I have been beating the drum to invoke the 14th Amendment’s disqualification clause against the Sedition Party, in particular Arizona’s four GOP members of Congress who participated in sedition and gave oxygen to the QAnon/Trump cult violent mob that stormed the Capitol building in armed insurrection against the lawful government of the United States:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
You will note that this disqualification clause applies to state legislators as well (see emphasis). It is time to remove the malignant cancer of far-right extremism that has far too long infected our Arizona Legislature.
The Arizona Mirror reports, Some Arizona Republicans defended, excused the violent pro-Trump mob:
Several Arizona Republican officials defended Wednesday’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, sought to blame political enemies for the pro-Trump mob’s criminal activity or spread conspiracy theories deflecting responsibility away from the president’s supporters.
Two GOP state legislators were also present, and posted messages on social media praising the rioters who were pushing past police barricades, assaulting Capitol police officers and smashing their way into the building as Congress was meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.
Rep. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale, accused cable news networks of “spewing lies” about what was going on at the Capitol. A few hours later, he praised the events as a peaceful protest, with “a small few” who took part in the insurrection.
Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, blamed Congress for the horde that stormed into the Capitol because it “refuses to acknowledge rampant fraud” in the election. (There is no evidence of fraud, rampant or otherwise, and lawsuits making those assertions have all been rejected by the courts because that evidence does not exist.).
At a [Trump] rally at the Arizona Capitol Wednesday, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb denounced media outlets and Democrats for saying Trump was responsible for instigating the mob. The real causes, he said, were the election, Hillary Clinton, Hunter Biden and a Democratic congressman from California who was targeted years ago by a Chinese spy.
“This is about the fact that our Supreme Court isn’t hearing our voices. This is the fact that our governor and our governments are not hearing our voices,” he said, sympathizing with the rioters. “I don’t know how loud we have to get before they start to listen to us and know that we will no longer tolerate them stripping our freedoms away.”
In another Twitter post, Finchem praised the California woman who was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer as she and others tried to break through a door in the Capitol building, saying that “all she did was protest for redress of fraudulent election activities” and blaming antifa, a loosely organized group of “anti-fascist” protesters, for her death.
Finchem also accused antifa of sparking the violence at the riot, and said a press event he was to speak at was cancelled “because antifa used the moment to do what ANTIFA does.” His fellow Trump ralliers, he said, “fell for the bait” and began rioting.
The New York Times reports, How Trump’s Allies Are Still Defending Him: Denial, Deflection, Disinformation: They falsely claimed President Trump had no role in spurring the assault on the Capitol. They resorted to false equivalencies. Some even questioned whether the mob was an anti-Trump “false flag” by their favorite bogeyman, antifa. The Washington Post reports, No, there’s no substantive evidence that the Capitol riot was spurred by antifa:
Antifa is a frequent target of Trump’s. The loose-knit ideology isn’t generally manifested in any sort of formal organization but that very nebulousness has allowed Trump and others to use it as a blanket descriptor for any person or group that can be cast as left-wing and dangerous. Hence Rep. Matt Gaetz’s elevation of the claim: If someone somewhere is doing something that is a problem for the country, Trump or someone linked to him will probably finagle an antifa allegation into the mix
Gaetz wasn’t alone. On Fox News Channel’s prime-time shows, hosts and guests similarly claimed that perhaps the mob was spurred on by antifa. The fringier networks that have blossomed in the wake of the election made similar claims.
The genesis for the assertion appears to be an article published by the right-wing Washington Times [Mooney Times] that claimed that a “retired military officer” had provided information from a firm called XRVision that used facial recognition software to identify several people who invaded the Capitol — and that two of them were linked to antifa. A third was “someone who shows up at climate and Black Lives Matter protests in the West.”
In a statement to The Washington Post, XRVision executive Yaacov Apelbaum denied his firm had provided any such analysis.
“XRVision didn’t generate any composites or detection imagery for the Washington Times nor for a ‘retired military officer,’ ” Apelbaum said, “and did not authorize them to make any such representations.”
“We concluded that two of the individuals … were affiliated with the Maryland Skinheads and the National Socialist Movements,” the firm determined. “These two are known Nazi organizations, they are not Antifa. The third individual identified … was an actor with some QAnon promotion history. Again, no Antifa identification was made for him either.”
Update: The Mooney Times removed the story, which can still be seen at the Internet Archive.
Per usual, Mark Finchem is full of shit spewing false conspiracy theories that he no doubt shared while chatting with his his fellow QAnon cult members.
The Arizona Mirror continues:
Other GOP legislators glommed on to the false idea that the violence from the president’s supporters — which was committed immediately after he exhorted them to march to the Capitol and “show strength” and “fight” — wasn’t actually committed by the people who traveled from around the country in the hopes of intimidating Congress into overturning an election.
Sen.-elect Kelly Townsend declared that the rioters learned their behavior from liberals, before positing that liberals were the real culprits. (More about this lunatic below).
For Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, and Sen.-elect Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff, there was no doubt that the perpetrators weren’t really Trump’s supporters.
Rogers also said Congress was responsible for the rioter who was shot and killed because the legislative body didn’t “allow for an audit of the machines and votes” — a power that Congress doesn’t have, because elections are regulated by each of the 50 states.
Townsend placed the blame for GOP violence at the feet of Gov. Doug Ducey, who she has relentlessly criticized for months over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the hashtag #FightforTrump, she said Ducey has usurped unconstitutional powers and failed to initiate “a full forensic audit of a contested election.” “(W)hen the people have had enough, you cannot act pious and holier than thou when the people revolt… (D)on’t act like this isn’t in large part, your fault,” she wrote.
In a lengthy thread on Twitter, the Arizona Republican Party denounced the rioters, and said those who “incite violence and sow chaos have no home in the Republican Party,” and those who broke the law should be prosecuted.
I spit out the coffee I was drinking when I read this crap. Are you fucking kidding me? The
Republican Sedition Party has long been home to far-right anti-government extremists. Several of them serve in the Arizona legislature. The Arizona Republican Sedition Party is chaired by one of the worst examples, former state senator Kelli Ward, who has lost multiple lawsuits trying to overturn the election results in Arizona and to disenfranchise Arizona’s voters.
Of course, this stands in stark contrast to the party’s rhetoric a month ago, when it asked Republicans if they were willing to die to ensure Biden’s electoral victory was overturned. It also tweeted, and then deleted, a clip with a quote from the Rambo character: “Live for nothing, or die for something.” When a local television journalist pointed out that, in fact, someone did die Wednesday during a criminal effort to seize the Capitol to block Biden’s win, the AZGOP reacted with name-calling.
AZGOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward seized the opportunity to demand that the electoral college votes be sent back to the states because of the chaos wrought by the putsch — where, conceivably, Arizona’s GOP-controlled legislature would ignore the election and award the state’s votes to Trump — only to be profanely rebuffed by Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego.
Ward also [falsely] blamed antifa for the insurrection and lashed out at people who were aghast at what was happening at the Capitol.
As the New York Times reports, “The mob that rampaged the halls of Congress included infamous white supremacists and conspiracy theorists,” you know, the very people Kelli Ward associates with. Ward certainly knows this QAnon freak who participates in her rallies. These Are the Rioters Who Stormed the Nation’s Capitol.
Ward’s what-about-ism was shared by Rep. Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu City, who tempered his admonition of the rioters with criticism of Democrats who supported protests seeking police reform and an end to systemic racism.
Republican Sedition Party is not yet done trying to subvert the election and to disenfranchise Arizona’s voters, even though Congress has formally certified Joe Biden’s election.
The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, Some Republicans stay silent, others push for probe:
With few exceptions, Arizona Republicans have stayed silent or actively joined in attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, even as many of their national colleagues began speaking up.
After a small group of U.S. senators and representatives announced plans to challenge the electoral votes of several states, including Arizona, many Republican leaders unequivocally stated that President Donald Trump lost his bid for re-election. In a fiery speech late January 6 after armed insurgents stormed the U.S. Capitol and federal lawmakers continued to challenge Arizona’s electoral votes, Utah Sen. and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney urged his colleagues to give up their attempts to overturn the election.
“No congressional audit is ever going to convince these voters, especially when the president will continue to claim the election was stolen,” he said. “The best way we can show respect to the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth.”
But at the state level, influential Republicans continue pushing for another investigation that they say — or at least their supporters say — could prove that Trump really won, despite all evidence to the contrary. Nine separate lawsuits in Arizona, and at least 60 across the nation, have been dismissed or withdrawn with no evidence of fraud or irregularities that could have changed the outcome of the presidential election.
Rep. John Kavanagh, the Fountain Hills Republican who chairs the House Government and Elections Committee, said he believes those lawsuits lacked evidence because Republican attorneys didn’t have access to voting equipment for a full forensic audit
He won’t concede that Joe Biden won the election until lawmakers succeed in their quest to perform a thorough audit of the voting equipment used in Maricopa County. (The county already audited its machines in front of partisan observers three times, both before and after the election, and each audit returned completely accurate results.)
“There’s been a lot of lawsuits in Arizona that failed, and I think they failed mainly because we haven’t gotten access to the equipment to see if there’s evidence there that would convince the judge,” Kavanagh said. “So I want to see the evidence and if there is fraud, then we would take legal steps to or to reverse the electors.”
Incoming Sen. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, said that only a full forensic audit — with special attention paid to ballots cast by so-called federal-only voters who don’t present the proof of citizenship required to vote in state elections — would convince her that the election results were accurate.
“I think the vast majority of reasonable people, after seeing a fair, full, forensic independent audit come back clean will be satisfied,” she said. “I will be. I will be asking everybody to move forward and to trust the process if that’s the outcome of the audit.”
In the meantime, Townsend has introduced legislation to retroactively replace Arizona’s slate of Democratic electors with the electors who would have voted for Trump. [See, GOP lawmaker pushes legislation to give Trump AZ win]. Congress this week certified the Electoral College results, and Biden will be inaugurated on January 20.
Other lawmakers, including Sen. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, have remained quiet about the electoral results, refusing to comment on whether they have faith in the election. Mesnard, who is running legislation to expand recount opportunities, said his focus is on improving future elections, not changing the outcome of the last one.
“I’m reserving judgment on whether or not I thought it was good, bad or ugly until I get more information,” he said. “I think we need that information at this point for purposes of developing public policy moving forward and making sure that the integrity of our election system is protected and confidence is restored as much as possible.”
He said he has received thousands of emails, most of which express frustration that he is not declaring the 2020 election fraudulent. Others, including people who voted for him, are upset that he hasn’t publicly defended the election.
One email that Legislative District 18 precinct committeewoman Carrie Heikkala sent to every Republican lawmaker daily between December 30 and January 6 ordered them to declare the election fraudulent and appoint Trump’s electors or risk primary challenges. Legislative attorneys advised House and Senate leaders that they forfeited the ability to name electors on their own when they passed a law dictating that the winner of the state’s popular vote will receive Arizona’s electoral votes.
Heikkala wrote: “If you won’t do this, you WILL be primaried, I am a PC and I am going to recruit every conservative I know to join our PC ranks and we’re going to take you out in the next primary!”
Trey Terry, a West Valley conservative who ran for the state House on a ticket with current Rep. Joanne Osborne, R-Goodyear, and has been a vocal critic of state Republicans who encouraged talk of election conspiracies, said current officials fear challenges from fellow Republicans. After legislative and congressional redistricting this year, even incumbent Republicans will no longer be in safe districts.
“Several of them have told me that the base is angry, and that they basically are looking to become leaders of whatever movement follows Trump,” Terry said. “And then as far as ones that are being quiet, I think it’s for the same reason, that they fear their next primary election.”
Sen. Paul Boyer, R-Glendale, has been one of the few elected state Republicans to speak out in favor of accepting the election results. He said he hasn’t seen much blowback from his own constituents, though people from other states have threatened his political career. (A Phoenix City Council candidate also responded by calling him a “weak beta male” and “ignorant swamp creature” and criticized his bow tie.)
“I get a lot of people from California and throughout the country that tell me they’re going to primary me,” Boyer said. “It’s funny. I mean like, oh gosh, I’ve lost a Chicago voter, a California voter, a Virginia voter.”
Shortly after the election, Boyer signed on to one letter circulated by Townsend urging a delay in appointing Arizona’s electors as court cases challenging the election proceeded. But now that all of those cases have been dismissed, he said Trump needs to tell his supporters that he lost the election and it’s time for a peaceful transition. Trump on January 7 stated that he will leave office January 20, while still insisting the election was stolen.
“At some point, I think reality sets in,” Boyer said. “You have to realize that we haven’t won at the legal level, and it is time to move on. We have to follow the law and the Constitution.”
Sen. Boyer finally came to his senses. We can’t say that about the rest of the Arizona
Republican Sedition Party traitors. These dead-enders need to be expelled from the legislature and disqualified from ever holding office again under the 14th Amendment, Section 3.
Lawyers need to start bringing these lawsuits ASAP.