- Rep. Louie Gohmert said Capitol rioters are ‘political prisoners’ held hostage by the government.
- The Texas congressman made the remarks during a lengthy speech on the House floor on Friday.
- Gohmert also said there was “no evidence” the Capitol rioters were armed.
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“Joe Biden’s Justice Department is criminalizing political protest, but only political protest by Republicans or conservatives,” Gohmert said in his lengthy speech in which he cited several conservative news outlets, according to CNN. “They’re destroying the lives of American families, they’re weaponizing the events of January 6 to silence Trump-supporting Americans.”
Gohmert pointed to some defendants who are being held in jail in Washington awaiting trial, calling them “victims of an unequal system of justice in a country where rioters and looters on the left are let off the hook even considered heroes while those on the right are considered hardened criminals without any record before a trial can even begin.”
“Their only crime was supporting Donald Trump and concern about the fraud Democrats have been telling us about in elections for many years,” he added.
Since the insurrection, which resulted in the deaths of five people including a police officer, 479 people have been arrested and charged with crimes. Here is an updated list.
Gohmert also said there was “no evidence” that some of the rioters were armed. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin made a similar claim in an interview last month, The Hill reported.
“Armed meaning with firearms. There were no firearms,” Gohmert said.
His comments come as the House Homeland Security Committee on Friday announced a deal to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection.
Watch the speech below: