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Brian Mast has questions, but no answers

Mast asked if any insurgents said Trump told them to sack the Capitol.

Republican Rep. Brian Mast took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday to defend President Donald Trump against a sole article of impeachment. He used his time to ask a question he knew could not be answered.

“I rise with a very simple question,” Mast offered. “On Jan. 6, thousands of people broke the law by taking siege of our Capitol here with us inside. Has any one of those persons who bought violence on our Capitol been brought here to say whether they did that because of our President?”

Many of those people have been arrested. Several have indicated on social media and in interviews with mainstream media, with media widely available, that they were, in fact, thinking they were doing Trump’s bidding when they attacked the Capitol. None, however, was subpoenaed for the impeachment debate that took place Wednesday afternoon in the House of Representatives.

Nonetheless, House rules do not allow for questions and answers during a debate. So Mast’s question was followed by 30 seconds of silence while his one-minute of time ticked away.

“It appears I will receive no answer,” Mast finally said as if he had won a point, and then he stepped away from the lectern.

It’s the second time in eight days that Mast had done that in defense of Trump in a House debate.

On Jan. 6, less than half an hour before the mob stormed the Capitol and shut down debate, Mast was the only member of the Florida delegation who got a chance to debate the Electoral College vote count for Arizona in the afternoon session.

Just as he did Wednesday, on that day Mast used his time to ask a question he knew no one could or would answer.

“I rise with a simple question,” he said that day as well. “Can the chair honestly tell Americans that with pending Supreme Court legislation, or pending Supreme Court case, what with legal observers not being allowed to inspect and observe signatures, that the laws and constitution of that state were not violated to change voting outcomes?”

He was asked to repeat the question and he did. Then he was told his time had expired and the debate moved past.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Sonja Fitch

    January 13, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Mast you are a traitor! You let a Russian operative give you information for your first campaign! Mast you are compromised! Silence was the embarrassment for you still not facing the truth! Get out mast! Rutherford you are a traitor ! Rutherford you have been suckered! Rutherford you are as pathetic as Rudy!

  2. Palmer Tom

    January 13, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Well, duh!

  3. daniel delaney

    January 14, 2021 at 7:27 am

    Mast is a complete idiot !!! Five,yes Five people are dead because of his HERO. Trump may not deserve total blame but certainly a LARGE portion falls on him BY Mast’s so called support of the “cause” he falls into the same blame bucket. Here is a man who supposed disguinished himself as an injured war hero and milked that label into getting himself elected to congress His present stance activities and mouth is a disgrace and more than wipes out any of his past positives He has disgraced himself,his country, and now more importantly the people who voted for him He needs to be treated just like his hero trump and be eliminated>

  4. Vajay Jay

    January 15, 2021 at 6:18 am

    Well Brian, here is one witness

    The headline in today’s paper
    Attorney for ‘QAnon Shaman’ says Trump has an ‘obligation’ to pardon his supporters who attacked Capitol
    George Back
    George Back·Producer, Yahoo Entertainment
    Fri, January 15, 2021, 2:56 AM
    Al Watkins, the attorney who represents alleged Capitol Hill insurrectionist Jacob Chansley, appeared on Cuomo Prime Time, Thursday night. Chansley, who is also known as the QAnon Shaman, was arrested for illegally entering the Capitol building and creating a disturbance. However, his attorney claims that he was invited by President Trump.

    “My client wasn’t violent,” said Watkins. “He didn’t cross over any police lines. He didn’t assault anyone. He was there at the invitation of our president.”

    Watkins believes that Chansley’s love for the president is what has landed him in so much legal trouble. He claims Chansley was encouraged by the president’s speeches and tweets calling for an intervention during the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6th.

    “He loved Trump,” said Watkins. “Every word. He listened to him. He felt like he was answering the call of our president.”

    The violent assault on the Capitol left five people dead and also resulted in Trump becoming the only U.S. president to be impeached twice. Before Trump leaves office on January 20th, Watkins believes he should pardon many of his supporters, starting with Chansley.

    “Trump needs to stand up and own these people,” he said. “He owes them, he has an obligation to them, he has an obligation to our nation.”

    When asked what specific obligations the president owes his loyal supporters, Watkins replied, “A pardon.”

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