Rep. Biggs slammed on C-SPAN callers for Jan. 6 involvement, corrected by host
Rep. Andy Biggs was slammed on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" show Friday by callers criticizing his involvement in the events that transpired on Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the U.S. Capitol riot.
He also was corrected by host Greta Brawner for incorrectly saying that nobody had been convicted for seditious conspiracy in relation to the Jan. 6 violence.
The first call came from Jim of Cloverdale, Oregon, on C-SPAN's Democratic line, who criticized members of the GOP for backing former President Donald Trump's campaign promise to pardon some people convicted of Jan. 6-related crimes.
"Do you realize that Trump lied under oath when he was being sworn in? He promised to protect the United States of America and everything foreign and domestic. Donald Trump wants to pardon the … traitors that were convicted of seditious conspiracy? Come on, what the hell is wrong with you Republicans?"
After saying that he was not sure what the caller was talking about but presumed it was about what might happen if Trump is elected again with regard to some found guilty of their actions on Jan. 6, Biggs incorrectly said: "Not all were convicted of seditious treason. In fact, none were. And so that’s important to understand. The second thing I would say is many of them were convicted of misdemeanor trespass. And I think that’s important to understand as well ... ."
Verdict:Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes found guilty of seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 attack
Four members of the right-wing group Oath Keepers were convicted of seditious conspiracy in January. That followed the November conviction of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and another member of the group, Kelly Meggs. Brawner would correct Biggs after the next caller, citing the USA Today article on Rhodes.
The story was first reported by the Daily Beast. Biggs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
After Brawner addressed Biggs' error, Biggs replied: "Oh, OK. Yeah, well, I didn’t follow that case."
The second caller to ask about Jan. 6 was David from Ashland, Mississippi, on the Independents line. Callers can contact the show based on party affiliation and also have a third option of calling on the Republican line.
David asked: "... Mr. Biggs, do you think those that conspired in the White House to overthrow the country with Donald Trump and Jeffrey Clark and all that should be held accountable? And exactly why did you ask for a pardon from Mark Meadows?" David asked.
Held in contempt:Jeffrey Clark, ex-Trump DOJ official, faces disciplinary charges for election misstatements
Biggs denied asking for the pardon from Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff, a claim he has long maintained.
"That's been completely debunked. But, you know, lies persist. So that's a ... that's going to happen. And I’m big enough to withstand the perpetual lie in that way," Biggs said.
Regarding Clark, a former senior U.S. Department of Justice official who faces Jan. 6-related ethics charges, Biggs said "there's been no indication that anybody attempted to overthrow the government with somebody named Jeff Clark ... whom I don’t believe I’ve ever even met. So, you know ... thanks for the perpetuation of the false narrative of the left," Biggs said.
Clark's charges stem from a letter he drafted to Georgia officials, claiming falsely that the DOJ "identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple states, including the state of Georgia." Trump tried to put Clark in as the acting attorney general after William Barr resigned. The complaint, brought by the Washington, D.C., Bar, alleges Clark tried to persuade former Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue, another high-ranking DOJ official, to sign the letter. Both Rosen and Donoghue did not comply with the alleged request, according to the complaint.
The third Jan. 6 call on "Washington Journal" came from Michelle, a Republican in New York, who asked about video footage Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired earlier this month. The footage showed some people who breached the Capitol on Jan. 6 being let into areas of the building by members of the Capitol police, who seemed to facilitate their entry. The 41,000-hour video footage was given exclusively by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to Carlson, who edited the material.
Fact check:Claims of FBI role in Jan. 6 Capitol attack are false
"Is he going to have any retribution or another hearing so they can look at the exculpatory evidence … ?" Michelle asked, seemingly referring to the so-called QAnon Shaman, Jake Angeli of Phoenix.
Angeli, known for his face paint and horn hat, was sentenced to 41 months in prison in November 2021, with 11 months credit for time served.
Biggs responded by verifying the accuracy of Carlson's portrayal of the insurrection.
Carlson had characterized the insurrection as "mostly peaceful chaos."
Democrats and U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger criticized the footage as uncharacteristic of the events of Jan. 6.
Biggs agreed with Carlson's portrayal of the insurrection, saying that as "one of the few members of Congress who has gone over and watched these videotapes .... the actual footage is consistent with what Tucker Carlson put out."
Angeli's case should be "dismissed completely," Biggs said, if allegations that the FBI "infiltrated" his legal representation are true, "as you've basically biased and poisoned … the fruit of that tree completely."
"This is what I mean when I talk about weaponization of the government and people having trouble getting a fair trial in this country today," Biggs added.
In a fact check, USA Today found no evidence that the FBI took part in arranging the insurrection.
Tara Kavaler is a politics reporter at The Arizona Republic. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kavalertara.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Rep. Biggs misinformation called out on C-SPAN dial-in show