The former co-chairman of the Jan. 6 House inquiry sparred with Sen. Mike Lee, a fellow Republican, on X, formerly Twitter, over the weekend after a conspiracy about the Capitol attack resurfaced.
Mr. Lee, a right-wing conservative in the U.S. Senate, pointed to recently released video of Capitol police officers having relatively peaceful interactions with rioters as evidence that Donald Trump supporters were welcome on Capitol Hill during the attack.
His tweets came more than two years after the attack, as Congress continues to host dueling accounts of the day's events. Democrats, moderate Republicans and law enforcement agencies involved in the response have embraced the reality of the situation — that a few moments where officers tried to peacefully yield ground to rioters were not indicative of the majority of interactions between rioters and police. Dozens of injuries and at least one death suffered by members of the US Capitol Police reinforce the absurdity of the alternative view shared by some Republicans that the rioters had peaceful intentions and were just “tourists.”
In his latest attempt to embrace alternate realities aimed at shifting blame for the attack, Mr Lee tweeted a Republican lawmaker from West Virginia who falsely claimed that a rioter seen on video running past several Capitol police officers displayed a government ID of some sort to these officers. .
“I look forward to asking FBI Director Christopher Wray about this at our next oversight hearing,” the senator wrote.
Liz Cheney, who served as the Republican co-chair of the House committee that investigated the attack, responded with a warning.
“You're a lawyer, Mike. You are able to understand the scores of J6 verdicts and decisions in our federal courts,” he tweeted. “You didn't object to voters in J6 because you knew what Trump did was unconstitutional and you know what you're doing now is wrong.”
A Twitter community note attached to the screenshot Mr. Lee reposted correctly noted that the man tagged as the alleged federal agent had been convicted of felony obstruction of official proceedings and disorderly conduct. he has been sentenced to four years in prison. The supposed badge in the image the senator reposted is actually an item stolen from then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's office, which was ransacked by the supposedly peaceful crowd.
Lee is not alone among his colleagues in Congress in his efforts to downplay the seriousness of the attack itself or to shift the blame to the FBI and other federal agencies with baseless claims of “false flags” and federal agents supposedly leading the attack. crowd to violence.
DC official accuses right of whitewashing Capitol rebellion
These claims have been categorically denied by every law enforcement agency involved in the response that day, as well as by America's intelligence agencies – not to mention statements from the rioters themselves.
Trump White House officials, including chief of staff Mark Meadows, were also revealed to have known the protest would likely turn violent days before it took place, even as the president continued to urge his supporters to align with Washington.