I'm having a difficult time following Rep. Jim Banks' mental gymnastics when it comes to the insurrection that happened on Jan 6.
Maybe if I lay it bare, I will have an easier time understanding what he believes and supports.
Banks was aware that Donald Trump supporters were planning to come to the Capitol and riot; he spoke about it on Fox News just last week. In a since-deleted tweet, he welcomed the supporters to D.C. with open arms.
On Jan. 6, he tweeted: “The Senators are going to get their steps in today.”
All of his tweets in the few days leading up to the insurrection have been deleted, along with that particular one, which acknowledges that he knew the rioters would attempt to storm the Capitol.
Then, in the aftermath of the insurrection that killed five people, he voted against certifying the election results. He has yet to admit there was no fraud in the 2020 election.
He then began to push the false narrative that the insurrection was a peaceful protest. Video and photographic evidence proves otherwise.
Trump supporters ransacked offices, beat police officers with poles, hoisted a Trump flag over the American flag, hunted down congresspeople with the intent of hurting them, and erected a gallows with which to hang then-Vice President Mike Pence for certifying the election.
Remember, Banks knew they were planning to do this and welcomed it, then deleted the evidence on Twitter that he knew and supported it.
Up until this recent weeks, Banks has continued to lie, telling us Jan. 6 was “peaceful.” He voted against creating the insurrection investigation panel that Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy would eventually select him to serve on.
When elected to the panel, he said he was honored to be part of the bipartisan work to investigate what happened on Jan. 6.
But according to what he's been pushing for months, there's nothing to investigate.
Fast forward to last week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected Banks for the panel, and rightly so. A bipartisan panel cannot be bipartisan if two members (one being Banks) encouraged the insurrection, afterward voted to not certify the election results, then blathered about the insurrection being peaceful. That is not bipartisanship; that is putting insurrectionists on a panel to investigate the insurrection.
Once rejected for the panel, again Banks changed his tune. Suddenly the events of Jan. 6 were an egregious attack on our democracy and no longer peaceful.
Suddenly he is interested in creating a new panel that is entirely composed of the GOP, less than a month after voting not to have a bipartisan panel. Suddenly he is tweeting about Pelosi removing him because she doesn't want to “uncover the truth,” when in truth he was removed because he cannot be bipartisan on a panel he didn't even want to exist because he himself said that nothing terrible happened on Jan. 6.
He cannot serve on a panel investigating an insurrection that he encouraged and supported.
Jim Banks is aligned with the men and women who stormed our nation's Capitol in an attempt to overturn our democracy and the will of the people. He welcomed them. He supported them. He encouraged them. And in the devastating aftermath of the insurrection, he still voted against certifying the election results.
Now he is crying and blubbering because he won't be allowed to serve on a panel he aggressively opposed, to investigate an insurrection he stoked and supported.
I cannot keep track of all of his lies or all the stances he has flip-flopped on during his unfortunate tenure as my congressman.
But I do know that Jim Banks is a traitor, and I won't forget it. I don't want you to forget it, either.
The writer asserted Congressman Jim Banks deleted tweets posted before Jan. 6 acknowledging plans for rioters to storm the Capitol.
Mitch Hailstone, spokesman for the Republican Study Committee, said the assertion is false and pointed to Politiwoop, an online tool tracking deleted tweets. The tool, created by ProPublica, does not show any tweets deleted by Banks from that period.
Emily Mossoian is a Fort Wayne resident.