspiracy theories in 2019, Arizona Rep. David Schweikert, R-Fountain Hills (AZ-06) said, “If it’s what got folks to actually pay attention, was it about the conspiracy theories or was it just a method to actually get attention?” 

“I see Paul sometimes after he’s done something like that and he has a grin on his face,” he added. “He knows he’s screwing with everyone.”

Schweikert said that some members of Congress — particularly when they’re in the minority party — get creative in order to drum up attention. 

“In a weird way, you’ve got to give [Gosar] credit,” he said.

Gosar’s spokesman Ben Goldey also shrugged off criticism: “If more people in Congress had a sense of humor, it wouldn’t be such a stale place,” he said. 

As I watch videos of rioters crashing through windows, pressing up stairways, and sending lawmakers and law enforcement running for their lives, I wonder how Republicans are able to justify spreading conspiracy theories as humor or attention seeking behavior.

Selling your soul for your next election is bad enough.

But selling out the American people and democracy for your next election is truly diabolical and very short-sighted for the future of our country.

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