Firebrand Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has defended the storming of the US Capitol as “just a riot” and claimed the Declaration of Independence urges Americans to “overthrow tyrants”.
As a congressional committee continues to probe the events of January 6, when hundreds of supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol to try and prevent Joe Biden’s certification, one of his outspoken allies has sought to defend the actions of the crowds.
“[The violence connected to protests for racial justice] was an attack on innocent American people, whereas January 6 was just a riot at the Capitol,” she said. “And if you think about what our Declaration of Independence says, it says to overthrow tyrants.”
Speaking on the conservative outlet Real America’s Voice, she added: “So there’s a clear difference between January 6 and the Marxist-communist revolution that antifa, BLM, Democrat ground troops waged on the American people in 2020.”
Ms Greene, who was elected last November to represent Georgia’s 14th congressional district, has emerged as one of the most strident politicians among the Republican caucus.
In February, the House of Representatives voted to strip the first-time congresswoman of any committee assignments as a result of a series of controversial statements including her continued, false assertion that Mr Trump had actually won the election and Mr Biden ought not to be sitting in the White House.
Since then, she has continued to be one of the former president’s most outspoken supporters, and along with Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, embarked on an America First Tour, much of which has appeared intended to please Mr Trump.
Yet, her comments about the assault on the US Capitol being “just a riot” may raise eyebrows even among her most staunch backers.
Clearly embarrassed by what happened on January 6, a number of Republicans have sought to play down the event as being nothing worse than what regular tourists do. On the day of the riot itself, as a result of which five people lost their lives, Mr Trump told his supporters: “Go home. We love you.”
He has since condemned efforts to prosecute the rioters, saying they were “being persecuted so unfairly”.
Ms Greene’s admission the riot was just that, may trigger more trouble for her.
As it was, she was making her comments to former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, who was hosting the broadcast on Real America’s Voice,
Last week, Congress voted to find Mr Bannon in criminal contempt for blocking the its investigation into the January 6 riot.
The vote sent the matter to the Justice Department, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, who now must decide whether to prosecute Mr Bannon.
As for the Declaration of Independence, written in the summer of 1776, it mentions tyrant and tyrants several times.
At one point, towards the end, it says: “A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”
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