Gohmert speaks at conference where QAnon supporters push for coup to oust Biden

2550

Donald Trump associates Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell were also in attendance at the conference in Texas.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) spoke at a conference over the weekend at which prominent QAnon conspiracy theorists advocated for a military coup to oust President Joe Biden, downplayed the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and spread lies about the 2020 election.

Gohmert was the only member of Congress to speak at the conference, and was part of the conspiracy-theorizing that took place.

He said in remarks at the event that the perpetrators of the Jan. 6 insurrection weren't "just right-wing extremists," continuing the false GOP messaging that the failed attempt to block Congress' certification of Biden's Electoral College win was incited by left-wing groups.

And Gohmert also downplayed the insurrection itself, which Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike have said was an attack on democracy.

"Some of us think Pearl Harbor was the worst attack on democracy, some of us think 9/11 was the worst attack," Gohmert said in his remarks, becoming one of the growing number of Republican lawmakers who have tried to whitewash the attack. "Some of us think that those things were worse attacks on democracy."

Gohmert wasn't the only figure who spread lies and conspiracy theories.

Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's former national security adviser who has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory, advocated for a military coup to oust Biden from power like the one in Myanmar.

"It should happen here," Flynn said in response to an audience member who asked why a Myanmar-style coup — in which the military took control of the government on Feb. 1 and detained the country's leader — couldn't happen in the United States.

And Sidney Powell — the former Trump campaign lawyer who waged a failed attempt to overturn the election — falsely said at the event that Trump is the true winner of the 2020 election and suggested that he could be "reinstated" as president. Powell is facing multiple billion-dollar lawsuits over her lies about voter fraud in the 2020 election, as well as possible sanctions, including possible bans from certain federal court districts, for the baseless lawsuits she filed to overturn the election results.

While the event was hosted by known figures in the extremist QAnon movement, and the event logo featured the acronym "WWG1WGA" — a slogan used by QAnon followers — a worker at the event claimed to the Dallas Morning News that the conference wasn't solely about QAnon.

QAnon followers falsely believe that the government is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. The FBI has called QAnon a domestic terror threat.

The conference, and Gohmert's attendance, is another example of QAnon's infiltration into GOP rhetoric and politics.

A number of those arrested as part of the Capitol insurrection were QAnon supporters.

A Public Religion Research Institute poll released May 27 found that 23% of Republicans believe the QAnon lie that "the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation."

That same poll found 28% of Republicans believe "There is a storm coming soon that will sweep away the elites in power and restore the rightful leaders" — another belief of the QAnon movement.

Democrats are using some GOP lawmakers' ties to the QAnon movement — and most prominently those of Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — in their midterm campaign messaging, highlighting the extremism that is ascendant in the Republican Party.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.