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Democrat Rep. Cicilline moves to censure GOP lawmakers he says are downplaying Capitol attack

During a hearing, a Georgia Republican said the events of Jan. 6 were “not an insurrection” and likened the day to a "normal tourist visit."
Rep. David Cicilline arrives at the Capitol before the start of the impeachment trial in the Senate on Feb. 13, 2021.
Rep. David Cicilline arrives at the Capitol before the start of the impeachment trial in the Senate on Feb. 13, 2021.Bill Clark / AP file

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., is seeking support for a resolution to censure several Republican lawmakers who he said made misleading comments this week about the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Cicilline's resolution names Republican Reps. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Jody Hice of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona. The text is forthcoming, but Cicilline sent a memo to his Democratic colleagues asking for support by close of business on Monday.

“These members cannot be allowed to rewrite history at their convenience by disrespecting the sacrifices made by Capitol police officers and downplaying the violent, destructive intent that rioters carried into this sacred building," Cicilline wrote to his colleagues. The Jan. 6 riot “was an attack on our democracy that we must continue to defend against today," the letter said.

More than 440 people have been charged so far in the Jan. 6 violence, which left five people dead.

The resolution comes after Wednesday's House Oversight Committee hearing on the Capitol attack during which former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen testified. During that hearing, Clyde said it was “not an insurrection” and likened it to a "normal tourist visit."

“There was an undisciplined mob. There were some rioters, and some who committed acts of vandalism,” Clyde said. “But let me be clear, there was no insurrection and to call it an insurrection in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie. Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol, and walk through Statuary Hall, showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures, you know.”

Gosar called the death of Ashli Babbitt, a pro-Trump rioter who was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer while trying to enter the House chamber, “an execution.” Gosar also said federal law enforcement was “harassing peaceful patriots” as it searched through photographic evidence of those who might have committed crimes on that day. Hice appeared to sympathize with the mob.

“It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others," Hice said.

The offices of Clyde, Hice and Gosar did not respond to a request for comment.