Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah took time away from saying the Pentagon is waging an abortion war on American babies to promote huge lies on social media about the nature of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection on the Capitol grounds in Washington, D.C.
House Speaker Mike Johnson’s announcement of the release of hours of footage from Jan. 6 led the right-wing-o-sphere (and shills like Lee) to begin posting all of the footage they could find where nothing was happening. It is sort of like reviewing 7 AM’s security footage from Sept. 11, 2001, to prove there was no attack on the World Trade Center towers. This has led to many right-wingers trying to use the footage to prove that the entire Jan. 6 insurrection was manufactured by the FBI.
Former Republican Rep. Liz Cheney decided to post footage to her X (formerly Twitter) account showing the actual siege of the Capitol building, writing, “Here’s some January 6th video for you.” Lee decided to respond to this, writing, “Liz, we’ve seen footage like that a million times. You made sure we saw that—and nothing else. It’s the other stuff—what you deliberately hid from us—that we find so upsetting. Nice try. P.S. How many of these guys are feds? (As if you’d ever tell us).”
Then Lee retweeted a post from former West Virginia lawmaker and guy who apologized profusely and pled guilty to his part in the Jan. 6 insurrection, Derrick Evans. Evans now sells himself as a political prisoner. He posted a screenshot accompanied by the question, “Is this person flashing a badge? If so, this would prove there were undercover federal agents disguised as MAGA.” Lee responded to Evans, “I can’t wait to ask FBI Director Christopher Wray about this at our next oversight hearing. I predict that, as always, his answers will be 97% information-free.”
Of course, it ain’t a badge in the picture. It’s a vape. The guy in the image has been identified as a man named Kevin Lyons—and Lyons isn’t a G-man. In fact, as readers added context to Lee’s reckless retweet of misinformation, Lyons was sentenced to more than four years in a federal prison for stealing a wallet as well as “a framed photo of the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis from then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.”
Cheney took advantage of this thoughtless bit of dangerous buffoonery on the part of Lee to call him out: “You’re a lawyer, Mike. You’re capable of understanding the scores of J6 verdicts & rulings in our federal courts. E.g. https://justice.gov/usao-dc/capitol-breach-cases. You didn’t object to electors on J6 because you knew what Trump was doing was unconstitutional & you know what you’re doing now is wrong.”
Lee is a liar and misinformation machine. The past few years have seen video and audio evidence of how duplicitous Lee is when it comes to his craven desire to destroy Social Security. While he may not present himself as chaotically as fellow Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, he’s the exact same type of a hot mess.
We talk about North Carolina non-stop on "The Downballot," so it's only natural that our guest on this week's episode is Anderson Clayton, the new chair of the state Democratic Party. Clayton made headlines when she became the youngest state party chair anywhere in the country at the age of 25, and the story of how she got there is an inspiring one. But what she's doing—and plans to do—is even more compelling. Her focus is on rebuilding the party infrastructure from the county level up, with the aim of reconnecting with rural Black voters who've too often been sidelined and making young voters feel like they have a political home. Plus: her long-term plan to win back the state Supreme Court.