Ethics panel declines to investigate Rep. Paul Gosar over claim he sparked Jan. 6 riot

Gosar, R-Ariz., claimed vindication over the allegation by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., which he had previously described as “devoid of reality.”/NPR

By Ronald J. Hansen | Arizona Republic

The House Ethics Committee has declined to investigate whether Rep. Paul Gosar helped instigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, as a Democratic colleague had suggested in her request for a probe.

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., told Gosar in a private letter dated June 11 that Gosar publicly shared Tuesday that the Ethics Committee he chairs would not be forming a special panel to look into the matter.

Gosar, R-Ariz., claimed vindication over the allegation by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., which he had previously described as “devoid of reality.”

“This patently baseless claim attempted to conflate political disagreements with ethics,” Gosar said in a statement on Tuesday. “The House Committee on Ethics should not be politicized for partisan purposes.”

Jayapal’s office could not be reached for comment Tuesday. She had also sought probes against Reps. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and Mo Brooks, R-Ala., and it was unclear late Tuesday whether those matters had been resolved.

In Gosar’s case, it was perhaps an anti-climactic ending to one skirmish in the ongoing partisan reckoning over what, if any, responsibility members of Congress had in triggering the deadly violence at the Capitol.

In March, Jayapal, who chairs the liberal Congressional Progressive Caucus, largely pointed to media accounts of Gosar promoting the false narrative of a stolen election in the months after former President Donald Trump lost his bid for reelection.

In written requests to the ethics committee and the Office of Congressional Ethics, which also screens such complaints, Jayapal said Gosar “urged supporters to take action against election certification, repeatedly insisting that the election had been stolen and participating in rallies alleging voter fraud.”

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