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Anti-Defamation League Slams Oregon GOP For Calling US Capitol Attack A ‘False Flag’


In a statement Tuesday, the Northwest office of the Anti-Defamation League called the Oregon GOP's statements "offensive" and "absurd."

Oregon’s Republican Party leadership is facing criticism for a Jan. 19 resolution that called the attack on the U.S. Capitol a “‘false flag’ operation designed to discredit President Trump, his supporters and all conservative Republicans.”

The comments were included in a resolution that condemned 10 House Republicans who supported impeaching Trump for inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol building. Five people died during the attack.

“This provided the sham motivation to impeach President Trump in order to advance the Democratic goal of seizing total power,” the Oregon GOP wrote of the attack on the Capitol, which was carried out by Trump supporters and extremist groups like the Proud Boys.

At one point in its resolution, the Oregon GOP linked to a Wikipedia article referencing the Reichstag fire, a 1933 arson attack on Germany’s parliament building that helped Adolf Hitler consolidate power.

The Northwest office of the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement Tuesday, calling the comparison “offensive” and “absurd.”

“The violence at the US Capitol on January 6th was a large-scale physical assault on our nation’s democratic values and institutions perpetrated by right-wing conspiracy theorists, extremists, and supporters of former President Trump. That is a fact,” the ADL wrote.

The civil rights organization also said Oregon Republicans were misusing history when referencing the Reichstag fire to “advance a baseless conspiracy theory.”

“Such a comparison cheapens one of the most significant moments leading up to Holocaust and is extremely inappropriate,” the organization wrote.

While most federal Republican representatives did not support the effort to impeach Trump, the Northwest did have some notable exceptions. Washington state Republican Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse were among the 10 who supported impeachment.

Oregon’s Republican Party compared them to Revolutionary War traitor Gen. Benedict Arnold. But the state party did have kind words for freshman Rep. Cliff Bentz, who represents Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District and supported challenges to the 2020 presidential election results.

The GOP also said Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader was accurate in comparing the second impeachment effort against Trump to a “lynching.” Schrader later retracted that statement and voted in favor of impeachment.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Ryan Haas has been with Oregon Public Broadcasting since 2013. His work has won numerous awards, including two National Magazine Award nominations for the podcast "Bundyville." Prior to working at OPB, Haas worked at newspapers in Illinois, Florida, Oregon and the Caribbean.