Romney: Capitol riot was ‘an insurrection against the Constitution’
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) called the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol an “insurrection against the Constitution” as some GOP lawmakers sought to minimize the violence this week.
The comment came as several Republicans, including Reps. Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Jody Hice (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.), downplayed or made false claims about the attack.
Clyde asserted during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Wednesday that calling the events of Jan. 6 an “insurrection” was a “boldfaced lie.”
Speaking to HuffPost on Thursday, Romney noted that the mob attack resulted in severe property damage and death.
“I was there,” Romney said. “What happened was a violent effort to interfere with and prevent the constitutional order of installing a new president.”
“As such, it was an insurrection against the Constitution that resulted in severe property damage, severe injuries and death,” he continued.
Romney was one of seven GOP senators to vote to convict former President Trump for inciting the insurrection. He was joined by GOP Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.).
Several of the senators have been censured by Republican groups in their states, with Romney most recently being censured by the GOP in Weber County, Utah’s fourth-most populous county.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Clyde asserted that a photo of individuals walking in Statuary Hall after breaching the Capitol looked like a “normal tourist visit,” despite evidence showing rioters engaging in vandalism and violence elsewhere in the building.
Gosar declared that Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter who was shot by a Capitol Police after trying to breach the House chamber, was “executed” while also stressing that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died of “natural causes.” Sicknick suffered two strokes while responding to the mob attack.
Hice said that Babbitt and four others who died that day were Trump supporters, not “supporters who were taking the lives of others.”
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) began asking his Democratic colleagues on Friday to sign a resolution censuring the three lawmakers for their comments.