There was a moment, a brief moment, when Republicans seemed genuinely upset that supporters of Donald Trump had battered their way through multiple police lines, smashed open doors and windows at the Capitol, ransacked congressional offices, and prowled the halls carrying weapons and supplies to subdue any potential hostages they might find. For just a brief span of time, the GOP thought this was a bad thing. But that feeling only lasted approximately long enough to get over their fear that the gallows erected on the White House lawn was there to stretch their own necks.
But just as Kevin McCarthy went from cussing out Donald Trump for refusing to call off his excrement-spreading mob to traveling to Mar-a-Lago to deliver a public ass-kissing, the tide soon turned. After all, these people carrying zip ties and bear spray into the Senate chamber were the same people who had threatened poll workers from Pennsylvania to Arizona. The same people who had spent the summer waving AR-15s around state capitols from coast to coast. The same people who carried those torches at Charlottesville. In other words: their base.
Republicans formalized that relationship by filibustering the effort to create a nonpartisan committee to investigate the events of Jan. 6. They underlined the commitment when McCarthy attempted to sabotage the House Select Committee. And back in July, Rep. Andy Biggs proposed making support for the insurgents not just acceptable in Republican ranks, but the test of what it means to be a Republican. And now, Biggs is pushing McCarthy to make it official by kicking Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger out of the House Republican Conference.
As CNN reports, Biggs has drafted a letter for McCarthy insisting, among other things, that the people who went prowling through the halls to chants of “hang Mike Pence” and openly demanded the execution of Nancy Pelosi were not actually engaged in an insurrection. That’s far from the first time: Back in May, Biggs insisted that the invasion was indistinguishable from a “normal tourist visit.” He was joined by Rep. Paul Gosar, who decided that even investigating the attack, in which over 100 members of the Capitol and Metro D.C. police were injured, was simply “harassing peaceful patriots.”
In his letter, Biggs says that in agreeing to take part in the committee investigating the causes and details of Jan. 6, Cheney and Kinzinger had not just “chosen to work with Democrats,” but had become “spies” who couldn’t be trusted to participate in Republican strategy sessions. And there’s a very specific reason that Biggs wants those strategy sessions closed: He’s likely to be the subject of future sessions.
As Arizona Central reported just days after the events of Jan. 6, the man who created the nationwide string of “Stop the Steal” rallies, including the events that took place on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, provided some very specific credit for the idea of using that day to lock the counting of the Electoral College vote:
“I was the person who came up with the Jan. 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then Congressman Andy Biggs,” Alexander said. “We four schemed up of putting max pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside.”
The connection between this set of Republican representatives and the people who not only planned the events on Jan. 6 but attempted to intimidate poll workers in multiple states has been recognized for some time. By a complete noncoincidence, Biggs, Gosar, and Brooks were specifically included in the list of people whose Jan. 6 phone records are being sought by the House Select Committee.
Some of those on the list—like McCarthy, Rep. Jim Jordan, and Rep. Matt Gaetz—were included because they were known to have called Trump during the assault on the Capitol, begging him to call off his troops. Those calls are direct evidence that Republicans understood from the moment it happened that the attacks were being conducted by Trump supporters, and that those supporters were under the direct control of Trump.
But the records of Biggs, Gosar, and Brooks—along with some others on the list like Rep. Madison Cawthorn and Rep. Lauren Boebert—are being sought for another reason. Those Representatives are under suspicion of directly communicating with not just Trump or people in his circle, but with those directly involved in the insurgency. Among other things, there is suspicion that information was provided to insurgents advising them on the best way to traverse the Capitol building, and possibly direct information on where to find Pelosi, Pence, or other potential victims of the mob.
In short, Biggs wants Cheney and Kinzinger kicked out of the Republican conference because he wants to be able to “strategize” about saving his own traitorous hide without anyone listening in with a possible interest in justice. Also, by pushing the only Republicans on the committee aside, Biggs hopes to demean the bipartisan nature of the committee. If this seems like the people accused of a crime trying to undercut the process by which evidence is collected and crimes are assessed, that’s exactly what it is.
In the process, Biggs is making his embrace of both the insurgents and the insurgency a test of what it means to be Republican. And what’s amazing about this request to send the whole party down a seditionist rabbit hole is that he’s likely to get it.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.