Rep. David Cicilline
© Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.)
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) on Friday began asking Democratic colleagues to sign on to a resolution to censure three House Republicans who tried this week to minimize the severity of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

In a letter to fellow House Democrats, Cicilline said that a resolution will be forthcoming to specifically censure Republican Reps. Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Jody Hice (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) for their remarks at a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Wednesday downplaying and making false claims about the violent attack on the Capitol. Cicilline wrote:
"These three members dangerously mischaracterized what happened that day and showed more sympathy for the domestic terrorists than the Capitol Police officers who died during the attack.

"The members who testified that January 6th was 'not an insurrection' and undermined the damage that was done put their own political agendas above their country. In doing so, they recklessly disregarded the future harm they could cause by legitimizing a violent attack on our democratic institutions - a conscious and harmful decision calling into question their dedication to their role as Representatives."
Cicilline further made his case by noting the expulsion of 17 members of Congress — 14 senators and three House members — during the Civil War for "disloyalty to the United States."

Another House member was censured for supporting recognition of the Confederacy. Cicilline continued:
"This body took action to hold disloyal members accountable for undermining our democracy and violating the oath they took to defend and protect the constitution. The same holds true today. We cannot allow this abhorrent mischaracterization to go unchecked."
Several Republicans during Wednesday's oversight hearing on the federal and local response to the Jan. 6 insurrection repeatedly tried to downplay the violence and former President Trump's role in inciting a mob of his supporters to try to forcibly stop Congress from certifying President Biden's election victory.

Clyde argued that an image of the mob walking between stanchions in Statuary Hall near the House chamber — despite otherwise engaging in vandalism and violence elsewhere in the Capitol — looked like a "normal tourist visit."
"Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures. You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from Jan. 6, you'd think it was a normal tourist visit."
Clyde also claimed that the insurrection "was not an insurrection."

Gosar defended Ashli Babbitt, a rioter shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer while she tried to breach the House chamber as lawmakers and staff were still evacuating, as a "veteran wrapped in an American flag" who was "executed."

Gosar also stressed that the Capitol Police officer who died a day after engaging with the mob, Brian Sicknick, died of "natural causes."

About 140 Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police officers were injured on Jan. 6, while two other police officers on duty that day later died of suicide.

Hice, meanwhile, noted the other four people who died on Jan. 6 — Babbitt and three others who died of medical emergencies — were Trump supporters.
"In fact, it was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others."
Other House Democrats have also introduced resolutions to censure Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) for making false claims that the election had been stolen from Trump. So far, none of those resolutions have moved forward.

Brooks, who led the effort in the House to challenge the presidential election results, said at a rally outside the White House on Jan. 6 that "today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass."