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'What planet' are they on? Judge blasts Republicans for downplaying attack on U.S. Capitol

WorldJun 23, 2021 04:51PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A mob of supporters of then-U.S. President Donald Trump climb through a window they broke as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

By Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday harshly criticized Republican lawmakers for downplaying the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, questioning "what planet" they are living on.

Hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol that day in a failed attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden's presidential election victory. The violence left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer, and more than 480 people have been arrested on charges linked to the attack.

"I'm especially troubled by the accounts of some members of Congress that Jan. 6 was just a day of tourists walking through the Capitol," U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said during a court hearing in Washington. "I don't know what planet these people are on."

Lamberth, who was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan - one of the heroes of the Republican Party - said millions of people saw what he called a "disgrace" to the country.

"The attempt by some congressmen to rewrite history and say this was all just tourists walking through the Capitol is just utter nonsense," Lamberth said.

"It was not an accident that it turned violent," he said of the Capitol attack. "It was intended to draw to a halt the very functioning of our government."

Lamberth did not name any particular legislator during his remarks, but Republican Representative Andrew Clyde last month likened the attack to a "normal tourist visit" during a congressional hearing.

"Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes, taking videos and pictures," Clyde said. "If you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit."

Clyde did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. Other Republican lawmakers have also downplayed the violence.

Photos from Jan. 6 showed Clyde rushing toward the door of the House of Representatives while guards with guns drawn held off rioters trying to break into the chamber.

Lamberth made his remarks during a sentencing hearing for Anna Morgan-Lloyd, 49, who was the first of about 500 people charged for participating in the Capitol siege to receive punishment.

Morgan-Lloyd, of Bloomfield, Indiana, agreed to plead guilty to a single charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

Lamberth sentenced her to three years of probation.

"I went there to support and show support for President Trump, and I’m ashamed that it became a savage display of violence that day," Morgan-Lloyd said during the court hearing.

'What planet' are they on? Judge blasts Republicans for downplaying attack on U.S. Capitol
 

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Comments (4)
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Jun 25, 2021 10:00AM ET
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yawn
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jun 24, 2021 11:20AM ET
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"Lamberth, who was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan"  -- if Reagan is running for office today he would be branded RINO by the current republican trump fanatics....
Nordin Mohamad
Nordin Mohamad Jun 24, 2021 11:12AM ET
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well the winner take all the good things and the losers take all the blames and all bad things
Notvery Goodathis
Peteymcletey Jun 24, 2021 7:01AM ET
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What about all the instigators from the democratic side that took part? 🤔
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Jun 24, 2021 7:01AM ET
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Not even a remotely good strawman
 
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