In private, some House Republicans advocated booting Brooks from his committee assignments, aghast at such inflammatory rhetoric to a crowd that later ransacked the Capitol, terrorized police officers, vandalized the halls of democracy and left death and destruction in its wake, lawmakers told CNN.
“What shocked me at the time was the number of my own colleagues that had never heard the remarks. And I played it for them,” Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack, a member of the House GOP group that was weighing stripping Brooks of his committee assignments, recalled on Friday. “There were jaws dropping.”
Asked if he thinks that Brooks incited the rioters, Womack told CNN, “I’m not going to get into that. He offended me, I can tell you that.”
Ultimately, House Republicans opted not to punish Brooks, who led the quixotic campaign in Congress to try to overturn the votes in some states that Biden won, endearing him to Trump and his closest supporters in the process.