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Taking names: Dem Rep. Lofgren catalogs GOP colleagues' election claims with a view toward discipline

Rep. Zoe Lofgren's report examines social media posts and statements from Republican lawmakers who voted against certifying the election results.
Zoe Lofgren.
House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020.Susan Walsh / AP

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., has released a detailed examination of the social media accounts of Republican House members who voted to overturn the 2020 election results to analyze what role they might have played in inciting the deadly violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

"Like former President [Donald] Trump, any elected member of Congress who aided and abetted the insurrection or incited the attack seriously threatened our democratic government," Lofgren wrote in the prologue to her 1,939 page “social media review.”

"They would have betrayed their oath of office and would be implicated in the same constitutional provision cited in the article of impeachment" against Trump following the Capitol riot, she continued.

The congresswoman, who was one of the House managers in Trump's first Senate impeachment trial last year, suggested that Congress could act against such members.

That Constitution "prohibits any person who has previously taken an oath as a member of Congress to support the Constitution but subsequently engaged in insurrection or rebellion from serving in Congress," she wrote, referring to a section of the 14th Amendment.

Lofgren chairs the the House Administration Committee, which oversees security on the House side of the Capitol complex. The the review of the Republican members' public postings was designed to show whether they followed Trump's lead in making false statements about the 2020 election in "very public settings" — and to raise questions about whether they should be disciplined for their conduct, she said.

A total of 139 House Republicans objected to certifying election results in certain states during the counting of Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, which was interrupted by a mob of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol. GOP members who had not posted about the election — about 20 — were not included in Lofgren's review.

The report looked at posts between Nov. 3, 2020, and Jan. 31, 2021, “relevant to assessing the potential of Congress’ constitutional prerogatives and responsibilities, including actions pursuant to the 14th Amendment and/or House rules,” she wrote.

The document lists members in alphabetical order by state and focuses on posts that either cast doubt on the election results or implored people to "fight" for Trump.

The samplings are thorough. The section on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for example, features 17 pre-riot posts, as well as four from Jan. 6, and four after the riot, including original tweets, posted videos and retweets.

For other lawmakers, the review includes public statements as well as Facebook and Parler posts.

The most prodigious posters, unsurprisingly, were some of Trump's most outspoken allies, including Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., whose comments include references to then-President-elect Joe Biden as a "usurper" and span 176 pages.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., comes in second in terms of the volume of posts, taking up 123 pages of the review.

On Friday, another California Democrat, Rep. Eric Swalwell, filed suit against Brooks, Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and the former president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani alleging they violated federal civil rights and local incitement laws. All spoke at a rally near the White House on Jan. 6 before members of the crowd moved on to the Capitol.

The lawsuit said the ensuing violence at the Capitol was "a direct and foreseeable consequence of the defendants' false and incendiary allegations of fraud and theft, and in direct response to the defendants' express calls for violence."

Next week, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is scheduled to hold a hearing on the constitutional framework for the ability of lawmakers to uphold the standards of members' conduct. Lofgren's review could become a focus.