Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) also repeated lies about the 2020 election and face masks during a meeting with supporters.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) on Sunday defended the hundreds of Donald Trump supporters who carried out the violent attack at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an effort to stop the peaceful transition of power, calling them "political hostages."
At an event with the Macon County Republican Party in North Carolina, according to video posted to Facebook, Cawthorn told supporters, "When we're seeking answers, they're giving us the biggest run-around that you can possibly imagine, and so, the big problem is, we don't actually know where all the political prisoners are, and so if we were to actually be able to go and try and bust them out — let me tell you, the reason why they've taken these political prisoners is because they're trying to make an example, because they don't want to see the mass protests going on in Washington."
Asked by a supporter, "When are you going to call us to Washington again?" Cawthorn said, "We are actively working on that one. I don't have an answer to that one yet. We are actively working on this. We have a few plans in motion I can't make public right now, but this is something we're working on." Cawthorn continued, "There are a lot of Republicans that don't want to talk about this, because, you know, they say, 'Oh, that's too controversial.'"
Cawthorn's expression of sympathy for those who carried out the attack at the Capitol on Jan. 6 came one day before CNN reported that the House Select Committee on the insurrection reached out to telecom companies to ask them to preserve the phone records of Cawthorn and a handful of GOP lawmakers who spoke at the "Stop the Steal" rally ahead of the attack.
Cawthorn was a participant in the rally, at which conservative pundits, GOP lawmakers, and Donald Trump lied about the results of the 2020 presidential election and encouraged Trump supporters to go to the Capitol to "fight."
Cawthorn has since said he doesn't regret his participation in that event.
Cawthorn isn't the only GOP lawmaker who has sympathized with the insurrectionists.
Reps. Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Matt Gaetz (FL), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) scheduled a news conference in July at the Department of Justice at which they referred to the insurrectionists as "political prisoners" and condemned the treatment they were receiving in jail. The event, however, was shut down by counterprotesters.
Aside from sympathizing with accused domestic terrorists, Cawthorn's remarks themselves were full of lies, including that the 2020 election was stolen and that wearing masks to stop the spread of COVID-19 is "anti-science."
Cawthorn condemned vaccine mandates, saying that people should boycott businesses that require the COVID-19 vaccine for service or employment.
"When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes your duty," he said, adding, "If they shut down the country again, we need to say no. We need a little civil disobedience."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.