• Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

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Legal Effort Expands to Disqualify Republicans as ‘Insurrectionists’

The lawyers bringing the new suits believe they have a stronger case to show that the elected officials in question are insurrectionists.

In the run-up to Jan. 6, Mr. Gosar and Mr. Biggs repeatedly posted the falsehood that Mr. Trump had won the election. Mr. Gosar organized some of the earliest rallies to “Stop the Steal,” the movement to keep Mr. Trump in office, coordinating with Ali Alexander, a far-right activist, and with Mr. Finchem.

On Dec. 22, 2020, Mr. Gosar and Mr. Biggs met with Mr. Trump and announced they were working to prevent the “disenfranchisement” of Trump voters.

“This sedition will be stopped,” Mr. Gosar wrote on Twitter.

Mr. Finchem attended the rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 that in many ways launched the attack on the Capitol. He said he was in Washington to provide evidence to Vice President Mike Pence of what he called fraud in the Arizona election. Mr. Finchem then joined protesters who marched to the Capitol and eventually breached it, though he did not enter the building.

And during the storming of the Capitol, Mr. Gosar used the social media site Parler, which is favored by the far right, to post an image of rioters scaling the building’s walls, writing, “Americans are upset.” As the riot raged, Mr. Gosar and Mr. Biggs led the effort to contest their state’s electors for Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Mr. Gosar would later say that Ashli Babbitt, the rioter shot by the police just outside the House chamber, had been “executed” and that investigating Jan. 6 was “harassing peaceful patriots.”

The suits say that their actions, “taken in concert with others,” establish that they “engaged in the insurrection of Jan. 6” and are “therefore constitutionally disqualified from running for congressional office, under the disqualification clause.”