Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) recounts screaming “This is because of you!” at Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) during January 6th insurrection. pic.twitter.com/XX0Phdb7uN
— The Recount (@therecount) August 13, 2021
Dear Commons Community,
As the House select committee begins investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, one key line of inquiry will be the role Republican members of Congress played in helping set the stage for the violence.
Yesterday, Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., recounted how he vented his anger at Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., as the rioters stormed the Capitol and halted the certification of the Electoral College vote. In a video interview posted to Twitter (see above) by the Recount, Phillips recalled that “Rep. Gosar, from Arizona, was objecting to the Arizona slate of electors” when a Capitol Police officer “announced that we should take cover.”
Phillips said he stood up at the back of the gallery, on the second floor of the House chamber, and “at that moment, I simply shouted out at the top of my lungs, ‘This is because of you!’ I screamed it.”
Audio of Phillips’s outburst was captured on video as members led by Gosar and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had begun debating a challenge to Arizona’s 2020 election results.
A Minnesota Reformer article from Jan. 6 described the eruption by Phillips as Capitol Police moved to lock down the House floor.
“This has been brewing for four years,” Phillips said, according to a pool report, when asked about his comments after he and other lawmakers had been evacuated from the chamber as a pro-Trump mob ransacked the Capitol. “And the collective dereliction of duty manifests itself in that moment for me.”
Trump had publicly pressured Republican lawmakers to help him undo his defeat in the 2020 election by challenging the Electoral College results in six key states. Gosar played a major role in that effort. Before voting to block Joe Biden’s electoral victory in Arizona, he repeatedly promoted Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud in the weeks following the November election. In December, he attended a “Stop the Steal” rally at the Arizona state Capitol and promised a crowd of Trump supporters that “Once we conquer the Hill, Donald Trump is returned to being the president.”
On the morning of Jan. 6, Gosar tweeted a photo of a crowd of pro-Trump protesters already gathered in front of the Washington Monument with the message: “Biden should concede. I want his concession on my desk tomorrow morning. Don’t make me come over there.”
In the months since, Gosar has attempted to downplay the severity of the attack on the Capitol and to deflect blame for the violence away from Trump supporters. He has claimed that Ashli Babbitt, a pro-Trump rioter who was fatally shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer while trying to climb through the broken window of a door to the speaker’s lobby, was “executed.” His campaign office has also promoted an unfounded conspiracy theory that the FBI “might have had a hand” in carrying out the riot.
The insurrection on January 6th was because of Gosar and the Trump sycophants in the Republican Party.