“You weren’t there.” Texas lawmaker defends January 6 riot police at U.S. Capitol

State Representative Kyle Biedermann, a Fredericksburg Republican who attended Trump’s rally in front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, said Thursday he does not believe the facts of that day, when protesters stormed the Capitol. and five people were mortally wounded, constituting an insurrection.

His comments came during a lengthy debate in the Texas House about the Republican Party’s primary election bill that had been extended into the evening. Biedermann questioned state representative Erin Zwiener, D-Driftwood, about an amendment proposed that this would have prevented anyone participating in the January 6 riot from being a voter’s assistant. The measure eventually failed.

“The amendment is about the insurrection you claim on January 6, but you’re not there, you don’t know what happened,” Biedermann said. “All you do is listen to the liberal media. It’s right? Where do you get your information? “

The former Texas Freedom Caucus member appeared to be trying to make a distinction between those who attended the rally and those who fought illegally inside the Capitol. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The people who attended this rally and attended the January 6 event, are you going to call them insurrectionists?” he asked.

Zwiener said the amendment referred to people who “participated in or encouraged an act of insurrection against that state or federal government.”

Biedermann, who was captured in a standing video and smiling at Trump’s rally, has described the event as thousands of people who “marched peacefully to our nation’s Capitol to make our voices heard.”

Biedermann asked Zwiener if he was referring to the “400 people, perhaps 600 (who) have been identified” during the riot and are now facing criminal charges. More than 500 people have been charged in federal court, according to a U.S. Department of Justice tracker. Texas, as well as Florida, are the first two states where arrests have been made for the Capitol Revolt, with 56 and 55 defendants respectively.

Zwiener said she was unsure of the current number, but knew prosecutors were continuing to investigate. Biedermann then asked him several more specific questions about the facts, such as how many police officers died and how many days passed after the riot.

“Rep. Biedermann, I’ve been on a game show,” Zwiener said. “I’m not in one now, so I’m not going to draw random facts.”

“You’re inventing and exaggerating what happened at that event,” he said.

Zwiener asked Biedermann, “Do you think the events of January 6 were an insurrection?”

“Of course not,” Biedermann said.

taylor.goldenstein@chron.com