by Julie Kelly
It’s about time.
U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) prompted outrage this week following his remarks during a congressional hearing on the events of January 6, 2021.
Clyde, along with several Republican House members, is finally pushing back on the Democrats’ allegedly unassailable narrative about what happened that day. The roughly four-hour disturbance at the Capitol, as I’ve covered for months, is being weaponized not only against Donald Trump but also hundreds of nonviolent Americans who traveled to their nation’s capital to protest the final certification of a fraudulent presidential election.
Big Tech used the so-called “attack” on the Capitol as an excuse to achieve its long-sought-after goal to deplatform the former president; NeverTrumpers such as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) insist the chaos of the day was fueled by the “Big Lie”—in other words, the belief held by tens of millions of Republicans—and a good share of independents—that Joe Biden didn’t legitimately earn enough votes to win the White House. The Biden regime vows to use the “whole of government” to purge the country of “domestic violent extremists,” which is code for Trump supporters.
And the media continue to blatantly lie about the number of fatalities on January 6, including the myth that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died at the hands of Trump “insurrectionists.”
But some Republicans are fed up with all the myths, the Justice Department’s abusive manhunt for Capitol protesters, and the obvious double standards.
After citing the Russian collusion hoax and Robert Mueller’s special counsel probe as the “only insurrection” he’s ever witnessed, Clyde unloaded on former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and former acting defense secretary Christopher Miller during their testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
“The House floor was never breached and it was not an insurrection,” Clyde said. “This is the truth. There was an undisciplined mob, there were some rioters and some who committed acts of vandalism. But let me be clear. There was no insurrection, and to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bald-faced lie.”
Some videos, Clyde accurately concluded, looked like scenes from a “normal tourist visit.”
His comments caused the predictable pearl-clutching. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who initiated the falsehood that January 6 was an “armed insurrection,” accused Clyde of being in “denial . . . and in the range of sick” for daring to call out the obvious discrepancies between cherry-picked video footage that showed scenes of violence and other recordings that showed far less dangerous activity.
“Nothing makes my blood boil more than Republicans whitewashing the Capitol Insurrection,” Representative David Cicilline (D-R.I.) raged on Twitter about his Republican colleague. “Three cops died. 140 injured, including one who lost an eye and another who lost three fingers. 38 caught COVID.” (Democrats and the media insist on counting not only Sicknick as one officer who died as a result of January 6 but two others who reportedly committed suicide in the days following the chaos.)
MSNBC mouthpiece and Capitol Hill “correspondent” Leigh Ann Caldwell confronted Clyde on Thursday morning in front of the cameras. “Do you regret saying that? Five, five people died including police officers,” Caldwell lied to the congressman’s face and to her ignorant audience.
The facts, of course, are of no use or interest to the news media, Democrats, or NeverTrumpers who hope January 6 is the fatal blow to the Trump-supporting Right—a monster, in their view, that will not die no matter how hard they try—which is why, as another Republican congressman noted during the committee hearing, such virulent spin is necessary.
“Outright propaganda and lies are being used to unleash the national security state against law-abiding U.S. citizens, especially Trump voters,” Representative Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) said in his opening remarks. “The FBI is fishing through homes of veterans and citizens with no criminal records and restricting the liberties of individuals who have never been accused of a crime. It was reported early, totally unconfirmed, that an armed insurrection beat a police officer to death with a fire extinguisher.”
Gosar asked Rosen whether the Justice Department confiscated any firearms from people who entered the building on January 6. (Rosen refused to answer but the answer is no.) Gosar also raised the killing of Ashli Babbitt, the veteran shot by an unidentified security guard. She was unarmed, Gosar noted, and “wrapped in an American flag.”
“Who executed Ashli Babbitt?” Gosar asked Rosen. Again, he refused to answer.
The Arizona Republican also called for the release of surveillance tapes recorded by the Capitol security system on January 6; the Justice Department and federal judges are concealing that footage from the public and even from defense attorneys. “The American public should see that footage,” Gosar said. “If my Democratic colleagues really want the truth, they would join me in demanding the release of this Capitol surveillance footage.”
Democrats, obviously, do not want the truth. Why bother with the truth when falsehoods and orchestrated optics, such as a rare memorial service in the Capitol rotunda for Brian Sicknick, yield the political results they desire, no questions asked? Pelosi, after repeated promises to form a bipartisan 9/11-style commission to investigate the Capitol breach, has been slow-walking the threat. The House Speaker now is working with Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), one of 10 GOP congressmen who voted to impeach Trump in February, to negotiate the commission’s membership and objectives.
Regardless of whether any performative 9/11-style inquisition comes to fruition, it’s encouraging—albeit past time—to see Republicans challenge the destructive and intentionally dishonest account of January 6. “The narrative needs to be cleaned up,” Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) said Wednesday. “The truth matters.”
Well, not to everyone. It doesn’t matter to Nancy Pelosi or to Liz Cheney or to MSNBC reporters or, quite frankly, to nearly every Democratic voter. It does, thankfully, still matter to tens of millions of Americans who believe their votes were disqualified by a rigged presidential election and who are now considered wannabe insurrectionists and domestic terrorists-in-waiting by the Left and their own government.
The script about that day might have been concocted by Democrats and the media but the true account of what happened before, during, and after is still being written. Republicans took a big step forward this week in fighting back.
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Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. After college graduation, she served as a policy and communications consultant for several Republican candidates and elected officials in suburban Chicago. She also volunteered for her local GOP organization. After staying home for more than 10 years to raise her two daughters, Julie began teaching cooking classes out of her home. She then started writing about food policy, agriculture, and biotechnology, as well as climate change and other scientific issues. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1990 with a degree in communications and minor degrees in political science and journalism. Julie lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and (unfortunately) three dogs.
Photo “Jan. 6 riot” by Brett Davis CC 2.0.