Ex-GOP Politician Is Worried Far-Right Congressmen Have ‘Serious Cognitive Issues’

In a new book, former congressman Denver Riggleman made the allegation about Republicans Paul Gosar and Louie Gohmert based on his interactions with them.
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) speaks at a news conference at the Capitol Building on December 07, 2021 in Washington, DC. Gosar and Reps.
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) speaks at a news conference at the Capitol Building on December 07, 2021 in Washington, DC. Gosar and Reps. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Former Congressman Denver Riggleman says he suspected Republican Reps. Paul Gosar and Louie Gohmert “may have had serious cognitive issues,” because they said such mind-boggling things during his interactions with them.

The former Republican congressman made the allegation in a new book published today, The Breach: The Untold Story of the Investigation Into January 6. 

Riggleman was first elected in 2018 and spent a single term in the House before being successfully primaried out by current Rep. Bob Good. Perhaps best known for the minor campaign controversy that he wrote satirical Bigfoot erotica, Riggleman ultimately lost his seat to the more conservative Good after he officiated at a gay couple’s wedding

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But during the two years he did spend in the House, Riggleman wrote that he was alarmed by the extreme positions taken by Gosar, Gohmert, and others during meetings of the far-right Freedom Caucus he joined, according to the Guardian, which obtained an early copy. 

During one meeting, Gohmert “promoted a conspiracy theory related to master algorithms” and said he “suspected there was a secret technology shadow-banning conservatives across all platforms,” according to Riggleman, who believed this to be “crazy.”

Wild Gohmert moments in the past include wondering if the National Forest Service could alter either the moon or Earth’s orbit as a solution to solve climate change, claiming there was “no armed insurrection” on Jan. 6 despite a preponderance of video evidence showing rioters with makeshift weapons, and getting mad that he couldn’t cook barbecue on his Congressional office balcony

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Riggleman also wrote that Gosar was a “blatant white supremacist” along with former Rep. Steve King, according to the Guardian

“I had always bristled when I’d hear Democrats dismiss Republicans as ‘racists,’” Riggleman wrote. “Now, here I was behind the curtain, seeing that some of my colleagues really seemed to hold these awful views.”

Gohmert is retiring from Congress at the end of this year, following a failed campaign to become the Texas attorney general. Gosar, who was censured by Congress last year after tweeting a staff-made anime parody showing him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is expected to keep his deep-red Arizona seat. 

After leaving Congress, Riggleman joined the staff of the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot. He worked on the committee for eight months before leaving in April; the book and Riggleman’s comments on cable media have angered committee members and staffers, the Washington Post reported over the weekend

Committee spokesperson Tim Mulvey told the Post that Riggleman had “limited knowledge” of the investigation, given that he left in April, prior to a series of high-profile public hearings this summer. The committee’s next public hearing is set for Wednesday

“He departed from the staff in April prior to our hearings and much of our most important investigative work,” Mulvey told the Post. “Since his departure, the Committee has run down all the leads and digested and analyzed all the information that arose from his work.”