By Jason Silverstein
March 5, 2021 / 4:02 PM / CBS News
A Democratic congresswoman has released a nearly 2,000-page report compiling social media posts about the 2020 election from House Republicans who voted to overturn the results. The report lays out how some Republicans relentlessly pushed misinformation and conspiracy theories about election fraud, and kept at it even after Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol.
“Like former President Trump, any elected Member of Congress who aided and abetted the insurrection or incited the attack seriously threatened our democratic government,” Representative Zoe Lofgren writes in the introduction of her report.
The California lawmaker suggests the social media posts could be used as evidence for potential punishments of these Congress members, including expulsion and any criminal charges stemming from the Capitol insurrection.
“Statements which are readily available in the public arena may be part of any consideration of Congress’ constitutional prerogatives and responsibilities,” Lofgren writes. “Accordingly, I asked my staff to take a quick look at public social media posts of Members who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election.”
All information in the report was already available publicly, but this is the first comprehensive review of how lawmakers relentlessly promoted falsehoods about the election on Facebook and Twitter. It compiles posts between November 3, 2020 and January 31, 2021 from the 147 House Republicans who voted to overturn the election’s outcome.
The report shows that some of former President Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters in the House posted more than 100 attacks on the election’s integrity in less than three months.
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Representative Paul Gosar was the most prolific, with his posts taking up 177 pages of the report. The Arizona Republican’s messages include phony allegations of his own state “stealing” the election, and support for protests against local election officials. He wrote in one post that officials who were “stealing” votes were committing “sedition and treason.”
Gosar’s office declined to comment to CBS News.
Posts from Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama, one of the first Congress members to publicly challenge Mr. Trump’s defeat, span 123 pages of the report. Posts from Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican sworn in to Congress on January 3, take up nearly 100 pages.
The posts echo many popular conspiracy theories that later disproven through investigations, including claims that dead people voted and that Dominion voting machines flipped votes to Joe Biden. Some House Republicans posted selfies from “Stop The Steal” protests against the election results. Some also told supporters that Mr. Trump had indeed won the election.
These falsehoods fueled the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6 as Congress counted the electoral votes confirming Mr. Biden’s victory. The siege led to five deaths, and to Mr. Trump being impeached a second time just one week before the end of his term.
But the report shows that even this didn’t change the tone from some Republicans, who continued to post about election “irregularities” and “fraud” in the days after the riot. Several equated the Capitol riot with Antifa, Black Lives Matter and the nationwide racial justice protests from 2020.
“Those who stoke insurrection & spread conspiracy theories have blood on their hands,” Taylor Greene wrote in a January 7 tweet tying top Democrats to mob violence. “They must be expelled.”
First published on March 5, 2021 / 4:02 PM
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