In January, Representative Mike Gallagher demanded Trump call off rioters
Republican congressmen Mike Gallagher is under fire for voting against setting up a commission to investigate the Capitol riot.
Locked in his office, sheltering from the chaos that gripped the Capitol, Mr Gallagher tweeted: “We are witnessing absolute banana republic crap in the United States Capitol right now.”
“@realdonaldtrump, you need to call this off.”
Nevertheless, the representative from Wisconsin joined his five fellow Republicans from the state in voting against the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of that day, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Political Wire described the move as: “Another profile in cowardice.”
Just 35 Republicans broke ranks from party leaders and joined the 217 Democrats in supporting the creation of the panel.
The commission is modelled after the independent panel that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It would have subpoena power and be charged with producing a report by the end of the year.
Its intention would be to assess what exactly provoked the pro-Trump mob to assault Congress and make recommendations about how to prevent such an attack from happening again.
Bipartisan negotiations in the House concluded that the panel would consist of five members of each party.
In a statement, Mr Gallagher said he voted against the commission because he believes that instead, Congress should form “a special investigatory committee whose meetings are closed to the public and whose members and staffers have committed to a gag order.”
He argues that the commission as set out “also omits key language preventing interference in the over 400 ongoing criminal prosecutions” relating to the events that day.
“Public meetings and a partisan staff will lead to partisan grandstanding, fuel more media hysteria, and as a result, prevent us from fulfilling the commission’s stated goal: producing a full accounting into what happened on January 6,” said the congressman.
In the January video, Mr Gallagher explained how protesters were clashing with Capitol Police, had forced their way into Statuary Hall, and that Mike Pence had been rushed away by the Secret Service.
“The objectors over the last two days have told me that there is no problem in just having a debate,” he says, providing some insight into thinking in the Republican Party ahead of the confirmation of Electoral College votes that would make Joe Biden officially president-elect.
“We know we’re not going to succeed, we’re just going to object, we’re going to have a debate, we’ll voice people’s concerns, and then we won’t actually overturn our entire system of representative government, so nothing bad will happen. There will be no cost to this effort.”
He continues: “This is the cost of this effort. This is the cost of countenancing an effort by Congress to overturn the election, and telling thousands of people that there is a legitimate shot of overturning the election — even though you know that is not true.”
Mr Gallagher then appeals to Mr Trump: “We have got to stop this, Mr President, you have got to stop this. You are the only person who can call this off. Call it off. The election is over. Call it off.”
He adds: “This is bigger than you. This is bigger than any member of Congress. This is about the United States of America, which is more important than any politician.”
Despite the congressman’s clarity as to why the attack on the Capitol was happening, who was to blame, and who could stop it, he nevertheless voted against formalising a procedure that would separate truth from fiction and move towards heading off any repetition of the events of 6 January.
Mr Gallagher also voted against the second impeachment of Mr Trump, preferring instead censure — though in a candid op-ed he blamed the president for the events of 6 January and his lies to his supporters.
Despite that, his position on Liz Cheney, ousted from her role as party conference chair for not supporting Mr Trump’s baseless election fraud theories, changed from openly supporting her leadership, to saying that she can no longer unify the party. He voted to remove her from her leadership position.