More than 60 House Republicans have joined a resolution, led by Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, that declares former president Donald Trump did not engage in an insurrection on January 6 – just days before the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case.
In a heated press conference on Tuesday, Mr Gaetz was joined by several notable Trump-allied Representatives to claim the January 6th attack on the Capitol was not an insurrection, Mr Trump did not engaged in the surrection and that the Colorado Supreme Court erred in their decision to remove the former president from the ballot for engaging in such.
“We are here today to authoritatively express that President Trump did not commit an insurrection and we believe Congress has a unique role in making that declaration,” Mr Gaetz said.
“It’s not the jobs of the state, especially not the job of some bureaucrats in Colorado to make that assessment,” he added.
The resolution, which uses language nearly identical to Section Three of the 14th Amendment, states “President Donald J Trump did not engage in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or give aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
It comes just two days before the Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in the case from Colorado where Mr Trump was disqualified from the ballot for engaging in insurrection.
Mr Gaetz and the group of House Republicans emphasised their point by sharing what they believe to be the actions on January 6 and blamed the media for pushing what they called lies about what actually transpired.
“You’re doing nothing but lying and selling the lies of the Democrats all for campaigns and elections,” Georgie Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene loudly asserted to members of the media on Tuesday.
Missouri Representative Eric Burlison downplayed violence on January 6, saying that the people who came to the Capitol were not armed and only trying to express their First Amendment right.
“It’s your job to make sure that people’s rights aren’t being taken away,” Mr Burlison told the media.
The Department of Justice says that about 140 police officers were injured during fighting with Trump supporters on January 6. At least five people lost their lives, including police officer Brian Sicknick, who suffered two strokes the following day.
The Colorado Supreme Court disqualified Mr Trump from the ballot in December, saying his rheotric leading up and on January 6th incited the mob to storm the Capitol while Congress was trying to certify the 2020 election results.
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 6, 2024
Under that finding, the state’s supreme court said Mr Trump could not appear on the presidential primary ballot under Section Three, which prohibits officers of the United States from taking office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof”.
However the Trump-aligned representatives said that January 6 was not an insurrection and any challenges to Mr Trump’s ballot eligibility was a “targeted political witch hunt”.
Among the questions the US Supreme Court may have to answer is whether or not January 6 was an insurrection and if Mr Trump engaged in it.