Republicans Louie Gohmert and Paul Gosar 'may have had serious cognitive issues,' Jan. 6 committee advisor says

  • Republican Denver Riggleman says Reps. Louie Gohmert and Paul Gosar are in their own little worlds.

  • Riggleman says the two House conservatives spew nothing but "unhinged conspiracy theories."

  • They harbor "wild, dramatic fantasies about Democrats, the media and big tech," Riggleman says.

Former January 6 committee investigator Denver Riggleman says Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas and Paul Gosar of Arizona's penchant for "unhinged conspiracy theories" convinced him that the two Trump allies are fully divorced from reality.

"I came to believe Gosar and Gohmert may have had serious cognitive issues," Riggleman writes of his former colleagues in his new book, "The Breach: The untold story of the investigation into January 6th."

Raising alarms about lawmakers' mental health gels with responses gathered in a recent poll conducted as part of Insider's "Red, White, and Gray" project, which explores the costs, benefits, and dangers of life in a democracy helmed by those of advanced age.

Eighty one percent of respondents said they support subjecting congressional candidates to physical and mental exams before they're allowed to serve - an issue that's already on voters' minds as the 2024 presidential race takes shape.

In excerpts cited by The Guardian, Riggleman wrote that Gohmert and Gosar "seemed to be joined at the brain stem when it came to their eagerness to believe wild, dramatic fantasies about Democrats, the media and big tech." Reps. Gohmert and Gosar did not respond to requests for comment about Riggleman's remarks.

The harsh criticism flows, Riggleman says, from absorbing all the wild ideas the conservative duo would throw around while they huddled with other members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus. Gohmert and Gosar, who are both in their 60s, are part of a cohort of far-right lawmakers like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia who regularly push conspiracy theories. Their wild and often baseless accusations could also be based on extreme partisanship.

In one case, Riggleman said Gohmert railed against the purported shadow-banning of Republicans on social media by "master algorithms" - a dig at technology companies that reportedly prompted others in the room to nod in agreement.

Riggleman also wrote that while Gosar is prone to extremism - like lobbying  for the dissolution of the District of Columbia if House Republicans reclaim control of the chamber this fall - he's not the only one.


"Scott Perry, Jody Hice, Randy Weber and the caucus chairman, Andy Biggs, all said things that stunned me," Riggleman wrote of the rude awakening he got from MAGA lawmakers during his single term in Congress.

Republican Reps. Perry and Biggs have both been subpoenaed by the select committee investigating the deadly siege at the US Capitol.

Gohmert, who earlier this year bemoaned not being able to lie to the FBI or congressional investigators, will be leaving Capitol Hill at the end of the year after a failed bid to replace embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.


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