The Republican Party is more like ‘Tinder for terrorists’ than the party of Abraham Lincoln, a former homeland security official told MSNBC

Former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor.
Former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor.

  • A former homeland security official said the Republican Party is like “Tinder for terrorists.”
  • Miles Taylor made the comments on MSNBC while talking about the right-wing “Justice for J6” rally.
  • The self-proclaimed Republican said the GOP no longer resembled the party of Abraham Lincoln.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A former homeland security official said the Republican Party is like a “Tinder for terrorists,” where radicals around the country can “swipe right and match with an extremist politician who amplifies their views.”

Miles Taylor, former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, commented on MSNBC on Saturday to discuss the “Justice for J6” rally.

Miles Taylor said he found the “spike in support for political violence” across the country to be “disturbing.”

“This is a rally being held to free the insurrectionists. And let me be clear, these are not political prisoners. These are criminals. Some of whom are responsible for the death and injury of police officers.”

The right-wing rally, organized in support of more than 600 people arrested for the Capitol riot, was ultimately sparsely attended.

However, in the days leading up to the event, Donald Trump spoke out in support of the Capitol rioters, calling them “political prisoners.”

Taylor, a self-proclaimed Republican, criticized his party for excusing the Capitol rioters and repeating the widely disproved claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

Donald Trump and his allies have filed dozens of lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results, but all of them failed.

“The Republican Party, my party, in many cases has continued to promote the Big Lie, but worse, has offered and vocalized support for these criminals,” Taylor said.

Miles Taylor said the Republican Party had to ask itself whether it wanted to continue being the party of Abraham Lincoln and founding ideals.

“Today, I think we look more like a Tinder for terrorists where radicals around the country can swipe right and match with an extremist politician who amplifies their views, and then when they get into trouble and commit crime tries to go bail them out from prison,” Taylor said.

“So if you ask me right now, we look a little bit less like the party of Lincoln and more like a Tinder for terrorists.”

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Donald Trump Jr. mocked men he alleged were undercover law enforcement officers who attended the failed ‘Justice for J6’ rally

Donald Trump Jr., son of former president Donald Trump.
Donald Trump Jr., son of former president Donald Trump.

  • On Saturday, a right-wing rally in support of Capitol rioters drew a meager crowd.
  • Donald Trump Jr. took to Twitter to mock law enforcement officials whose disguises were apparently unconvincingly.
  • Law enforcement officials on the scene reportedly outnumbered the protesters.
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Donald Trump Jr. retweeted an image of a group of men attending the rally, dressed in shorts and sunglasses, and suggested they were undercover feds.

The “Justice for J6” rally, organized in support of more than 600 people arrested in relation to the Capitol riot, was sparsely attended but had a significant media and police presence.

In a series of tweets, Donald Trump Jr. mocked what he claimed to be undercover law enforcement officials.

“Apparently they stopped teaching trade-craft and replaced it with CRT and White Rage Studies at Quantico,” Trump Jr. said about the men in a tweet.

“They almost fooled the 2 non-feds in attendance,” he said in another tweet.

It’s unclear whether the men were law enforcement officials or not.

Trump Jr. also retweeted a series of images purporting to show a Capitol police officer accidentally unmasking an undercover officer by finding his badge.

“What an absolute joke. It’s a shame at the hard-working men and women of law-enforcement, the actual door kickers, are being led by such clowns and forced into these bullshit situations to entrap Americans,” he wrote.

It’s unclear whether the man in question was a police officer and whether he was attending the rally in a professional capacity.

Trump Jr. shared another tweet about the incident and wrote, “If only Biden spent as much time being tough on the Taliban as he did trying to set up and entrap Americans utilizing federal law-enforcement.”

Although the rally was expected to draw large crowds, turnout was low.

The Associated Press reported that law enforcement on the scene easily outnumbered the protesters.

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Trump said GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy ‘pretended to be my best friend, and then, he fucked me’: book

Trump McCarthy
Former President Donald Trump and House GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy step off Air Force One on May 30, 2020 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

  • Trump remains angry with McCarthy after the GOP leader said Trump bore some responsibility for Jan 6.
  • “This guy called me every single day, pretended to be my best friend, and then, he fucked me,” Trump said.
  • “Kevin came down to kiss my ass and wants my help to win the House back,” Trump also said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

According to a yet-to-be released book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, former President Donald Trump has continued to seethe with anger towards Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California after McCarthy blamed Trump for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“This guy called me every single day, pretended to be my best friend, and then, he fucked me,” Trump said, according to a new preview of the book by CNN. “He’s not a good guy.”

In the week following the Capitol attack, McCarthy endorsed a resolution to censure the former president while saying Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack by mob rioters”

“What we saw last week was not the American way, neither is the continued rhetoric that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president. Let’s be clear: Joe Biden will be sworn in as president of the US in one week because he won the election,” McCarthy said at the time.

In a phone call between the two on the day of the riot, McCarthy pleaded with Trump to call off the mob, only for Trump to rebuke him. “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump said.

Despite McCarthy’s later attempts to repair his relationship with the former President – including a trip to Mar-a-Lago to visit Trump in late January – Trump reportedly continues to hold McCarthy in low esteem.

“Kevin came down to kiss my ass and wants my help to win the House back,” said Trump, according to the book.

CNN reported that Trump also remains angry with other Republicans who blamed Trump for the riot.

In the months since the insurrection, McCarthy has walked back from his initial position. The GOP leader booted Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from her position as the House GOP Caucus chair after she continued to stress Trump’s role in imperiling democracy, and he has refused to cooperate with a new house select committee investigating the attacks.

In late August, McCarthy warned telecom companies not to comply with a request issued by the select committee, which included the records of “individuals potentially involved in discussions” about challenging and delaying Congress from affirming President Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.

“If the companies choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law,” said McCarthy in a statement, while not specifying what law the companies would be breaking.

Woodward and Costa’s book, “Peril,” focuses on the final weeks of Trump’s presidency and is set to be released on September 21.

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Mike Pence tells a woman impersonating a Capitol rioter ‘I love your heart’ in hidden camera recording

Vice President Mike Pence makes his way to the House floor to tally electoral college votes on Jan. 6, 2021.
Vice President Mike Pence makes his way to the House floor to tally electoral college votes on Jan. 6, 2021.

  • A Democratic operative impersonating a Capitol rioter asked Pence why he didn’t stop the election from being “stolen.”
  • “Uh, read the Constitution,” replied Pence, explaining that states had already certified the results.
  • “I love your heart, thank you,” Pence told the woman as he walked away.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

At a Sunday event in Nebraska City, former Vice President Mike Pence appears to have told a woman impersonating a Capitol rioter “I love your heart,” according to a hidden camera recording.

“We were there on January 6th, and we were just wondering why you didn’t stop the election from being stolen?” asks Lauren Windsor, a Democratic operative who recently began going undercover to secretly record Republican politicians.

“Uh, read the Constitution,” replies Pence. “The only authority the Congress has is to open and count. The electoral college votes are certified by the states. We never want Washington, DC to run our elections.”

“States run the elections, and no state had submitted more than one set of electors,” Pence continued. “So, our only job was to open and count. But read the Constitution and see.”

Windsor then pressed Pence over whether he believed the election was stolen. “We were there fighting for President Trump,” Windsor said.

“I think there were a lot of irregularities that are now being fixed at state levels,” said Pence, likely referring to a slew of new voting laws that have been passed in Republican states. “But states – you never want Washington, DC to run elections,” Pence continued.

“I love your heart, thank you,” Pence said as he walked away.

Pence made the remarks at the Nebraska Steak Fry, an event held by Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts that was attended by several GOP leaders.

Pence has faced blistering criticism from the right after he declined to intervene in the certification of electoral votes on January 6th. Even after the mob breached the Capitol, former President Trump tweeted that Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”

Earlier that day, Pence released a statement where he expressed sympathy for those alleging the election was illegitimate, but said “my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.”

Meanwhile, some of the rioters storming the Capitol that day said that they planned to hang Pence from a tree outside the Capitol.

The video of Pence was filmed by Windsor, a partner at the Democratic media organization Democracy Partners, as part of a new project by her web show, The Undercurrent, that uses undercover tactics to “expose” Republican politicians for embarrassing remarks.

In July, The Undercurrent taped GOP Virginia Gov. candidate Glenn Youngkin praising the ideas of defunding Planned Parenthood and enacting a “heartbeat bill” like what recently passed in Texas as “on the right track.” Recently, she covertly filmed Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin saying “there’s nothing obviously skewed” about the 2020 presidential election results in his state, despite some GOP claims to the contrary.

Asked about her group’s connection to the Democratic Party, Windsor told Insider that the group has “not received funding from the DNC itself,” and that the group is “a small organization, and I’ll leave it at that.”

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Police will put fencing back up around the Capitol building ahead of a far-right rally supporting Jan. 6 rioters

capitol siege fence
Razor wire and fences still surround the United States Capitol building at sunrise a few days after the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

  • US Capitol Police will reinstall fencing around the Capitol building ahead of a far-right rally.
  • The rally, dubbed “Justice for J6,” is scheduled for September 18.
  • The event is being held to support rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6, according to its organizers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US Capitol Police will reinstall fencing around the perimeter of the Capitol ahead of the upcoming “Justice for J6” rally planned for September 18.

Capitol Police chief Tom Manger, who confirmed the news to Insider, told reporters on Monday that authorities will put up the fencing “a day or two” ahead of the event.

The rally is being held to support people who have been accused, arrested, and charged for their involvement in the Capitol insurrection on January 6, according to organizers of the event. Since the riot, 639 people have been arrested and charged with crimes in connection to it.

The fencing is expected to come down “soon” after the September 18 rally if “everything goes well,” Manger told reporters.

Law enforcement officials are preparing for potential clashes and violence at the event, as counterprotests are being scheduled on the same day and inflammatory rhetoric surrounding the event has increased online, according to an internal Capitol Police memo obtained by CNN.

“We are closely monitoring September 18 and we are planning accordingly,” Manger said in an emailed statement to Insider. “After January 6, we made Department-wide changes to the way we gather and share intelligence internally and externally. I am confident the work we are doing now will make sure our officers have what they need to keep everyone safe.”

Fencing was initially erected around the federal government building following the January 6 riot, which saw supporters of former President Donald Trump overpower police and break into the Capitol complex. The fencing remained up until July.

The upcoming event is being organized by Look Ahead America and led by Matt Braynard, the former director of data and strategy for the Trump campaign, Insider previously reported. It is scheduled to take place at 12 p.m. local time on Saturday at Union Square, a public plaza located just west of the Capitol building.

Protestors should refrain from wearing or bringing political paraphernalia and should stick to donning red, white, and blue “to show your support of the J6 prisoners,” according to details of the event on Look Ahead America’s website.

Top Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Republicans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, were briefed on Monday by Capitol police on the forthcoming security measures.

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In light of upcoming ‘Justice for J6’ rally, top security officials are expected to approve fencing around the Capitol

In this April 2, 2021, file photo, the U.S. Capitol is seen behind security fencing on Capitol Hill in Washington.
In this April 2, 2021, file photo, the U.S. Capitol is seen behind security fencing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Law enforcement concerned by the prospect for violence at a rally in the nation’s Capitol next week are planning to reinstall protective fencing that surrounded the U.S. Capitol for months after the Jan. 6 insurrection there, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

  • Far-right extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are planning to attend the rally.
  • Additional rallies will be held simultaneously at capitals, parks, and courthouses in 13 other states.
  • Event organizer Matt Braynard predicted 700 people will be in attendance, according to The Guardian.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Congressional security officials are expected to authorize the installation of a seven-foot fence and use of deadly force for a far-right rally next weekend on Capitol Hill’s plaza demanding the release of rioters who descended on the building on January 6, according to The Guardian.

Look Ahead America said on its website that the “Justice for J6” rally in Washington DC is scheduled to take place on September 18 in Union Square, along with additional rallies at capitals, parks, and courthouses in 13 other states.

The organization’s Executive Director Matt Braynard, former director of data and strategy for the Trump campaign, said in a video that the goal of the rallies is to raise awareness about the civil rights violations endured by “political prisoners” arrested in relation to the January 6 riot.

He also asked attendees to refrain from wearing or bringing political paraphernalia, banners, or flags referencing a political candidate, organization, or the 2020 election.

Braynard predicted 700 people will be in attendance when he filed for the event’s permit, according to The Guardian. Sources familiar with intelligence gathered by federal officials said far-right extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are planning to attend the rally.

Security officials weighed whether to request the National Guard at the Washington DC rally but decided against its deployment following a threat assessment, The Guardian reported.

Final recommendations will be unveiled Monday in a briefing with congressional leaders.

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Nancy Pelosi said protestors who plan to attend the September 18 rally at the Capitol are ‘coming back to praise the people who were out to kill’ during the January 6 riot

A picture of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on September 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pelosi spoke on a range of issues, including the debt ceiling and climate change.

  • Pelosi condemned those who plan to attend a Sept. 18 rally outside the Capitol.
  • The House Speaker accused them of trying to “praise the people who were out to kill” on January 6.
  • Authorities are taking security measures in advance, according to an internal memo obtained by CNN.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed those who plan on attending the upcoming rally outside the Capitol, accusing them of “coming back to praise the people who were out to kill” during the January 6 riot.

Capitol Police are preparing security ahead of a right-wing protest in Washington, DC, on September 18, according to an internal memo obtained by CNN. Intelligence officials told the Associated Press members of far-right extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are expected to attend the rally.

The rally, dubbed “Justice for J6,” aims to support the events of January 6 and demand “justice” for suspected rioters criminally charged in the insurrection. Support for the September event also increased following the unveiling of the identity of Capitol Police officer who shot Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, CNN reported.

In remarks to reporters on Wednesday morning, Pelosi condemned those who intend on protesting outside the Capitol on September 18.

“And now these people are coming back to praise the people who were out to kill, out to kill members of Congress,” Pelosi said.

The House Speaker pledged to keep the integrity of the Capitol “intact” but did not go into specifics of security measures law enforcement will take to protect the building.

A Capitol Police spokesperson told Forbes the USCP is “working with our local, state, and federal partners” in preparation for September 18. The DC Metropolitan Police will have an “increased presence around the city where demonstrations will be taking place,” spokesperson Brianna Burch told Forbes.

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Adam Kinzinger says the GOP shouldn’t win a majority in the House if it is ‘pushing division and pushing lies’

Adam Kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger told CNN on September 5 that he did not think the GOP should win a majority in the House if it pushes “division” and “lies.”

  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger told CNN he does not think the GOP should win the House if it pushes “division” and “lies.”
  • Kinzinger said he wanted to see “actual Republican values” in a GOP majority.
  • But he said the GOP should not have a majority unless it “fights for real conservative values.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger told CNN this weekend that he doesn’t think the Republican Party should win a majority unless it “actually tells (the) truth and fights for real conservative values.”

Kinzinger told CNN’s Dana Bash that as a Republican, he still wanted to see “actual Republican values” and in the majority.

“All I can say right now is my party has to embrace truth. We have to have a full reckoning of what happened on January 6 and we have to turn away from conspiracy,” Kinzinger said during his appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on September 5. “I think if we’re going to be in charge and pushing conspiracy and pushing division and pushing lies, then the Republican Party should not have the majority.”

Kinzinger, who has a seat on the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 Capitol riot, is facing opposition from within the GOP and is in a fairly precarious political position now because of his role in the investigation.

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs and the House Freedom Caucus have called on minority leader Kevin McCarthy to remove both Kinzinger and fellow House select committee member, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, from the House Republican Conference. Cheney and Kinzinger were the two Republicans who were nominated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to sit on the panel investigating the events of January 6.

Kinzinger accused his GOP colleagues in the House Freedom Caucus who are pushing for his and Cheney’s removal of being supportive of “bloodshed” and “flirting around with white nationalism.”

“The question is – what is our party going to be? Are we going to be the party of opportunity and hope, or the party of anger and division, where truth has no place in it?” Kinzinger said.

“If Andy Biggs has his way, we will be the party where truth-tellers and people that want to stand up for the Constitution, like Liz Cheney and myself, get kicked out of the party because there’s no room for truth. So, I would encourage the rest of my colleagues in the Republican Party to not just passively resist that move, but to do it openly and honestly,” Kinzinger told CNN.

He added that he is “not worried” about his future in the party, but added that the GOP “desperately needs some people to stand up and tell the truth.”

In July, Kinzinger, who made a name for himself as an anti-Trump Republican, called the GOP’s demands for him to be punished for serving on the House Select Committee “petty.”

The Illinois lawmaker was seen tearing up at the Committee’s first hearing on the Capitol riot on July 27 after hearing officers’ testimonies about the racism and physical harm they were subjected to by rioters who unleashed violence upon them.

More than 630 people have been arrested in connection with the riots, an Insider database shows. Their charges range from assaulting members of law enforcement to disorderly conduct in a restricted building. More than 1,000 assaults were committed against police officers on January 6, per Axios.

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GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn says the Capitol rioters were mostly ‘normal people’ who were ‘kind of wandering in’

Madison Cawthorn moves through a hallway while looking at the camera.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn said in an exclusive interview with North Carolina news outlet Smoky Mountain News that the Capitol rioters were mostly “normal” people who were “wandering” into the building.

  • GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn has doubled down on his defense of the Capitol rioters.
  • Cawthorn told a North Carolina news outlet that most Capitol rioters were “normal people” who were “kind of wandering in.”
  • Reports released this week found that Capitol rioters committed more than 1,000 assaults on police on January 6.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

North Carolina GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn has doubled down on his defense of the Capitol rioters.

In an exclusive September 2 interview with Smoky Mountain News, a local news outlet based in North Carolina, Cawthorn said the rioters were mostly “normal people” who were “kind of wandering in.”

“I believe a group of people within the January 6 protestors, a small minority who literally were the ones that endangered people’s lives, ones who got very aggressive, who were the ones busting down the doors, were going bare-knuckle fisticuffs with the Capitol Police. Those people, I believe are dangerous individuals,” Cawthorn said in the interview.

“But the overwhelming majority of the people of the January 6 thing were just normal people, there for a normal protest to redress their government. And then they saw an open door at the top of the Capitol, and they were just kind of wandering in,” Cawthorn said.

The North Carolina lawmaker also made the news earlier week when he called the Capitol riot suspects “political hostages.” Speaking at an August 29 event in Franklin, North Carolina, Cawthorn said he wanted to “try and bust them out of jail.”

“If our election systems continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen, it’s gonna lead to one place and it’s bloodshed,” said Cawthorn in his August 29 speech.

His comments this week come amid reports that more than 1,000 assaults were committed against police officers on January 6, per Axios.

Cawthorn is not the only member of the Republican party who has made public statements minimizing the violence that took place at the Capitol on January 6. In May, Rep. Andrew Clyde likened the Capitol rioters to tourists.

Other prominent conservatives like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz have also spoken up in defense of the Capitol rioters, calling them “political prisoners” at a press conference on July 27. Greene and Gaetz even made an unannounced visit to the DC Department of Corrections on July 29 in an attempt to visit the Capitol riot suspects. They accused the DC authorities of “hiding something” when they were not admitted entrance.

Multiple police officers who were at the Capitol have said the events of January 6 were far from peaceful. In a July 27 hearing before the House select committee that is investigating the riot, officers gave testimonies about the racism and physical harm they were subjected to by attackers during the riot.

More than 630 people have been arrested in connection with the riots, an Insider database shows. Their charges range from assaulting members of law enforcement to disorderly conduct in a restricted building.

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Rep. Madison Cawthorn calls Jan 6 rioters ‘political prisoners,’ suggests he wants to ‘try and bust them out’ of jail

Rep. Madison Cawthorn speaks to Trump supporters from the Ellipse at the White House in Washington on Jan 6, 2021.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn speaks to Trump supporters from the Ellipse at the White House in Washington on Jan 6, 2021.

  • Rep. Madison Cawthorn likened pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol to ‘political prisoners.’
  • Cawthorn said his office was ‘actively working on’ plans to bring Trump supporters ‘back to Washington.’
  • The congressman suggested there would be ‘bloodshed’ if elections ‘continue to be stolen.’
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

At an August 29 event hosted by the Macon County Republican Party in Franklin, NC, Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn referred to jailed January 6th rioters as “political prisoners,” and suggested he wanted to “try and bust them out of jail.”

During the event, the congressman spoke with attendees about the crisis in Afghanistan, COVID-19 vaccines, and conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, according to a video posted on the party’s Facebook page.

“What are you doing to support the 535 Americans that were held captured in– from January 6?” asked an attendee, apparently referring to pro-Trump rioters that remain in police custody.

“Political hostages!” Cawthorn declared, saying his office was working on trying to figure out more about the situation. “When we are seeking answers, [the federal government is] giving us the biggest runaround that you possibly could imagine.”

“The big problem is, we don’t actually know where all the political prisoners are,” continued Cawthorn. “So if we were to actually be able to go and try and bust them out– and let me tell you, the reason why they’re taking these political prisoners is because they’re trying to make an example,” he said, cutting himself off.

“When are you going to call us to Washington again?” asked another attendee, prompting applause from the group and a grin from Cawthorn.

“That– we are actively working on that one,” replied Cawthorn. “We have a few plans in motion I can’t make public right now, but this is something that we’re working on. There are a lot of Republicans who don’t want to talk about this.”

Cawthorn went on to claim that “536 people are being held in solitary confinement” and are being denied “religious freedoms.”

According to a searchable database created by Insider, 630 people have been charged in the Capitol insurrection so far, with charges ranging from assaulting law enforcement to disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds. The Guardian reported in May that at least 70% of those charged in the Capitol riot had been released.

Some of the rioters that violently stormed the Capitol on January 6 are in solitary confinement, though not as many as Cawthorn claims. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren criticized the practice in an April interview with POLITICO, saying it was “cruel and psychologically damaging.”

Towards the end of his speech, Cawthorn dangled the threat of political violence.

“If our election systems continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen, it’s gonna lead to one place and it’s bloodshed,” said Cawthorn. “And I will tell you, as much as I’m willing to defend our liberty at all costs, there’s nothing that I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American. And the way that we can have recourse against that is that we all passionately demand that we have election security in all 50 states.”

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