A Republican congressman who suggested that the only remaining way to block Joe Biden from becoming president may be “violence in the streets” is facing strong pushback from both sides of the aisle.
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert had filed a lawsuit seeking to force Mike Pence to overturn the results of the presidential election. The lawsuit was eventually tossed out. He said in a Friday appearance on Newsmax that the court ruling was an attempt to avoid “riots and violence in the streets.”
“Bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this, you have no remedy,'” Gohmert said, via The Associated Press.
“Basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you’ve got to go to the streets and be as violent as antifa and BLM.”
Many spoke out against what was widely seen as a dangerous sentiment.
“In case you haven’t seen it already, Louie Gohmert has moved on from being smug & dumb to being a dangerous threat to the republic and to public safety. GOP leaders must speak up for a change,” tweeted MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Alene.
Others believed that the reference to violence was an indictment not just of Gohmert, but the entirety of the GOP that has been supporting Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the presidential race. Evan McMullin, the former policy director for the House Republican Conference, wrote on Twitter that it would be easy to dismiss Gohmert — who he said has long been seen as one of the “goofiest” members of Congress — but found it disconcerting that his wing of the GOP now appears to control the party.
As The Associated Press noted, Gohmert has hinted at violent actions in the past. When Trump supporters held a “Million MAGA March” near the White House in the weeks after his election loss, Gohmert encouraged them to consider a “revolution” like the one that brought regime change in Egypt in recent years.
There have been a number of violent incidents at protests in Washington supporting the president, including a demonstration last month in which a pair of historic African American churches were attacked, with a group of supporters tearing down a “Black Lives Matter” banner from one of the buildings and setting it on fire in the street.
Trump has continued to insist that he was the real winner of the election, saying the victory was stolen from him through massive fraud. A number of Republicans have supported his effort, including a group that has pledged to object during the tallying of Electoral College votes later in the week.