Siblings of GOP Rep. Paul Gosar want him kicked out of Congress, and call him ‘a traitor to this country’

paul gosar
Rep. Paul Gosar.

  • The siblings of GOP Rep. Paul Gosar are calling for their brother’s removal from Congress.
  • “I consider him a traitor to this country,” Dave Gosar said of his brother to NBC News.
  • Gosar has been a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump’s debunked election claims.
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For months, GOP Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona has been one of the most vocal supporters of former President Donald Trump’s debunked election claims. Now, his siblings are calling for his ouster from Congress for backing the former president’s claims of a “rigged” election.

Dave Gosar, a Wyoming lawyer and one of Gosar’s nine siblings, told NBC News that his brother was a “traitor.”

“I consider him a traitor to this country. I consider him a traitor to his family,” he said, according to a report published on Monday. “He doesn’t see it. He’s disgraced and dishonored himself.”

Dave Gosar told NBC that his estranged brother has not yet been severely reprimanded due to political considerations.

“They’re trying to bury it just like they bury everything in the past. And I want to tell you if they think that’s going to fly this time, they’re sorely mistaken,” he said, adding: “I think he should be removed from Congress, and they have the power to do it, no matter what they tell you.”

Jennifer Gosar, a Spanish translator and the congressman’s sister, told NBC that she was “shocked” that no action been taken against her brother regarding his role in the January 6 Capitol riot.

“I’m shocked that he’s not censured now, that there hasn’t been a process for expulsion,” she said. “I mean, I think all the elements are clear. And maybe there’s something I’m missing, but they’re not acting on it to really allay any fears of the public.”

Read more: Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville is a vocal critic of China’s government. He also owned stock in a Chinese company with Communist Party ties.

When now-President Joe Biden appeared to be the victor in Arizona after Election Day last year, Gosar pushed unfounded theories that “glitches” could have impacted the final results.

On January 6, Gosar also objected to the certification of the presidential results from Arizona, a swing state that Biden won by a little over 10,000 votes, demanding that a full audit be conducted in electoral behemoth Maricopa County.

After the deadly riot that occurred on that same day, Gosar has repeatedly pressed government officials about the death of Ashli Babbitt, an insurrectionist who was killed by Capitol Police. And, during a congressional hearing earlier this month, he criticized the circumstances behind her death.

After the hearing, GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was removed from the House Republican leadership team over her vocal criticism of Trump’s false election claims, rebuked Gosar for saying that Babbitt was “executed” by the Capitol Police.

Six of Gosar’s nine siblings first attracted national attention in the 2018 election cycle when they were featured in an television ad, pleading with voters not to support the congressman’s reelection bid.

Earlier this month, siblings Tim and David Gosar appeared on CNN and apologized for the congressman’s conduct and comments about the Capitol insurrection.

“On behalf of the actual sane members of our family – which is everyone but Paul – we apologize … for [Gosar’s] despicable comments and disgraceful conduct through this whole incident,” David Gosar said at the time.

During the CNN interview, Tim Gosar also blasted the congressman’s behavior.

“Once you lose your focus on the truth, once you become someone that peddles in lies, once you become basically a snake oil salesman, the truth is a really slippery thing to get your arms around,” he said. “It’s really hard to go back to the truth once you become a pathological liar like Paul has become.”

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Paul Gosar’s brothers called the lawmaker’s comments about the Capitol riots ‘despicable’ and said he was a ‘pathological liar’

Paul Gosar CPAC Reuters.JPG
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 27, 2021.

  • Rep. Paul Gosar’s brothers appeared on CNN on Thursday morning to talk about the lawmaker’s Capitol riot comments.
  • Rep. Gosar had said Ashli Babbitt was “executed” by a Capitol police officer.
  • His brothers called the comment “despicable” and called Gosar a “snake oil salesman.”
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Rep. Paul Gosar’s brothers rebuked him after the lawmaker said that a Capitol police officer was “lying in wait” to “execute” rioter Ashli Babbitt.

Tim and David Gosar called the congressman’s comments on the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection “despicable” and apologized “on behalf of the actual sane members of our family” in an interview with CNN on Thursday morning.

“Once you lose your focus on the truth, once you become someone that peddles in lies, once you become basically a snake oil salesman, the truth is a really slippery thing to get your arms around,” Tim Gosar said during the interview. “It’s really hard to go back to the truth once you become a pathological liar like Paul has become.”

Gosar said during a House hearing this week that the officer who shot and killed Babbitt as she attempted to break through a door and enter the House floor “appeared to be hiding, lying in wait and then gave no warning before killing her.” The congressman also asserted that the officer, whose identity is not public, “executed” Babbitt.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Liz Cheney says it was ‘disgusting and despicable’ for fellow GOP Rep. Paul Gosar to accuse Capitol Police of ‘lying in wait’ for Jan. 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt

liz cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.

  • Liz Cheney rebuked Paul Gosar for saying that the Capitol Police “executed” Ashli Babbitt.
  • Babbitt, one of the Jan. 6 rioters, was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer.
  • “It is disgusting and despicable to see Gosar lie about that day,” Cheney said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming on Tuesday blasted fellow Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona for placing the blame for the death of Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt with the Capitol Police.

Cheney, one of the most prominent Republican critics of former President Donald Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, rebuked Gosar for his comments in a tweet.

“On January 6, as the violent mob advanced on the House chamber, I was standing near @RepGosar and helped him open his gas mask,” she wrote. “The Capitol Police led us to safety. It is disgusting and despicable to see Gosar lie about that day and smear the men and women who defended us.”

During a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Tuesday, Gosar questioned FBI director Christopher Wray about Babbitt, who was fatally shot by a Capitol police officer.

After Gosar asked Wray if he knew who “executed” Babbitt, Wray said that he didn’t know the name of the officer who was involved in the shooting.

“It’s disturbing,” Gosar said at the hearing. “The Capitol police officer that did this shooting appeared to be hiding, lying in wait and then gave no warning before killing her.”

Read more: Steve Bannon asked Trump’s DOJ to reimburse more than $1 million in legal fees from the Russia probe

In April, the Department of Justice announced that they would not pursue charges against the officer who shot and killed Babbitt.

In a statement at the time, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said “the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”

On Tuesday, GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a vocal Trump critic, also criticized Gosar for his comments regarding Babbitt.

“You’re sick Paul, sadly,” he tweeted. “Truth is, Ashli was manipulated by people like you and breached an area and put lives in danger despite being repeatedly warned not to. The real criminals are the liars abusing people for political power.”

Since the Jan. 6 riot, some of the most conservative House members have tried to downplay the severity of the attack, including Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, who described the harrowing scene at the Capitol as similar to a “normal tourist visit.”

Later on Tuesday, Gosar and 20 other House Republicans voted against legislation to award Congressional Gold Medals to police officers who protected lawmakers during the riot.

The legislation easily cleared the House in a 406-21 vote.

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Rep. Paul Gosar learned the hard way: supporting the insurrection has consequences in Congress

paul gosar trumpism 2x1
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 27, 2021.

  • Representative Paul Gosar has supported the January 6 insurrection from the beginning.
  • He has since found that it’s tougher for him to get things done in Congress.
  • Let this be a lesson to Republicans: undermining our democracy has consequences.
  • Raul Grijalva is the US representative for Arizona’s third district.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When armed insurrectionists broke into the US Capitol on January 6, I had just finished speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives. My colleagues were debating a motion to reject the results of Arizona’s election for president, which had been resolved in favor of President Biden.

I spoke against the motion – the challenge was not based on any evidence – and took my seat. I was followed briefly by Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, who has played a leading role in the insurrectionist cause from the beginning. He was, somewhat ironically, the last person to speak before security officials ordered an evacuation.

Just a few hours earlier, Rep. Gosar had challenged the certification of Arizona’s electoral votes during a joint session of Congress, receiving a standing ovation of nearly 30 seconds from his House and Senate Republican colleagues for his efforts. That morning, he led a crowd of Trump supporters in chants of “Stop the steal” at the now-infamous rally near the Capitol, and tweeted a demand that Biden concede the race, concluding ominously, “Don’t make me come over there.”

Rep. Gosar has only doubled down since then. At a May 12 hearing of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, he called the insurrectionists “peaceful patriots” who have been maligned only because of their support for Donald Trump.

It’s not unsurprising that his tune hasn’t changed. Whatever you may think of his political sentiments, they are clearly genuinely held. But like all extremists, he should be prepared to accept the consequences of his actions, and now that his colleagues are starting to impose those consequences, he is deflecting and making excuses rather than confronting them honestly.

This came to a head on May 24, when a panel of the Natural Resources Committee, which I chair, held a hearing on a politically uncontroversial bill called the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act. As the name suggests, the bill – sponsored by Democratic Rep. Mike Levin – creates incentives and eliminates barriers to develop clean energy projects on certain federally managed lands. It has been a popular and bipartisan piece of legislation for years.

Rep. Gosar knows the bill would benefit his own constituents tremendously, and he had been its leading Republican cosponsor in previous sessions of Congress. Unfortunately, his name carries negative weight among his Democratic colleagues, and having him play a leadership role in this Congress would hurt the bill’s chances of passage. As a result, Rep. Levin informed Rep. Gosar in mid-May that he could not serve as lead cosponsor of the bill this year and made it clear that this was a consequence of his role in the insurrection.

Rather than accepting this as a relatively small price to pay for his convictions, Rep. Gosar immediately introduced his own bill – with language identical to Rep. Levin’s – and told a reporter this was happening because of his “vocal criticisms of the Biden administration and its focus on climate change as it relates to the use of federal lands.” His own press release went so far as to suggest, disingenuously, that his bill would be the one discussed on May 24. It was not.

This is worse than crocodile tears. This is rewriting history. Rep. Gosar pretending on the one hand that a violent attack on the US Capitol is all much ado about nothing and, on the other, that he isn’t facing pushback for his leading role that day, suggests that he isn’t as ready to sacrifice for his cause as he wants his supporters to believe. If he is proud of his record, he should forthrightly say as much. Instead, we are seeing a deliberate effort to muddy the waters by a member of Congress who seems incapable of dealing with the real consequences of his actions before, during, and after January 6.

Those who try to sanitize what happened during the attack on the Capitol are free to do so, but outside their bubble, they have destroyed their credibility. Federal law enforcement agencies continue to make arrests in connection with a multitude of crimes committed that day. The big lie – that Donald Trump really won in the 2020 election – continues to wreak very public havoc, both in Arizona and elsewhere, and will unfortunately take a long time to die.

As a lifelong Democrat, I’m not in the habit of quoting Richard Nixon, but as he once observed, “The best and only answer to a smear or to an honest misunderstanding of the facts is to tell the truth.” I have no doubt that Rep. Gosar continues to believe himself the victim of smears and misunderstandings. But he needs to remember that his colleagues were there that day on the floor of the House, heading for the exits at the very moment his supporters broke into the building because of the false and dangerous story he was telling.

It’s time for him – and his like-minded colleagues who are similarly avoiding responsibility – to start telling the truth, not least of all to themselves. Their actions are unpopular, and with Democrats in the majority in Congress, there will continue to be consequences.

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GOP Rep. Paul Gosar was slammed after praising Ashli Babbitt, who was killed while storming the Capitol on January 6

US Representative Paul Gosar
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., speaks during a Congressional field hearing on the Affordable Care Act in Apache Junction, Ariz. Gosar appears to be signaling support for a conspiracy theory that Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

  • Ashli Babbit was shot and killed by police while storming the Capitol on January 6.
  • GOP Rep. Paul Gosar praised Babbitt and claimed she was “executed.”
  • On Friday, he was slammed for praising her with quotes from a U2 song about Martin Luther King Jr.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GOP Rep. Paul Gosar was slammed after praising Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by police while storming the Capitol on January 6.

In a tweet, Gosar wrote: “They took her life. They could not take her pride. #onemoreinthenameoflove.”

The message paraphrased lyrics from the song “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2, which is about Martin Luther King Jr.

Babbit was one of five people who died after supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol.

She was shot by a Capitol Police officer when she tried to climb through a door where the glass had been broken out in the Speaker’s Lobby outside the chamber where members of the House of Representatives were meeting. The officer fired one round from his service pistol that hit her left shoulder, the agency said.

The Justice Department did not pursue charges against the officer who shot and killed Babbit and said there was insufficient evidence to support criminal charges.

Gosar, a Republican from Arizona, previously defended the rioters, calling them “peaceful patriots.” He’s also claimed Babbitt was “executed.”

So far, 500 people have been arrested for alleged crimes tied to their activity during the Capitol attack.

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who was one of a few Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the Capitol insurrection, responded with “Paul you’ve lost your mind.”

“Side note to anyone watching, don’t breach the house floor illegally, especially after warned,” Kinzinger added.

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GOP Rep. Paul Gosar said police ‘executed’ Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol riot and that the feds are ‘harassing peaceful patriots’

paul gosar
Rep. Paul Gosar.

  • The House Oversight Committee held a hearing Wednesday about the January 6 Capitol attack.
  • GOP Rep. Paul Gosar said the rioter who died was “executed” and that others were “peaceful patriots.”
  • Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz accused him of downplaying the actions of “violent insurrectionists.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

During a congressional hearing Wednesday, Republican and Democratic lawmakers offered up conflicting views over what occured on January 6, when a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol and clashed with police, forcing lawmakers to evacuate.

Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona painted the people who participated in the riot as victims, referring to them as “peaceful patriots” who are being harassed by the government, and said Ashli Babbitt, the woman who was killed by Capitol police during the attack, was “executed.”

The House Oversight Committee hearing included testimony about that day from former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee.

Read more: Paul Gosar is the GOP’s under-the-radar hardcore culture warrior

“Outright propaganda and lies are being used to unleash the national security state against law-abiding US citizens, especially Trump voters,” Gosar said.

He referred to Babbitt, a veteran and QAnon believer who was shot and killed after she had broken into the Capitol, as a “young lady, a veteran wrapped in a US flag.” Babbitt was shot as she tried to crawl through a broken out window that led to the Speaker’s Lobby and House Chamber where lawmakers were evacuating.

Gosar asked Rosen who “executed” Babbitt. The officer that shot her was not charged in her death and has not been named. After an investigation, officials said there was no evidence that “the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress.”

Gosar also criticized the Department of Justice for its investigation and charges brought as a result of the January 6 attack. He said the agency is “harassing peaceful patriots across the country.”

To date, at least 472 people have been arrested in the Capitol insurrection, with charges that include assaulting police officers, assault with a dangerous weapon, and violent entry of the Capitol, among others.

Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia also downplayed the violent actions of the people who attacked the Capitol, and said: “It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others.”

During the hearing, Democrats offered a different assessment of that day, with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida calling out her GOP colleagues directly.

“I want to take a moment to correct some of the dangerous rhetoric and falsehoods uttered by Republicans during this hearing,” she said. “Mr. Gosar used his questions to downplay the actions of violent insurrectionists who left 140 police officers injured.”

“It’s shocking how quickly Republicans will turn on law enforcement when it fits their agenda,” she said.

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John Boehner: The ‘so-called America First Caucus’ is ‘one of the nuttiest things I’ve ever seen’

John Boehner
Former House Speaker John Boehner.

  • Boehner slammed the effort by a group of House Republicans to create an “America First Caucus.”
  • On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Boehner called the idea one of the “nuttiest” things he has witnessed.
  • “We ought to celebrate the fact that we are this giant melting pot,” he said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday derided the plan that several House Republicans had to form an “America First Caucus,” calling it one of the “nuttiest” things he has witnessed.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Boehner, who served as speaker from 2011 to 2015, laced into the group.

“I can tell you that this so-called America First Caucus is one of the nuttiest things I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Punchbowl News on Friday reported that conservative GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona were building a Republican caucus centered on “Anglo-Saxon political traditions” that would, among other issues, oppose “mass immigration” and coronavirus-related lockdowns.

On Saturday, Greene said that she would not be spearheading an “America First Caucus,” adding that she had not read the document that Punchbowl News released the day before.

Read more: Visa’s PAC gave politicians $139,000 in March after vowing to pause contributions because of the Capitol insurrection

Boehner criticized the worldview of those who conceived of such a caucus.

“I have no idea how this even showed up,” he emphasized. “America is a land of immigration. We’ve been the world’s giant melting pot for 250 years. And we ought to celebrate the fact that we are this giant melting pot.

He added: “To see some members of Congress go off and start this America First Caucus is – it’s the silliest thing I’ve ever seen. And Republicans need to denounce it.”

GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California reprimanded the effort through Twitter on Friday.

“America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work,” he wrote. “It isn’t built on identity, race, or religion. The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans – not nativist dog whistles.”

Later in his interview, Boehner expressed regret for not reaching a deal on immigration reform with former President Barack Obama.

“Our immigration system is a mess,” he said. “It’s broken from top to bottom. And it needs to be fixed so that it’s fairer for Americans who are here and fairer for those who are trying to come here.”

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Republican lawmakers condemned pro-Trump caucus emphasizing ‘Anglo-Saxon political traditions,’ said GOP is not about ‘nativism’

Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks during a news conference
Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks during a news conference

  • GOP lawmakers are reportedly starting a caucus that emphasizes “Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”
  • Other Republicans came out against it, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger saying members should be punished.
  • Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Liz Cheney also post came forward to condemn “nativism” in the GOP.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Multiple Republican lawmakers have come out against an “America First Caucus” created by their colleagues that emphasizes “Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”

Punchbowl News reported Friday the caucus was formed by GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar to “follow in President Trump’s footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation,” according to a document obtained by the outlet.

The document also included a number of false statements concerning immigrants, foreign aid, and US elections, as Insider’s Sonam Sheth reported.

A number of Republicans have since condemned the caucus, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois saying anyone who joins should be punished by the GOP.

“I believe anyone that joins this caucus should have their committees stripped, and the Republican conference should expel them from conference participation,” Kinzinger said in a tweet. “While we can’t prevent someone from calling themselves Republican, we can loudly say they don’t belong to us.”

Read more: Paul Gosar is the GOP’s under-the-radar hardcore culture warrior

Kinzinger is a regular critic of former president Donald Trump and his most loyal allies, but some Republicans less critical came out in opposition as well.

“The hatefulness of this statement is only surpassed by its ignorance of American history and values,” Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado tweeted of the caucus document.

Others did not mention the caucus by name but came forward to condemn nativism, a policy of protecting the interests of the native-born against those of immigrants, saying it has no place in the GOP.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, a strong ally of Trump, tweeted in an apparent reference to the caucus.

“America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work. It isn’t built on identity, race, or religion,” he said. “The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans-not nativist dog whistles.”

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming also sought to separate the GOP from some of the ideals outlined in the caucus document.

“Republicans believe in equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all. We teach our children the values of tolerance, decency and moral courage. Racism, nativism, and anti-Semitism are evil. History teaches we all have an obligation to confront & reject such malicious hate,” she said in a tweet.

A number of Trump loyalists plan to join the caucus, according to Punchbowl News, including Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who is currently facing a federal sex-trafficking probe.

Gaetz tweeted he is “proud” to join the caucus.

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A CA Democrat compiled a report of social media posts by GOP lawmakers who voted to overturn the 2020 election – including 177 pages on Paul Gosar

Zoe Lofgren
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) walks through the U.S. Capitol, as Democrats debate one article of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump, in Washington, U.S., January 13, 2021.

  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren compiled a report of social media activity from lawmakers who voted to overturn the election.
  • The 1,939-page report includes posts from before the election in November and after the Capitol riots.
  • The longest section is Arizona at 257 pages, and 177 pages list social media activity by Rep. Paul Gosar.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

A California Democrat compiled a nearly 2,000-page report documenting social media posts by lawmakers who voted to overturn the 2020 election.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who chairs the chair of the House Administration Committee and served as a House impeachment manager in the first impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, asked her staff to compose the 1,939-page report, which has been public online for a week.

It includes posts from other members of the House of Representatives immediately before the election in November and after the Capitol riots on January 6.

In the foreword of the report, Lofgren wrote of the “deep concerns” she has about Trump and “the actions he took which incited and encouraged the domestic terrorists who attacked the Capitol.”

The House voted to impeach the former president for the second time on a single charge of inciting the violence at the Capitol insurrection. He was later acquitted by the Senate.

“Like former President Trump, any elected Member of Congress who aided and abetted the insurrection or incited the attack seriously threatened our democratic government,” Lofgren wrote in the report’s foreword. “They would have betrayed their oath of office and would be implicated in the same constitutional provision cited in the Article of Impeachment.”

“Any appropriate disciplinary action is a matter not only of the Constitution and law, but also of fact,” the California Democrat continued. “Many of former President Trump’s false statements were made in very public settings.”

“Had Members made similar public statements in the weeks and months before the January 6th attack?”

The report proceeds to break down social media activity by representatives by state. The longest section, at 257 pages, is Arizona – with 177 pages listing social media activity by Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican from Arizona. Gosar has faced recent scrutiny for speaking at a white nationalist conference.

Gosar came under scrutiny after Ali Alexander, who organized the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the Capitol riots, said three GOP congressmen – Reps. Reps. Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, and Gosar – helped him orchestrate it, according to a January report by The Washington Post.

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GOP Rep. Gosar skipped the House stimulus bill vote to attend a white nationalist event in Florida

Paul Gosar
Paul Gosar (R-AZ) speaks during a panel discussion about the Devaluing of American Citizenship during the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona skipped Friday’s stimulus vote to attend the AFPAC committee. 
  • The conference is a white nationalist alternative to CPAC. 
  • Gosar cited special rules introduced by Congress during the pandemic to skip attending the vote in person. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona skipped Friday night’s vote on the stimulus bill to attend a white nationalist conference in Florida. 

Gosar on Friday night was among the attendees of America First Political Action Committee (AFPAC), a far-right alternative to the CPAC conference of conservatives held nearby. 

White nationalist activist Nick Fuentes organizes the conference. Fuentes was among the far-right activists who rallied Trump supporters ahead of the January 6 Capitol riot and attended the Charlottesville white nationalist rally in 2017. 

 

Gosar had told Congress that he couldn’t attend the vote on the $1.9 stimulus bill proposed by the Biden administration under rules allowing lawmakers to cast votes remotely for reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The stimulus bill passed the Democrat-controlled House in a vote in the early hours of Saturday. 

Gosar sought to justify attending AFPAC in a statement to the Washington Post Saturday, claiming he was trying to reach out to younger Republicans. 

“We thought about it, and we thought: There is a group of young people that are becoming part of the election process and becoming a bigger force,” Gosar told the Post. “So why not take that energy and listen to what they’ve got to say?”

The following day he attended CPAC, reported Arizona Central, where he sought to distance himself from white nationalism, at a panel discussion he spoke at.

 

“I denounce, when we talk about white racism, that’s not appropriate,” Gosar said. “I believe in a strong immigration system, but a legal immigration system.”

A spokesperson for Gosar did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

At the AFPAC event, Fuentes said that “white people are done being bullied,” and praised the Capitol riot, where five people lost their lives, as “awesome,” describing it as “light-hearted mischief,” reported The Daily Beast. 

He also mocked Rep. Madison Cawthorne, of North Carolina, who is partially paralyzed, for being in a wheelchair, according to the report. 

Gosar was joined at the AFPAC conference by former Rep. Steve King. He was expelled from committee duties in 2019 after questioning why “white supremacy” was considered wrong. He lost a primary challenge for his Iowa seat in 2020 after being abandoned by GOP leadership. 

Read the original article on Business Insider