By FOIA Research
on November 25, 2020 - Last updated: June 21, 2021

Paul Gosar

[This article is in parts based on Paul Gosar's Wikipedia entry.]

The Republican politician Paul Gosar (born November 27, 1958), "Arizona's most controversial member of Congress,"1 has been a hard-line defender of former President Donald Trump,2  and has personal ties to far-right supergrifter Steve Bannon as well as US militias.

Gosar has helped to promote a variety of conspiracy theories coming from the Trumpian orbit designed to destabilize his political opponents: reaching from voting fraud to alleging that anti-fascists were behind the violent neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, and having stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, disguised as Trump supporters.3 As outlined below, Gosar is spreading these conspiracy theories in the full knowledge that they are untrue.

While he pretends to care for the life of human fetuses beyond measure, by supporting legislations that are harming the life of animals and the environment he has proven he could not be bothered less about other life forms on earth. In 2018, six of Gosar's nine siblings ran an ad against him, endorsing his Democratic opponent in his home county in Arizona.4

  • against: abortion, immigration, environmental laws, animal rights, moderate Christianity, Islam, George Soros
  • for: 2nd amendment rights, militias, freedom of speech, tax cuts

Gosar has ties to white supremacist militias, such as the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. According to Gosar’s brother Dave Gosar, a lawyer in Wyoming, “He’s twisted up so tight with the Oath Keepers it’s not even funny.”5

Background

Born to devout Republican parents with 10 children, Gosar had first a career as a dentist in Arizona, before jumping on the Tea Party bandwagon.

In 2009, Gosar, who had never run for elected office before, announced that he would run for Congress. He was identified as a Tea Party candidate by The New York Times since the Arizona Tea Party featured him on its website.6 He was endorsed by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and three Arizona county sheriffs: Maricopa County's Joe Arpaio, Coconino County's Joe Richards, and Pinal County's Paul Babeu.7 Currently Gosar serves his 6th congressional term, with an almost 70% approval rate in his County.

2011

Gosar describes himself as "pro-life," a euphemism for anti-abortionist. He cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a bill that would make permanent restrictions on federal funding of abortions in the US,8 and the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, an act placing restrictions on abortions in the District of Columbia.9 Gosar was given a 100% rating by the National Right to Life Committee, a pro-life interest group, and a 0% rating by NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League), a pro-choice interest group.10

2012

Gosar has stated that the "Second Amendment is one of the most important rights set forth by the Bill of Rights" and that he will "continue to oppose efforts to restrict, infringe, or remove this constitutionally protected right."11 He was endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and given a rating of 92%. He was also endorsed by Gun Owners of America and given a rating of 75%.12

2014

In April 2014, Gosar joined a group of five conservative Arizona state legislators at the Bundy Standoff in Bunkerville, Nevada, where grazing fee resistors and their supporters took up arms against Federal Bureau of Land Management and law enforcement officials.13 The 2014 Bundy standoff was an armed confrontation between supporters of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and law enforcement following a 21-year legal dispute in which the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) obtained court orders directing Bundy to pay over $1 million in withheld grazing fees for Bundy's use of federally owned land adjacent to Bundy's ranch in southeastern Nevada.

In December 2014, Gosar drew controversy when he referred to American Indians as "wards of the federal government." He was responding to concerns from members of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in eastern Arizona when he made the comment at the round-table talk in Flagstaff. The discussion had addressed the proposal to swap 2,400 acres of southeastern Arizona's Tonto National Forest for about 5,300 acres of environmentally sensitive land. The proposal, which was attached as a rider to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, would give land sacred to the Apache in Arizona to Resolution Copper Mine, a joint venture owned by Rio Tinto and BHP BillitonTroy Eid, a Republican and former U.S. Attorney in Colorado, responded to Gosar's comments, "In the heated context of what this represents, it's especially inappropriate to be resorting to what amounts to race baiting." A Gosar spokesperson said his comments were misconstrued.14

2015

In 2015, Gosar scored 3% on the National Environmental Scorecard of the League of Conservation Voters, in part because he is a global warming denier. In September 2015, Gosar submitted articles of impeachment against EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, asserting that she had committed "high crimes and misdemeanors" and "lied to the American people in order to force misguided and overreaching regulations, which have no scientific basis, down our throats."15 An EPA spokeswoman said Gosar's resolution "has zero merit and is nothing more than political theater" while fellow Republican and House majority leader Kevin McCarthy confirmed that "There's no plan to impeach Gina McCarthy."16

Like Steve Bannon, Gosar has rallied against Pope Francis, including the boycott of a 2015 speech to Congress by the latter, reasoning that the pontiff was supporting the "questionable science" of climate change that would be deployed "to guilt people into leftist policies."17 On September 17, 2015, in an op-ed on the conservative website townhall.com, Gosar announced that he would not attend Pope Francis's planned address to a joint meeting of Congress unless the Pope spoke about issues such as "violent Islam" or Planned Parenthood instead of climate change. He wrote that he would treat the Pope the same way he believes "leftist politicians" should be treated.18 Gosar did not attend Francis's September 24 address, the only member of Congress not to do so. Gosar accused Francis of having "adopted all of the socialist talking points, wrapped false science and ideology into 'climate justice' and is being presented to guilt people into leftist policies."19 Shortly after Francis's visit, Gosar used his opposition to Francis's addresses as a fundraising tool.20 In a subsequent fundraising email for Gosar positioned him as the victim of "unprecedented attacks" from "the liberals, the left-wing media and the Obama political machine."20

2017

In 2017, Gosar suggested that the violent neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, were planned by the left to undermine Trump's presidency.1721 In an October 5, 2017, interview with Vice News, Gosar suggested that the white nationalist Unite the Right rally had been "created by the left," an idea previously expressed by Alex Jones of Infowars, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Dinesh D’Souza, and others.22 Gosar also suggested that Jason Kessler, the organizer of the Charlottesville rally, may have been backed by George Soros, who he described as having "turned in his own people to the Nazis."23 In the interview Gosar called the Democratic Party donor George Soros a Nazi collaborator.24 Seven of Gosar's siblings wrote an open letter to the Kingman (Arizona) Daily Miner newspaper denouncing Gosar's claims about Soros as "despicable slander ... without a shred of truth," saying the congressman "owes George Soros a personal apology."25

In December 2017 Gosar voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.26 The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that under the Act individuals and pass-through entities like partnerships and S corporations would receive about $1.125 trillion in net benefits (i.e. net tax cuts offset by reduced healthcare subsidies) over 10 years, while corporations would receive around $320 billion in benefits. The CBO estimates that implementing the Act would add an estimated $2.289 trillion to the national debt over ten years.27

Critics across media and academia have emphasized a multitude of adverse impact, including higher budget deficit, higher trade deficit, greater income inequality, and lower healthcare coverage and higher healthcare costs, as well as a disproportionate impact on certain states and professions and the misrepresentations made by its advocates. Polling showed more public opposition to the law than support for it.28

2018

A scene from Steve Bannon's 2019 movie The Brink shows a dinner in London on July 14, 2018,29 where Gosar dwells amidst "several European ultranationalist leaders, including racists and Islamophobes who have ties to white nationalists and violent extremists," as paraphrased by an article in the Huffington Post.30 Among them: Filip Dewinter, leader of the Belgian far-right Vlaams Belang Party who advocates for Belgian-speaking Flanders to split off from the rest of Belgium; Kent Ekeroth of the far-right Sweden Democrats; Erik Almqvist, a former MP and former member of the Sweden Democrats, known for his anti-immigrant slurs;31 as well as Raheem Kassam, former editor-in-chief of Breitbart News London, and former chief adviser to former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage, as well as a close affiliate of Bannon.

Gosar was apparently in town to support a rally on behalf of English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, "a violent English far-right anti-Muslim criminal fraudster," at which "Gosar vilified Muslims as “disgusting and depraved,'” according to the aforementioned Huffington Post article.30 In July 2018, Gosar spoke at a rally in London in support of Robinson, emphasizing the importance of the right to free speech.32

Gosar and six other congressmen invited Robinson to speak to the Conservative Opportunity Society on November 14, 2018, while he was visiting the United States on a trip sponsored by the Middle East Forum and the David Horowitz Freedom Center.33

In September 2018, six of Gosar's nine siblings spoke out against their brother and endorsed his Democratic opponent, David Brill, in a series of television campaign ads that drew national and international coverage.21 In the first ad, sisters Grace and Jennifer, both identified as health care providers, told viewers that their brother did not care about people in rural Arizona. In another ad, called "A family defends its honor," brother David Gosar, a lawyer, declared, "We've got to stand up for our good name. This is not who we are." Paul Gosar responded to the ads on Twitter, describing his siblings as "disgruntled Hillary supporters" who "put political ideology before family."17

2019

In 2019, Gosar sought to reinstate Representative Steve King to the House committees from which King had been removed due to a series of racist remarks.34

2020

On January 6, 2020, Gosar tweeted a doctored photograph that showed former President Barack Obama meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, with the caption: "The world is a better place without these guys in power." The encounter never happened; the picture was a photoshopped version of a picture showing Obama meeting former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh. The photojournalist Daniel Medina pointed out that Rouhani was still in power and condemned Gosar's attempt to spread disinformation.35 To widespread criticism, Gosar said, "No one said this wasn't photoshopped."

In January 2020, Gosar was endorsing the building of the Trump wall, stating that it would help stop human trafficking activity by the MS-13 gang in the United States.36

While denying women adequate reproductive healthcare and being a stauch anti-choice bigot, Gosar does not care about animal welfare whatsoever. As of 2020, Gosar has a "0" out of 100 rating from the Humane Society of the United States.37 Gosar supports updating the Endangered Species Act, calling it "status quo" and "costly, burdensome and uncertain."38

In July 2020, Gosar appeared at the July 4 festivities in Prescott, Arizona, where he posed for a picture with a member of the Proud Boys militia, while a member of the Oath Keepers was looking on.39

In the course of the 2020 US Presidential election Gosar took a firm stance behind former president Donald Trump and his bogus election fraud claims. Shortly after the November 3, 2020, election, Gosar started to openly endorse the Stop the Steal campaign, an initiative started by political dirty trickster Roger Stone in 2016. For example, on November 6, 2020, Gosar called STS rabble rouser and Stone affiliate Ali Alexander a “true patriot.”40

As it turns out, the Republican congressman from Arizona, helped organize a militia-backed rally in Maricopa County, serving as a media stunt for perpetuating the election fraud like, while harassing local election officials.30

Two weeks after the November 2020 election, Gosar and Representative Andy Biggs appeared in a video produced by the Arizona Republican Party claiming that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Gosar claimed Arizona's voting machines were faulty and that Wisconsin intentionally paused counting votes to "dump" 100,000 votes into the count for Joe Biden. He also claimed that deceased people voted in Pennsylvania. He and Biggs also demanded an audit of Maricopa County's vote count.41

On November 24, 2020, Gosar tweeted a comparison between the long fight ahead for the America First "agenda" and Teruo Nakamura of the Imperial Japanese Army. Nakamura refused to recognize news of Japan's surrender in World War II for three decades and remained on the remote Pacific island of Morotai in Indonesia until his arrest in 1974.42

Gosar also participated in Stop the Steal protests, comparing their efforts to the Battle of the Alamo.43 On December 19, 2020, Gosar spoke at a STS rally in Phoenix where he also talked with STS ratter Alexander.44

On December 21, 2020, Gosar met with Donald Trump, Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks and Matt Gaetz, most likely to discuss further steps to be taken to uphold the bogus election fraud claims.45

2021

Ali Alexander, a far-right grifter with a documented history of racism and antisemitism, alleges that it was him together with Paul Gosar, Mo Brooks and Any Biggs, who came up with the idea of the January 6, 2021, rally in Washington DC, which ended in the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters.

On January 6, 2021, Gosar attended the pre-insurrection rally at Ellipse park.46 Pictures show him together with the fellow MAGA grifters Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence, who had been touring the US with a March for Trump / Women for America First caravan in the weeks following Biden's election victory, spreading the lie that the election was stolen, hooking up with militia members, and getting them on track with the battle order for the January 6 insurrection.

Alexander has disappeared after the January 6 insurrection, presumably fearing to be charged with incitement.

On January 6, 2021, Paul Gosar objected to the electoral college submission of Arizona in the name of 67 Republicans with a piece of writing signed by Senator Ted Cruz.47

Gosar also joined the choir of Trumpians on social media that the January 6 insurrection was not perpetrated by right-wing extremists, but by antifascists disguised as MAGA supporters,48 while on the far-right Twitter copy Parler, he praised the actions of his compatriots. 

On February 26, 2021, Paul Gosar appeared as a surprise keynote speaker at a White nationalist event, the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) in Orlando, Florida, organized by the far-right rabble-rouser Nick Fuentes.4950 Fuentes, a "Zoomer Nazi" in his early twenties who ran a popular YouTube channel until it was banned in early 2020, is the figurehead of a far-right "troll army" called Groypers. Fuentes had participated in the 2017 White supremacist rally in Charlottesville, and also spurned on his supporters outside the Capitol on January 6, 2021. According to the Daily Beast, Fuentes stated at the AFPAC conference that "white people are done being bullied,” and "praised the fatal riot as 'awesome,' describing it as 'light-hearted mischief.'"49

ABC News reported that50:

A day later, on February 27, 2021, Gosar appeared on the morning panel of the annual right-wing Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), moderated by Mercedes Schlapp, where he rallied against the immigration policy of the Biden government.50 The 2021 holding of CPAC has attracted particularly negative media attention since the CPAC stage had apparently the shape of the Odal rune (ᛟ). The symbol was adopted in Nazi Germany   as the badge of the SS Race and Settlement Main Office, responsible for maintaining the racial purity of the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS), as well as by the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen, the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland, and many neo-Nazi groups worldwide.51 The particular rendition with wings or serifs has no historical significance outside of Nazi Germany.52

America First Caucus

In April 2021, Gosar joined Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in launching a new political group, the America First Caucus (AFC). Supported by a few far-right Republican congressmen, the group promotes racist and nativist policies, according to an internal document first obtained by Punchbowl News.

Reps. Barry Moore (R-Ala.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) have also become involved in the AFC; so has Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who in April was already under investigation over allegations of a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and other offences.53

Internal document of the America First Caucus. Source: Punchbowl News.

In June 2021, Gosar was one of 21 House Republicans to vote against a resolution to give the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on January 6.54

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