Republicans Declare in Resolution That Trump Isn’t an Insurrectionist … Because They Say So

House Republicans announced a resolution Monday to “authoritatively express” that Donald Trump “did not engage in insurrection or rebellion.” The stunt comes days before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments Thursday in an appeal of the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that the former president “engaged in an insurrection” on Jan. 6, 2021, and is constitutionally ineligible to be president.

Introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and conference chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the bill has 63 cosponsors and will be matched with a Senate bill by Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio). The legislation is meant to counter efforts to remove Trump from 2024 ballots over his bid to overturn the 2020 election — or as Gaetz put it, “remove a candidate from the ballot because they are afraid that he is too popular,” he said at a press conference while flanked by some of Trump’s most loyal acolytes in Congress.

“We believe Congress has a unique role” in declaring whether Trump’s encouragement of the January 6 riots, intended to disrupt the certification of Trump’s 2020 Electoral College defeat, count as insurrection, Gaetz said. “It’s not the job of the states, and especially not the job of some bureaucrats in Colorado.”

Trump has also been removed from the ballot in Maine, a decision which is under appeal. Challenges to his eligibility are ongoing in more than a dozen other states.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) seemed to claim that the press was dishonest in labeling Jan. 6 an insurrection because they didn’t also label Biden’s lawful inauguration later that month one. “When Joe Biden was inaugurated, and this entire Capitol complex was surrounded with 30,000 National Guard troops, none of you stood there and called that an insurrection,” she told reporters at the press conference, referring to the security measures put in place after Jan. 6. “Oh no. You all stayed silent.”

“Anyone that puts the word ‘insurrectionist,’ calls President Trump an insurrectionist, and calls any of us an insurrectionist is a liar, and you do not deserve the power that you possess,” Greene added.

Stefanik, who is reportedly being considered by Trump as a potential running mate and has publicly said she would be honored to serve as his vice president, also spoke. “As President Donald Trump continues to dominate in the polls, extreme Democrats will stop at nothing in an attempt to prevent President Donald Trump from returning to the White House, and the Democrats are shredding the Constitution in the process,” she said.

Other members of Congress used the press conference to offer false conspiracy theories. “They tried to rig the 2020 election,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) claimed. She called the case against Trump a “witch hunt.”

“The woke mob, the fake news, and the leftist government officials who are engaging in this extortion should be downright ashamed of themselves,” she added before pivoting to Biden’s son to claim Trump would have won in 2020 if voters were more aware of Hunter’s private life. “We know that Democrats would have changed their votes had they been informed about Hunter Biden’s laptop,” she said.

We’re not so sure about that.

More from Rolling Stone

Best of Rolling Stone