Republicans were complaining about treatment of Capitol riot suspects as committee hearings into 6 January insurrection were beginning near by
Protesters drowned out US Reps Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and other Republican members of Congress as they held a press conference to back complaints by Capitol riot suspects over their treatment in prison.
The lawmakers fled the news conference surrounded by security as protesters screamed at Mr Gaetz, calling him a “paedophile”, and accusing the group of committing treason with their statements in support of the rioters.
The press conference began with one protester attempting to drown out the politicians with a referee’s whistle; the scene then quickly devolved as Ms Greene took the podium and began speaking.
Protesters quickly encircled the group with signs reading “traitors + rapists,” as well as other messages blaming the group personally for the events of 6 Janeiro.
As the group ended the press conference before Ms Greene’s remarks concluded, the shouts grew even louder, with one woman questioning Mr Gaetz “are you a paedophile?” as he walked past.
Reps. Gaetz and Greene get run out of their own presser at the DOJ. pic.twitter.com/Jc3BTbUO05
— Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) julho 27, 2021
The protesters appeared to be referencing the reported investigation Mr Gaetz faces over claims that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl; a Justice Department investigation into that matter was reported by O jornal New York Times em março. Mr Gaetz has strongly denied any wrongdoing and insisted the reported investigation is part of a political campaign to discredit him.
One staffer, who was seen during the press conference directing others to block the view of reporters trying to take pictures of a large effigy of former President Donald Trump brought by some of the demonstrators, angrily addressed reporters as the group left, claiming that the scene was the result of “the left” stifling speech they disagreed with.
Rep Louie Gohmert, one of the members of Congress to speak at the news conference, briefly returned to speak to reporters after the news conference dissolved into chaos but was drowned out by a large brass band, DC Critical Condition, which was apparently contracted by demonstrators to show up and drown out the news conference with music.
The band could still be heard playing a while after the presser ended, as demonstrators celebrated and danced outside of the Justice Department building while still waving their signs and the Trump effigy.