Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) appeared on a conspiracy theory show that streams on Facebook and claimed that the Democratic leadership “actually aided and abetted” the January 6 insurrection. He also agreed with the host’s characterization that people arrested for participating in the Capitol attack are being held as political prisoners and said that Democrats are using the “narrative” of January 6 and the coronavirus pandemic “to really put a persecution on this country, to change its demographic.”
Gosar has palled around with and supported far-right media figures. He was recently a keynote speaker at a white nationalist conference and met with white nationalist Nick Fuentes. Gosar is also a fan of Ali Alexander, who helped organize so-called “Stop the Steal” events and has a history of violent rhetoric.
Gosar appeared on the May 18 edition of the Stew Peters Show, an online program that streams on Facebook and other platforms. Peters, who has worked as a bail bondsman, is a right-wing conspiracy theorist who has claimed that “the left incited the violence” on January 6 “in a total setup manufactured by” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), “and the criminal progressives.” He also wrote that “legacy media,” including CNN, MSNBC, Newsmax, and Fox News, “ALL abandoned the fight for TRUTH and went with the LIE.” In making that claim, Peters was promoting a debunked video that supposedly “destroys" the "‘insurrection' narrative” because the U.S. Capitol Police purportedly allowed “protesters inside" the Capitol. (The video does not show that.)
Prior to introducing Gosar, Peters referenced that video and said, “The entire January 6 event was a Hollywood-like script written and played out by Democrats as a distraction away from the political assassination of President Donald J. Trump, the installation of a dictatorial and radical regime and a globalist agenda to force subservience from everyone to the state.” During his interview, in which the death of Ashli Babbitt was discussed, Peters told Gosar: “I hope that I'm wrong but it's my opinion that they needed a death that day, and they weren't going to get it from peaceful and patriotic Trump supporters. It had to be manufactured.”
Gosar echoed Peters’ rhetoric about January 6 during his appearance on the show. Gosar and Peters referenced video of Capitol Police, and Peters asked Gosar if he believed that January 6 “was a complete setup? Was it a premeditated plan to distract away from all of these events that were occurring around the election?” Gosar replied: “What I believe is a few bad apples utilized this to their benefit, and it was aided and abetted by leadership. …They actually aided and abetted, from my standpoint, that facilitation by not following protocols.”
PAUL GOSAR: The little snippet that we saw this weekend now shows, you know, Capitol Police talking to people and then allowing “go, go, go,” you know, moving barricades. Once again we need to see it. This is public footage from the public building. The people's house is paid at taxpayer expense. We need to put it out here. The narrative has got to stop.
STEW PETERS: So you've seen this video that you referenced. Was, so after seeing that video, congressman, is it your opinion that January 6 was a complete setup? Was it a premeditated plan to distract away from all of these events that were occurring around the election?
GOSAR: What I believe is a few bad apples utilized this to their benefit, and it was aided and abetted by leadership. I'll give you an example. So when President Trump saw the huge gathering the day before, over -- across from White House, he initially gave access to 1,000 to 10,000 National Guard troops. The FBI at the Norfolk division sent out a blast that they got wind of some type of problem coming. Supposedly no one got that. But this Capitol Police turned down an additional hundred Capitol Police officers. They turned it down. And who does that come from? Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi is responsible for the security of the Capitol buildings. So, you know, her ineptness, you know, when you've got an inauguration coming in a couple weeks after this, you're not beefing up? Every time I've been here for an inauguration, security is beefed up. So they actually aided and abetted, from my standpoint, that facilitation by not following protocols and threat assessment.
PETERS: Well you call it inept, I think it's intentional. And I think that that's going to come to light and I'm pretty sure that you know that, which is why you're up there asking the tough questions and writing the letters that you're writing asking for this information.
When asked if he viewed the people arrested for participating in the January 6 insurrection “as political prisoners,” Gosar replied: “Absolutely. … We wouldn’t even do this on our worst enemies, for criminy sakes. We don't even do this in Gitmo.” (During a recent House hearing, Gosar said that the Department of Justice is “harassing peaceful patriots across the country" regarding January 6.)
The Republican congressman later theorized that Democrats are using January 6 and the COVID-19 pandemic to change the country’s demographics, stating: “We have the perfect storm where they use the narrative of the 6th and COVID to really put a persecution on this country, to change its demographic, to change its outlook. And, you know, it's now beholden to the federal government instead of being the government, they’re beholden to this federal government.”