“And I neither condoned, encouraged, assisted, planned or had any role in that riot whatsoever,” Gosar wrote.
By Peter Aleshire | PinalCentral
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar has hit back against a House ethics complaint with a slashing defense of his speeches and social media posts prior to the Jan. 6 riots that led to the brief occupation of the Capitol building.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate whether Gosar helped instigate the violent riot at the Capitol building, which interrupted the effort of Gosar and others to prevent the certification of the presidential election.
Gosar dismissed that complaint as “frivolous, ill-conceived and defamatory” and vowed to seek vindication in civil court.
In a 30-page response, he reiterated his claims of voter fraud and said he was proud of his support for the Stop the Steal demonstrations and his speeches at rallies that included militia groups like Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. Some members of those groups are now facing charges connected to the riots.
Gosar said he was exercising his free speech rights by protesting voter fraud and urging people to protect their democracy. However, he said he has never condoned violence. He said his references to President Biden as an “illegitimate usurper” and calls to fight for democracy were not incitements to violence.
“It is clear, over 90 days since the riot, that it was not a rebellion, not an insurrection, and not a revolution. It was then, and now, a riot by hundreds of people that afternoon. And I neither condoned, encouraged, assisted, planned or had any role in that riot whatsoever,” he wrote.