Georgia U.S. Rep. Hice explains now-deleted ‘1776 moment’ post

Credit: Samuel Corum, TNS

Credit: Samuel Corum, TNS

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice has spent the past two months saying the general election was stolen from President Donald Trump and working with other House conservatives in futile attempts to reverse Joe Biden’s win.

Wednesday, Hice was among the members of Georgia’s congressional delegation who attempted during a joint session of Congress to block the state’s electoral votes from being cast for Biden. At the same time those proceedings were getting underway, Trump supporters rallied on Capitol grounds.

Hice posted a picture on Instagram that appeared to be him walking toward the House chamber ahead of the session. “This is our 1776 moment,” the caption said.

New Yorker reporter Charles Bethea shared a screenshot on Twitter, bringing attention to and condemnation of Hice’s post. By that time, the rally outside the Capitol had turned violent, with rioters forcing their way inside the building, vandalizing the Senate chamber and breaking windows in an attempt to enter the House chamber.

Hice deleted the picture from Instagram minutes later.

His spokeswoman, Sarah Selip, told us this morning that the congressman did not intend for his photo, posted before the violence occurred, to be misinterpreted as a consent of the insurrection. So they took it down.

“The 1776 post was our way of highlighting the electoral objection — we removed the post when we realized it could be misconstrued as supporting those acting violently yesterday and storming the Capitol,” Selip told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Both of which Rep. Hice strongly condemns.”

Hice was among the six Georgia lawmakers who voted to reject the electoral votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania, two swing states won by Biden. Trump and his supporters have claimed without evidence that the elections in these states and others, including Georgia, were mismanaged and possibly fraudulent.

Nearly the entire Senate, House Democrats and fewer than half of House Republicans voted to dismiss these objections. Congress confirmed Biden’s Electoral College victory early Thursday morning.

Hice introduced an objection to Georgia’s electoral votes with several House colleagues standing with him. But it was not allowed to proceed because not a single member of the Senate was willing to give him the necessary co-sign. U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler had initially planned to do so but changed her mind after the violence earlier in the day.