Arizona House Rep. Says He’s Suing Democrats for Defamation After Accusing Him of Treason, Insurrection

March 1, 2021 Updated: March 2, 2021

Arizona state House Rep. Mark Finchem stated that he’s suing members of the Arizona House and Senate for alleged defamation and malice in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

“So earlier in January, the Democrat members of the House and Senate sent a letter to the Department of Justice and the FBI accusing me of high treason, sedition, planning an insurrection, the overthrow of our government,” Finchem, a Republican, told The Epoch Times’ “Crossroads” program on Feb. 27. “All patently absurd, fallacious claims, but then they turned around and sent it to the media as though it was factual. Well, in that, they committed malice.”

Finchem said that it stemmed from him going to the Capitol to hand “an evidence packet” related to allegations of election fraud and irregularities to Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) so he could challenge the electoral vote during the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6.

“I reached out to my lawyer friends and said, hey, this isn’t right,” he said. “All I did was go to the capital to deliver an evidence packet to representative Gosar who in turn delivered it to Vice President Pence. I was exercising my franchise. First of all, it was my free speech, but even more importantly representing my constituents.”

Finchem said he never actually made it to the Capitol building, and when he inquired where he was to give his scheduled speech, he was told it was canceled. Finchem said he never got closer than a few hundred yards of the Capitol.

Someone told him before his speaking event: “‘Even though we got a permit, this is not going the way we intended. We need to cancel it. And we think it’d be a good idea for you to leave the property because we don’t want you to get swept up in it,'” he recalled. “I took a picture and promptly left.”

After Finchem filed a complaint against some Democrats in the state Legislature, Democratic Rep. Athena Salman stated that they were within their rights to ask for an investigation.

It came after Democrats in Arizona wrote, of Finchem’s attendance on Jan. 6, “It is vital to any current or future federal investigation, and ultimately to the Arizona public they represent, that we learn what these elected officials knew about this planned insurrection and when they knew it,” as reported by the Arizona Capitol Times.

In mid-February, the head of the Arizona House Ethics Committee, Republican Rep. Becky Nutt, dismissed 82 ethics complaints against Finchem. Democratic Rep. César Chávez argued in January that the Republican lawmaker’s social media posts and the photo he took “demonstrate beyond any doubt that he was participated [sic] in the insurrection in Washington, D.C. and supported others in their efforts,” AZCentral reported.