We got our hands on their assessment that flagged the conservative Texan.
What they’re saying: The U.S. Capitol Police — in a Special Event Assessment dated Jan. 3, 2021 — flagged potential danger stemming from comments made by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) in the lead-up to Jan. 6.
The assessment, obtained by POLITICO Wednesday, laid out analysts’ views of danger that lawmakers and law enforcement officers could face during the protests against the certification of President Joe Biden’s election. It also noted that the White House was actively helping plan a rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6.
The Jan. 3 assessment noted that Gohmert had sued to try to get then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results. The assessment added that a federal judge had thrown out Gohmert’s suit.
From that intelligence report: “In an interview Friday evening on pro-Trump news network Newsmax, Representative Gohmert claimed that letting the will of the voters stand would ‘mean the end of our republic, the end of the experiment in self-government,’” the assessment reads. “Representative Gohmert then seemed to encourage violence as a means to this end. ‘But bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this. You have no remedy – basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go to the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.’”
His response: Gohmert released a statement saying he had “not encouraged and unequivocally do not advocate for violence.”
It wasn’t just Gohmert: The department’s interest in politicians and protests wasn’t limited to Gohmert. Later in the same report, it discussed plans for a major rally on the Ellipse, and noted that the White House “is actively participating in the planning of this event.”
The Jan. 3 document also said that Trump supporters’ “sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent,” as previously reported by the Washington Post.
On Jan. 6, some of the participants in the Ellipse rally marched to the Capitol Building, where a violent mob formed.
His response: Gohmert, facing criticism for his remarks at the time, released a statement saying he had “not encouraged and unequivocally do not advocate for violence.”
“I have long advocated for following the teaching and example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of peaceful protest. That does not keep me from recognizing what lies ahead when the institutions created by a self-governing people to peacefully resolve disputes hide from their responsibility. Violence is not the answer. The appropriate answer is courts and self-governing bodies resolving disputes as intended.”
— Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)
Gohmert spokesperson A. J. Swinson said Wednesday the Capitol Police intelligence report took his remarks out of context. “Therefore, such an out of context statement promotes fake news, promotes injustice, and fails to note his ongoing advocacy as a former judge and appellate court Chief Justice. The institutions created to resolve disputes MUST have the courage to resolve the disputes they were created to resolve so our system can function peaceably.”