Just over four months ago, a mob of pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol, motivated by the former President's election lies, hoping to upend the joint congressional session acknowledging Biden's 2020 election victory and end a centuries-long tradition of the peaceful transfer of power.
Rioters shattered windows, ransacked offices, smeared excrement across the walls, and berated and beat Capitol Police Officers.
Nevertheless, Congressional Republicans have repeatedly dismissed the severity of the riots or promoted conspiracy theories absolving themselves for the conditions that sparked the riots. Congressman Andrew Clyde of Georgia absurdly claimed the riots resembled a "normal tourist visit." Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin used a Senate committee hearing to amplify the delusion that anti-Trump activists were actually behind the riots.
Given the GOP's eagerness to promote Trump's election lies ahead of the insurrection, some have even floated the possibility that members of Congress actively communicated with those who stormed the Capitol. In the aftermath of the riots, Democratic lawmakers raised concerns that some Republican lawmakers gave tours to supporters on January 5, the day before the riots.
In a letter calling for an investigation, Democratic Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey wrote:
"The tours being conducted on Tuesday, January 5, were a noticeable and concerning departure from the procedures in place as of March 2020 that limited the number of visitors to the Capitol. The visitors encountered by some of the Members of Congress on this letter appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day."
"Members of the group that attacked the Capitol seemed to have an unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the Capitol Complex,. Given the events of January 6, the ties between these groups inside the Capitol Complex and the attacks on the Capitol need to be investigated."
What's more, resurfaced social media posts revealed Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to be a close associate of one of the rioters before she was elected to Congress. Greene frequently promoted Trump's election lies and has since defended the rioters.
A bipartisan commission investigating the events of January 6 would help address some of these concerns, but the majority of House Republicans opposed recently passed legislation recently passed by the Democratic-led House to establish such a body.
Among those Republicans was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who refused to answer whether he was certain that no Republican members of Congress communicated with insurrectionists.
McCarthy simply responded:
"Thank you for your question. Everybody have a nice day."
His answer—or lack thereof—sparked concern across social media.
They couldn't help but notice how quickly McCarthy's colleagues left as they heard the question.
The commission bill now heads to the Senate, where Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has come out in opposition, weighting its passage with even more uncertainty.