The Insurrectionists

While attacking democracy is a mainstay of the Republican playbook, the usual lies were not enough for these seventeen GOP legislators. After stoking up the fury of a misinformed mob, they didn’t want to be left behind and attended the demonstrations on Capitol Hill. Five people died as a result of the violence that day, but don’t expect much contrition from these extremists.

 
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Rep. David Eastman, AK

  • Eastman has previously been censured due to racist remarks about indigenous Alaskans, and lost his committee assignments in earl.

  • After attending the demonstrations in Washington, he proudly claimed to be the only Alaskan to travel to the insurrection. He later falsely claimed that Antifa was responsible for the violence and minimized President Trump’s role in the insurrection.

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Rep. Mark Finchem, AZ

  • Finchem has been affiliated with right-wing extremist groups, including the Oath Keepers and the Coalition of Western States. Finchem attended the demonstrations in DC and shared photos of rioters, saying that the violence was “what happens when the People feel they have been ignored, and Congress refuses to acknowledge rampant fraud.”

  • He later claimed Antifa was behind the violence in DC (and made similar claims about the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville) and complained more about DC’s curfew getting in the way of his GrubHub order than the loss of life on Capitol Hill.

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Rep. Anthony Kern, AZ (outgoing)

  • Kern is a former police officer who was fired for misconduct. After losing reelection in November, he joined a frivolous lawsuit against President Pence for him to overturn the results of the election.

  • He later attended the demonstrations in Washington, calling it a “D-day in DC” to support Trump. He later deflected blame for the riots and claimed that “only a small few broke the law.”

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Rep. Richard Champion, CO (outgoing)

  • Champion traveled to DC with his wife to attend the Stop the Steal rally, and maintains that he remained outside the Capitol. He described the rioting as “extremely polite.” He insinuated that the insurrectionists were not Trump supporters, claiming that one of the rioters “had a hammer and sickle tattoo.” 

  • He didn’t approve of everything that happened in DC that day, however. “It was flat-out wrong,” he said, in reference to the number of portable toilets on the scene. For Champion, the bathroom situation was more appalling than the violence, attacks on law enforcement, or the deaths associated with the insurrection.

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Rep. Ron Hanks, CO

  • Hanks attended the Trump speech, where he said the President told them to “fight like hell.” He then joined supporters in marching on the Capitol, though he claims that he didn’t come close to any of the violence.

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Rep. Vernon Jones, GA (outgoing)

  • On the morning of the demonstration, Jones announced at the rally he was formally joining the Republican Party and declared his intent to fight “demon Democrats.” He later said that Trump supporters were going to “take back this country.”

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Rep. Chris Miller, IL

  • Miller, the husband of Congresswoman Mary Miller, posted a video shortly before the riot in which he railed against “dangerous Democrat terrorists,” and said “we’re in a great cultural war to see which worldview will survive.”

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Del. Dan Cox, MD

  • Cox organized buses to the demonstrations in Washington and attended himself; sending a tweet during the riots calling Vice President Pence “a traitor.” He later blamed Antifa for the violence and continued spreading conspiracy theories about the election.

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Rep. Matt Maddock, MI

  • Maddock and his wife, who is posed to become co-chair of the Michigan GOP, attended the demonstrations in Washington. They spoke at a rally on the day before the riots and led the charge to overturn the election results. Maddock deleted his social media accounts afterwards and has not publicly commented on the events.

  • The Maddocks later joined a conservative Facebook group whose members spoke about a coming civil war. Another member of the group called for a “big cleanup” among elected officials.

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Rep. Justin Hill, MO

  • While Hill claims that he wasn’t part of any violence or trespassing, he participated in the demonstrations in Washington and even skipped his own swearing-in ceremony to be there.

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Assemblywoman Annie Black, NV

  • Black attended Donald Trump’s rally and later followed his order to march to the Capitol, though she claims she stayed outside. She argued that the violence was the work of “fringe elements.”

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Sen. Doug Mastriano, PA

  • Mastriano organized busloads of people to attend the demonstrations in Washington and was there himself, although he claims to have left once he saw people becoming violent. Mastriano was one of the loudest voices questioning the conduct of the election in Pennsylvania, and organized a bizarre “hearing” with Rudy Giuliani in November.

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Rep. Justin Price, RI

  • Price said on social media that he participated in a “march to the Capitol” with “patriots,” blaming the violence on Antifa. Faced with calls to resign his seat, he doubled down on his divisive rhetoric, and the Rhode Island GOP stood behind him.

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Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, TN

  • Weaver told reporters that she was “in the thick of it” at the rally and claimed that there was no violence, later blaming Antifa for the riots. She characterized the events as an “epic and historic day.”

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Rep. Kyle Biedermann, TX

  • Biedermann confirmed via email that he attended the coup because he and other rioters “wanted to be heard.”

  • He introduced legislation to pave the way for Texas to secede from the United States.

  • Biedermann also once dressed up as “gay Hitler” for “charity.”

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Sen. Angela Paxton, TX

  • Paxton, the wife of far-right Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, traveled with her husband to DC and joined him on stage while he gave a speech at the Stop the Steal rally. Her husband is under investigation for corruption and spearheaded the bogus Supreme Court case that sought to overturn the results of the presidential election.

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Sen. Amanda Chase, VA

  • Chase is a well-known extremist who earned headlines for openly carrying firearms on the Virginia Senate floor. She also called on President Trump to impose martial law and was so such a liability she was already kicked out of her own party caucus.

  • After attending the demonstrations on January 6th, Chase called the rioters “patriots” and began fundraising for her gubernatorial campaign based on them, and then claimed that Antifa was responsible for the violence.

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Del. Dave LaRock, VA

  • LaRock was a well-known far-right bigot even before the storming of the Capitol; he once called conversion therapy “beautiful” and repeatedly misgendered one of his colleagues.

  • He was one of three Virginia delegates to send a letter calling for the election results to be overturned, and later attended the demonstrations in Washington. He defended the rioters and intimated that Antifa was responsible for violence.

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Sen. Mike Azinger, WV

  • Azinger attended the demonstrations in Washington on January 6th and posted pictures from outside the Capitol. He later characterized participants as “peaceful American loving, constitution loving, God-loving Americans.”

  • He later said that he hoped Trump “calls us back” and deleted Facebook posts suggesting he entered the Capitol building, despite remaining outside.

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Del. Derrick Evans, WV (resigned)

  • Derrick Evans filmed himself trespassing in the Capitol and shared it on social media, only to claim that he participated in the riot as an “independent journalist.”

  • After being arrested for illegally entering the Capitol, Evans resigned from the West Virginia House of Delegates.