GOP Rep Gohmert gifts Capitol flag to Jan 6 rioter after she’s released from jail

Texas Republican says ‘political prisoner’ was treated wrongly despite conviction

John Bowden
Washington DC
Sunday 11 September 2022 18:09 EDT
Chuck Schumer calles Capitol rioters 'domestic terrorists'

A Republican congressman from Texas gifted a flag that was previously flown over the US Capitol to a convicted participant in the violent assault on that same institution.

Louis Gohmert, a far-right representative who previously helped spread Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, called Dr Simone Gold a “political prisoner” despite her relatively mild sentence and admitted participation in the riot. Gold plead guilty earlier this year to taking part in the riot and was sentenced to 60 days in jail for entering a restricted area.

Her sentence was far lighter than those handed down to other participants who were found to have fought with police officers or committed acts of vandalism.

But Mr Gohmert nonetheless argued that she had been treated unfairly in a statement his office released on Friday.

“Dr. Gold is a patriot and an American hero. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, she exposed the world to life-saving early treatment options that undoubtedly saved many lives. Tragically, her sound medical advice was viciously attacked and suppressed by a corrupt media captured by pharmaceutical companies with a clear financial agenda,” he said in in the press release.

According to the statement from his office, Mr Gohmert greeted her upon release from a federal prison and “presented her with a flag which was flown over the U.S. Capitol to celebrate her invaluable work and contributions to public health, medical freedom and our God-given constitutional rights”.

Gold is a longtime purveyor of Covid-19 misinformation and has worked to cast doubt on the effectiveness of vaccines against the virus, despite clear evidence showing that the jabs are extremely effective at preventing dangerous symptoms of the disease. She won allies on the far-right during the early days of the pandemic for her anti-vaccine activism.

“I am honored to receive this recognition from Congressman Gohmert, a true believer in freedom and a fierce defender of our constitutional rights,” Gold responded on Twitter.

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