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Ray Roseberry hadn’t even surrendered to police after shutting down Congress for hours with a threat to blow part of Capitol Hill before the first Republican congressman decided he understood the source of the man’s “anger.”
The North Carolina man had livestreamed his threat to blow up the street outside the Library of Congress, describing himself as a “patriot” and repeatedly demanding to speak to President Joe Biden, whom he criticized for a number of things, including the withdrawal from Afghanistan. He also referenced comments made by Rep. Ilhan Omar and called her a “little bitch.”
“The revolution is on. It’s here. I’m ready to die for the cause,” Roseberry said.
Rep. Mo Brooks, a Stop the Stealer who led House Republicans’ efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, released a statement Thursday describing the man as a “terrorist” and adding, without any hint of irony: “Sadly, violence and threats of violence targeting America’s political institutions are far too common.”
But while Brooks conceded that Roseberry’s motivation is “not yet publicly known,” he can probably guess it’s socialism’s fault.
“Generally speaking, I understand citizenry anger directed at dictatorial Socialism and its threat to liberty, freedom, and the very fabric of American society,” Brooks said. “The way to stop Socialism's march is for patriotic Americans to fight back in the 2022 and 2024 elections.”
“Bluntly stated, America’s future is at risk,” Brooks added.
Roseberry’s threat forced the evacuation of multiple Library of Congress buildings, a House office building, and the Supreme Court, but he surrendered to police without incident Thursday afternoon. No bomb was found in the truck, though U.S. Capitol Police chief Thomas Manger said “possible bomb-making materials were collected from the truck.”
Democrats were quick to condemn Brooks for appearing to express sympathy with Roseberry. “I know it seems like hyperbole when we say that Republicans have become enemies of democracy, but here is a mainstream Republican TAKING THE SIDE OF THE BOMBER,” Sen. Chris Murphy tweeted.
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who has drawn the ire of conservatives for his frequent criticism of former President Donald Trump and for taking a seat on a committee investigating the Capitol riot, said Brooks represents an existential crisis for the GOP.
“The GOP has a decision to make. Are we going to be the party that keeps stoking sympathy for domestic terrorists and pushes out truth, or finally take a stand for truth,” Kinzinger tweeted. “I’ve made my decision, so has Mo. Now it’s up to GOP conference leadership to make theirs.”