Ethics complaint filed against Biggs, Cawthorn and Gosar over Capitol riot
A government watchdog group is asking the House Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate GOP Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Madison Cawthorn (N.C.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) over the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The complaint from the liberal watchdog group Campaign for Accountability accuses the House Republicans of inciting the riot as part of “a seditious conspiracy to use force to prevent Congress from carrying out its constitutional and statutory duties to count the votes of the Electoral College.”
The group is also asking the House ethics office to recommend the congressmen be expelled from the House if it is found that they violated federal law.
The GOP lawmakers were vocal supporters of President Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, and all voted to uphold objections to Arizona and Pennsylvania’s electors after Congress resumed its count after the riot.
Far-right activist Ali Alexander, who helped rally Trump’s supporters ahead of Congress’s electoral count, has claimed he planned a rally that preceded the riot with the support of Gosar and Biggs, The Washington Post reported.
Gosar and Alexander both spoke at a “Stop the Steal” event in November, and Biggs was featured in a video that played during a December rally in Arizona, according to the Campaign for Accountability.
Daniel Stefanski, a spokesperson for Biggs, said in a statement to The Hill that the congressman “did not organize or participate in any way in rallies or protests for January 6. He was solely focused on his preparation to debate issues of election integrity on the House floor that morning.”
“The left and the mainstream media will not be able to distract Rep. Biggs from his work, nor silence his conservative voice based on blatantly false allegations.”
Gosar’s office didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Cawthorn gave a speech at the Jan. 6 rally in which he said in part, “My friends, the Democrats with all the fraud that they have done in this election, the Republicans hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice. Make no mistake about it, they do not want you to be heard, but my friends when I look into this crowd I can confidently say this crowd has the voice of lions.”
During a Turning Point event in December, he also encouraged supporters to “lightly threaten” members of Congress who did not plan to object to the Electoral College count.
“And feel free, you can lightly threaten them, and say, ‘You know what? If you don’t start supporting election integrity, I’m coming after you, Madison Cawthorn is coming after you. Everybody’s is coming after you,’ ” he said.
Cawthorn has previously brushed off allegations that he was involved in the riot on Capitol Hill. His office did not comment on the complaint.
Senate Democrats have filed a similar complaint against Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) over the riot.
Several people died during the riot, including a Capitol Police officer who sustained injuries responding to the mob. More than 100 arrests have been made in connection to the riot and dozens of people have been charged.
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