The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol concluded its fifth public hearing on Thursday and revealed that multiple Republican members of Congress – Mo Brooks (Alabama), Matt Gaetz (Florida), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Scott Perry (Pennsylvania), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia) – sought pardons in January of 2021 from then-President Donald Trump after they voted against certifying President Joe Biden's 2020 victory in the Electoral College.
Not long after the bipartisan panel recessed, Gaetz, a fiercely loyal Trump ally and proponent of the Big Lie, took to Twitter to disparage his colleagues and their historic inquiry.
"The January 6 Committee is an unconstitutional political sideshow," he wrote. "It is rapidly losing the interest of the American people and now resorts to siccing federal law enforcement on political opponents.
Gaetz was met with immediate scorn and mockery.
Greene, another stalwart defender of Trump, also reacted defensively, accusing the Committee of "spreading gossip and lies" and conducting a "witch hunt."
But her post only raised more eyebrows. She too faced severe backlash.
One notable expert remarked on Thursday evening that the soliciting of pardons in exchange for a specific act is a federal felony.
"Congressmen helping Trump on & before 1/6 & then demanding pardons. Makes me think of 18 USC 201: A public official who corruptly seeks anything of value in return for an official act or colluding in fraud shall be imprisoned for up to 15 years & disqualified from office," tweeted Norman Eisen, a CNN legal analyst Former Ambassador to the Czech Republic.
Brooks, meanwhile, has agreed to testify before the Select Committee as long as it is public.
"My basic requirement is it be in public so the public can see it," he said on Wednesday, "so they don't get bits and pieces dribbled out."