GOP Senator Goes All In On ‘Nutball’ Jan. 6 Conspiracy Theories | EUROtoday

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WASHINGTON ― Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) over the weekend promoted false conspiracy theories concerning the riot on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, after House Republicans launched hours of uncooked footage from that day.

Lee stated he couldn’t wait to ask FBI Director Chris Wray about a picture of a person who was convicted of storming the Capitol and coming into the workplace of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calf.). The picture was shared by one other Jan. 6 skeptic who prompt the person was an undercover federal agent posing as a supporter of Donald Trump.

“I predict that, as always, his answers will be 97% information-free,” Lee stated of Wray in a publish on X, previously Twitter, on Saturday.

But the picture of the person was truly of Kevin Lyons, a Chicago man who was convicted of six federal fees referring to the rebellion, per NBC News’ Ryan Reilly. And Lyons wasn’t flashing a police badge, because the publish had prompt, however reasonably a vaping gadget.

In one other publishcommenting on a video of Trump supporters attacking police, Lee requested: “How many of these guys are feds?”

There have at all times been Republicans who lied about what occurred on Jan. 6, falsely claiming that the rioters have been peaceable, that they have been secretly leftists, or that they have been undercover FBI brokers. But Lee’s statements on social media have been outstanding, given his efforts to depict himself as an mental defender of the U.S. Constitution and his obvious unwillingness to make any effort to test his info.

Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who helped lead the House committee that investigated the assault on the Capitol, stated {that a} “nutball conspiracy theorist appears to be posting” from Lee’s account. In a follow-up, she reminded Lee that he voted in favor of certifying the election on Jan. 6.

“You’re a lawyer, Mike. You’re capable of understanding the scores of J6 verdicts & rulings in our federal courts,” Cheney wrote on social media. “You didn’t object to electors on J6 because you knew what Trump was doing was unconstitutional & you know what you’re doing now is wrong.”

Lee’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Even although he didn’t vote to throw out Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, Lee was initially supportive of the Trump White House’s efforts to contest the 2020 presidential outcomes, serving to push legally doubtful schemes from John Eastman, a right-wing legal professional who authored “coup memos” for Trump. Just just a few days earlier than the Jan. 6 riot, Lee shifted course and backed off.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Friday ordered the House administration committee to start publicly releasing hundreds of hours of footage from safety cameras contained in the Capitol complicated. The footage had beforehand been obtainable for viewing solely to reporters and legal defendants, although its broader public dissemination had been requested by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and others.

In a assertion on FridayJohnson prompt that individuals who appropriately perceive the occasions of Jan. 6 ― that it was a riot by Trump supporters offended that he misplaced the 2020 election ― have been duped by a government-imposed “interpretation” of the day’s occasions. Releasing the footage, Johnson claimed, would reveal what truly occurred.

Gaetz, who falsely claimed on Jan. 6, 2021, that a number of the rioters “were members of the violent terrorist group ‘antifa,’” amplified social media posts over the weekend claiming that your complete riot had been a setup.

Court instances have revealed that paid FBI informants did tag together with sure teams of rioters on the Capitol, although protection attorneys haven’t alleged their purchasers attacked the Capitol as a result of they’d been manipulated.

A former particular agent in control of the FBI’s Washington area workplace instructed lawmakers earlier this 12 months that the FBI didn’t deploy undercover brokers or confidential informants into the group on the Capitol, however that some informants got here to Washington on their very own.

Before Lee and others homed in on Lyons, Republicans’ prime suspected “fed” was an Arizona man named Ray Epps, arbitrarily singled out from video footage for supposedly performing suspicious. Lawmakers like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) refused to withdraw their accusation even after Epps stated beneath penalty of perjury that he had no affiliation with any federal company, and even after he was charged with a criminal offense this 12 months for being on restricted Capitol grounds.

Last week, earlier than Johnson launched the video footage, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) invented a brand new conspiracy idea that the FBI had introduced busloads of brokers dressed as Trump supporters to Washington.

“I’ve turned a lot of this evidence over to the appropriate authorities, and we’ll see what happens,” Higgins instructed HuffPost. “When we get Trump back in the White House, these guys are in a bind.”

Wray, for his half, has repeatedly instructed Republicans that FBI brokers and informants didn’t orchestrate the ransacking of the Capitol.

“If somebody is asking or suggesting whether the violence at the Capitol on January 6th was part of some operation orchestrated by FBI sources or FBI agents or both, the answer is emphatically not,” Wray stated final week.