Over the weekend, House Republicans released thousands of hours of footage from January 6 after newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson announced his intention to do so. The response from the far-right? Incredibly reasonable. Devoid of conspiracy theories. Definitely not anything that could be described as “unhinged” or “completely insane.”
Just kidding, of course. Instead, right-wing Republicans unsurprisingly lost their minds and dove even further into the deep end of deranged, half-baked explanations for what really happened on January 6, 2021. Leading the charge was Utah senator Mike Lee, best known for saying in late 2020 that he was spending “14 hours a day” trying to help Donald Trump steal the election and urging then chief of staff Mark Meadows to grant lawyer Sidney Powell an audience with the president.
On Saturday, Lee retweeted an image being circulated by right-wing social media users showing a rioter walking through the Capitol who conspiracy theorists claim is actually a member of law enforcement disguised as a Trump supporter. (The individual in question has been identified as convicted rioter Kevin Lyons.) “Can’t wait to ask FBI Director Christopher Wray about this,” Lee wrote.
Later, responding to a clip of footage shared by former GOP representative Liz Cheney, who served as vice chair of the January 6 committee, he doubled down, saying, “How many of these guys are feds? (As if you’d ever tell us).” In response, Cheney suggested—not unreasonably!—that her former colleague is a “nutball conspiracy theorist.”