A massive new congressional report documents social media posts from Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Both Rep. Chris Stewart and Burgess Owens authored several posts before and after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol that gave credence to the lie the election results were somehow fraudulent.
On Election Day, former President Donald Trump claimed he won despite some key states being too close to determine a winner. He continued to repeat that falsehood in the weeks after the election was called for now President Joe Biden. That campaign to overturn the results culminated in a mob of Trump supporters storming the Capitol in an attempted insurrection.
Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren went through the social media posts from the 147 Republican members of the House who voted against accepting the Electoral College results on Jan. 6, after the mob was repelled. These lawmakers voted against accepting the results from either Arizona, Pennsylvania, or both states. The nearly 2000-page report only examined social media from Nov. 3 to Jan. 31.
Lofgren offers no conclusions in her report, but in the introduction, she wrote, “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.”
She goes on to say House members who “incited, encouraged, and/or coordinated the attack on the Capitol” might be punished under the 14th Amendment, which calls for expulsion for inciting an insurrection.
Democrats have been seeking ways to hold Trump and other Republicans accountable for the attack on the Capitol, which killed five people including a police officer. The House impeached Trump for inciting the attack, but he was acquitted in the Senate. The report from Lofgren follows that pattern.
Owens and Stewart are both strong allies of Trump, and the two voted to object to the Electoral College results from Pennsylvania, but did not object to the results from Arizona.
The report highlights nearly a dozen posts on Twitter from Owens amplifying the falsehood that the election was not conducted fairly.
For example, on Nov. 6 he seemingly blamed Democrats for stoking outrage over a possibly stolen election.
On the day of the Capitol riot, Owens tweeted out a link to a statement he signed with 37 of his colleagues about protecting election integrity. Before the riot, he also posted that his vote against accepting the Electoral College results was not “overturning an election” but about the integrity of the vote.
In the immediate aftermath of the riot, Owens posted a call for unity, pledging to “restore faith in our democracy.”
But just days later, Owens defended his vote to overturn Biden’s win in Pennsylvania, alleging decades of election fraud on the part of Democrats in that state.
Stewart’s social media posts also followed the pattern of casting doubt on the election results. In addition to accusing the media of trying to manipulate public opinion through inaccurate polls, Stewart also suggested the election may not have been on the up and up.
On Jan. 4, Stewart posted a tweet thread stating he would not vote to accept the Electoral College results because of election irregularities and that his objection would protect the “sanctity of each vote.”
Neither Reps. John Curtis nor Blake Moore were included in the report. They did not vote against accepting the Electoral votes of any state.
The Salt Lake Tribune will update this article.