ICYMI: “Kari Lake Defends Jan. 6 Capitol Rioters On The Senate Campaign Trail” [Arizona Republic]

For Immediate Release
Monday, December 18th, 2023
Contact: Olivia Taylor-Puckett, otpuckett@azdem.org

ICYMI: “Kari Lake Defends Jan. 6 Capitol Rioters On The Senate Campaign Trail” [Arizona Republic]

ARIZONA -– The Arizona Republic reported on Kari Lake’s frequent defense of January 6th rioters on the campaign trail. This comes on the heels of Friday’s report on Lake’s new show on a far-right online network where she “[burnishes] her credentials with the far right even as GOP leaders have hoped she would focus her campaign on issues more likely to resonate with the broader public in Arizona.”

Together, these reports highlight Lake’s inability to move on from election denialism, associating with extremists and insurrectionists, and dangerous views that have her campaign struggling to court Arizona voters– all while frequently campaigning outside of Arizona.

Read the latest examples showing why Kari Lake is a nightmare for the GOP:

Arizona Republic: Kari Lake defends Jan. 6 Capitol rioters on the Senate campaign trail

By: Laura Gersony

December 17th, 2023

Key Points:

  • Senate candidate Kari Lake in recent weeks has issued a flurry of congratulations and sympathy towards participants in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, in which a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump violently entered the Capitol grounds in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the result of the 2020 presidential election.
  • Like some other Republicans, Lake has suggested that prosecution of Jan. 6 participants is politically motivated, despite a wealth of evidence and court judgments that many participants broke the law that day.
  • She struck a similar tone while running for governor in 2022, telling one participant he did nothing wrong. That man was sentenced to three years of probation after he encouraged others to “go, go, go” into the Capitol building and take a police officer’s shield.
  • “You showed up to show your support for a president,” Lake said at the time, according to a video of the event posted on YouTube.
  • Lake has continued to defend Jan. 6 participants while running for Senate, despite receiving advice from national Republicans to stop focusing on “grievances from the past.” Her campaign declined to comment.
  • Appearing last week on Fox News, Lake cast those prosecuted for their involvement the Jan. 6 riot as “political prisoners” and defended by name one participant who videos posted to social media captured repeatedly swinging a baseball bat at police officers, thrusting a riot shield in their direction, and boasting online about his involvement in the attack, according to court papers. 
  • “It’s terrible what happened,” Lake said, when her interviewer suggested that innocent people were being prosecuted. “This, to me, is one of the great injustices in American history.”
  • Several days later, Lake posted in support of Owen Shroyer, another Jan. 6 participant after he was released from prison. Shroyer, the host of a show on the website owned by the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, had served a two-month prison sentence after he spread misinformation about the 2020 election on his platform leading up to Jan. 6 and agitated the crowd on the steps of the Capitol complex.
  • “Glad you are back, healthy and energized,” Lake commented on Shroyer’s social media post announcing he had been released.
  • Last week, a social media account associated with the campaign reposted a picture of Lake posing with Jenna Ryan, a participant in the Jan. 6 riot who also served a two-month prison sentence.
  • The post was noticed by Jacob Chansley, the so-called ‘QAnon shaman’ who has indicated his interest in running to represent Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. Chansley commented to inquire whether the photo was taken in Arizona or Texas, where Ryan lives.
  • “Kari was here. I thought of you while she was speaking,” Ryan responded. 
  • “I esp loved what she says about J6. ‘I think they should all be pardoned and more.’”
  • Lake’s continued insistence that recent elections were rigged or stolen from Republicans has made some national Republicans skeptical of her candidacy. 
  • Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., the National Republican Senatorial Committee chair, recently told CNN that he recommends Lake “look to the future.”
  • “I think one thing we’ve learned from 2022 is voters do not want to hear about grievances from the past,” he said.


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