"I said let’s do an audit. Let’s not get carried away here. I don’t want anyone hurt. We are protesting the violation of our laws ... If anyone on the ground reads this and is beyond the line come back," tweeted Gosar, next to a photo of rioters scaling the seat of democratic government in the United States.
However, on Parler, a right-wing Twitter alternative which was filled with threats of violence before the protest, Gosar struck a different note.
"Americans are upset," he captioned the same photo.
Trump supporters have been using unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the presidential election as an excuse to try and allow state electors to overturn the results of the election that Trump lost.
I rise to ask that the Vice President, @Mike_Pence remand the electors back to Arizona pending a full forensic audit of the Maricopa County tabulations. pic.twitter.com/Jx3saEzmJI— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) January 6, 2021
After rioters disrupted Congress by invading the Capitol Building, leading to at least one shooting, Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward claimed this offered the pretext needed to send election results back to the Legislature.
The rioters who entered the building made it as far as the U.S. Senate chambers, led in part by Phoenix QAnon supporter Jake Angeli, causing members of Congress and reporters to evacuate and shelter in place under armed guard.
The Senate pic.twitter.com/ooJZ6qNATe— Steven Nelson (@stevennelson10) January 6, 2021
Gosar and Angeli were regulars at protests outside the Maricopa County Elections building following November's election, with Gosar arriving the first night of the protests and demanding to be let in. Afterwards, he downplayed concerns by a journalist who said she was harassed at the protest and accused her of "making shit up."
Far-right protest organizers later said that they had coordinated with Gosar to organize the protest, which led to elections workers needing to be escorted to their cars by police and the county to erect a large security perimeter around the building.
Members of the AZ Patriots group were also present at today's protest-turned coup-attempt, as was local alt-right streamer Baked Alaska.
Messages left Gosar's offices in Washington D.C. and Prescott were not immediately returned.