Matt Gaetz Leads GOP Charge Against 'Bigot' Russel Honoré, Head of Capitol Security Review

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is leading the Republican backlash against Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to appoint retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré to lead the security review into the U.S. Capitol following the January 6 riots.

Gaetz and his Republican colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee wrote to Pelosi on Tuesday, citing Honoré's comments about Capitol Police officers who he suggested were supporters of former President Donald Trump and sympathizers of those who stormed the building.

Honoré—who served as commanding general of the U.S. First Army at Fort Gillem, Georgia—has said Capitol Police officers "allowed their buddies" in the crowd to bypass police lines and enter the building, and suggested that "30 to 40 percent of the officers are Trumpsters."

Honoré has also tweeted messages condemning conservative Republican lawmakers for their alleged support of the rioters. He suggested that Rep. Lauren Boebert be put on the no-fly list and called for Sen. Josh Hawley to be "run out of DC."

"LTG Honoré is entitled to his personal opinions, but we are concerned that his selection will undermine the serious purpose of this review: to develop a fair and clear-eyed assessment of the systemic security and leadership failures concerning the events of January 6," wrote the Republicans on the judiciary committee.

The lawmakers described Honoré's criticism of police officers as "deeply offensive" and suggested they should be "disqualifying for anyone to lead a serious and objective review of the Capitol's security."

The GOP members called on Pelosi to release all communications between her office and Honoré, plus clarification on whether the Speaker knew about Honoré's criticisms of the Capitol Police before she appointed him.

On Twitter, Gaetz shared a clip of his interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, describing Honoré's comments as "delusional left-wing rants" that he said "would disqualify him from even a jury pool."

The Florida lawmaker added: "Pelosi hired a bigot to hunt MAGA."

Republican opposition to an investigation into the Capitol attack is coalescing around Trump loyalists in the House and Senate. Lawmakers such as Gaetz and Hawley are doubling down on the former president's "Make America Great Again" message, which could still offer a path to a national profile and a potent electoral base.

Even the most conservative elected Republicans have publicly disavowed the violence on January 6, in which five people died. But right-wing lawmakers are also fanning conspiracy theories seeking to absolve the far-right mob of blame and peddling Trump's baseless claims of electoral fraud.

President Joe Biden's administration and law enforcement officials, meanwhile, are pushing ahead in their efforts to root out far-right extremism.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that the January 6 attack was "domestic terrorism" that has "no place in our democracy, and tolerating it would make a mockery of our nation's rule of law."

Capitol Police fighting protesters on January 6
Capitol Police use pepper spray and tear-gas to clear the U.S. Capitol in clashes with supporters of former President Donald Trump on January 6. Brent Stirton/Getty Images/Getty