Firebrand Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida countered Democrats' somber day of events recognizing the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by elevating unproven theories that federal government agents played a role in the violence.
"It may very well may have been a fedsurrection," Gaetz said in a press conference Thursday afternoon.
"I do not believe that there would have been the same level of criminal activity on January 6th of last year, but for the involvement of the federal government," Gaetz said in response to whether he thought the federal government caused the riot.
Greene suggested that if and when Republicans take back control of the House after the 2022 elections, they will relaunch investigations into the Jan. 6 attack.
"Going forward with the Judiciary Committee, when Republicans take back the House, as we all are upset about any type of violence and riots in this country, we should have a January 6 committee that looks for the truth, instead of protecting its own and working on its own political goals," Greene said.
Gaetz and Greene largely focused on videos featured in a report from the far-right Revolver News that pointed out several people in the crowd who appeared to be encouraging people to attack the Capitol but have not been charged with a crime.
The information they presented does not prove a government conspiracy or wrongdoing, and the pair acknowledged that there could be a reasonable explanation for that.
Three men who participated in the Capitol riot disappeared from the FBI's Capitol Violence "Most Wanted" list without explanation, and federal authorities will not explain why. The most infamous of those is Ray Epps of Arizona, a former president of the Arizona Oath Keepers militia group, who is seen in videos urging a crowd of Trump supporters on the evening of Jan. 5, 2021, to "go into the Capitol."
During an October hearing, Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie asked Attorney General Merrick Garland about the video and asked him to put to rest the theory that FBI assets or agents were present on Jan. 6 and agitated people to go into the Capitol. Garland declined, citing long-standing policy not to comment about pending investigations.
Gaetz called Garland's deflection "very suspicious."
"We're not ready to try and convict anyone, but these are the operative questions," Gaetz said.
He did not go so far as to allege, though, that the federal government purposefully incited a riot in order to disrupt the Electoral College certification. "We still have to investigate the motive," he said.
The pair were essentially the only Republicans to be seen on Capitol Hill on Wednesday other than Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who has been largely shunned by House Republicans for her criticism of former President Donald Trump and being appointed to sit on the House select committee formed to investigate the Jan. 6 riot.
"We did not want the Republican voice to go unheard, and we did not want today's historical narrative to be hijacked and captured by those who are the true insurrectionists," Gaetz said.
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