In order to provide evidence “relevant to assessing the potential of Congress’ constitutional prerogatives and responsibilities, including actions pursuant to the 14th Amendment and/or House rules” to punish or remove Representatives who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election or may have supported the January 6th insurrection, Representative Zoe Lofgren, D-CA19, today released a nearly 2,000 page document detailing public social media posts from 102 Congressional Republicans between November 3rd, 2020 and January 31st, 2021.
In a foreward to the review, Lofgren writes that “Like former President Trump, any elected Member of Congress who aided and abetted the insurrection or incited the attack seriously threatened our democratic government. They would have betrayed their oath of office and would be implicated in the same constitutional provision cited in the Article of Impeachment. That provision prohibits any person who has previously taken an oath as a member of Congress to support the Constitution but subsequently engaged in insurrection or rebellion from serving in Congress.”
The report is replete with false voter fraud claims, incendiary language, conspiracy theories, evidence of some Representatives’ associations with groups like the Proud Boys and Stop the Steal organizers, and in some rare cases images that glorify the siege on the Capitol.
“Statements which are readily available in the public arena may be part of any consideration of Congress’ constitutional prerogatives and responsibilities,” wrote Lofgren. “Accordingly, I asked my staff to take a quick look at public social media posts of Members who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election.”
The full report may give guidance to Congressional investigators as well as the proposed January 6th Commission, which may consider the role that social media played in spreading falsehoods that inspired the violence at the Capitol and in providing tools to facilitate the organization of the January 6th insurrection.
Read the full report here.
Justin Hendrix is CEO and Editor of Tech Policy Press, a new nonprofit media venture concerned with the intersection of technology and democracy. Previously, he was Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. He spent over a decade at The Economist in roles including Vice President, Business Development & Innovation. He is an associate research scientist and adjunct professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Opinions expressed here are his own.