Oregon Republicans say Capitol riot was staged to harm Trump

Trump supporters storm the US Capitol in his name (EPA-EFE)
Trump supporters storm the US Capitol in his name (EPA-EFE)
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The Oregon Republican Party has passed a resolution falsely claiming that the Capitol riot was a "false flag" operation that was undertaken to damage former President Donald Trump and strengthen the power of President Joe Biden.

“The violence at the Capitol was a ‘false flag’ operation designed to discredit President Trump, his supporters, and all conservative Republicans; this provided the sham motivation to impeach President Trump in order to advance the Democratic goal of seizing total power, in a frightening parallel to the February 1933 burning of the German Reichstag," the resolution says, comparing the Capitol riot to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler using the burning of the Reichstag in Berlin to accumulate power and suspend freedom of speech, assembly and press.

"False flag" is a term used increasingly on the right to make claims that actions were taken by one group disguised as another.

Many conservatives have claimed that the rioters were members of Antifa and not Trump supporters. There is no evidence of this, however, and many identifiable and prolific Trump supporters were part of the mob.

Democrats hold the majority in both state legislative chambers in Oregon. In November, Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley was reelected with 57 per cent of the vote after the Oregon GOP nominated QAnon believer Jo Rae Perkins, who got 39 per cent, The Washington Post reported.

Republicans are under immense pressure to acquit the former president in his second impeachment trial. State Republican parties all over the country are making it very clear that they support Mr Trump and will attempt to punish anyone who goes against him. Republican Senators are being flooded with calls from constituents demanding that they vote to acquit, and some Republican Senators are arguing that holding a trial at all is "stupid" and "unconstitutional".

Read more: Follow live updates on the beginning of the Biden presidency

Rioters stormed the Oregon state capitol in December, and video shows Republican state lawmaker Mike Nearman appearing to let them in the back door.

The resolution also compares the 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Mr Trump to Revolutionary War traitor Major General Benedict Arnold, who switched allegiance to the British during the American War of Independence.

The resolution says: "The 10 Republican House members, by voting to impeach Trump, repeated history by conspiring to surrender our nation to Leftist forces seeking to establish dictatorship void of all cherished freedoms and liberties."

The resolution was approved by party officials in the state instead of elected members of the state legislatures, The Oregonian reported. Political scientist at Pacific University in Forest Grove Jim Moore told The Oregonian that party officials are usually much further to the right or the left than the electorate at large, depending on their party affiliation.

The state party’s communications director Kevin Hoar claimed in a video: “They’re using the circumstance that’s occurred and they’ve turned it around and said, ‘You know what? We need to declare all of these so-called ‘groups’ that we don’t like as insurrectionists'."

The Chairman of the Oregon GOP Bill Currier claimed in a press release that the "Democrats and their enablers are trying to falsely assign blame to the peaceful protesters present that day", despite the huge number of videos and photos showing violent Trump supporters ransacking the Capitol.

More than 100 rioters have been charged for their actions on 6 January so far, the vast majority of them are staunch supporters of Mr Trump, The Washington Post reported.

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