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Behold the wonders of Rep. Louie Gohmert’s conspiracy chart

This was actually held up in a congressional hearing.

Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers ideology and challenges to democracy, both at home and abroad. Before coming to Vox in 2014, he edited TP Ideas, a section of Think Progress devoted to the ideas shaping our political world.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has a reputation as one of the more colorful members of Congress. But he outdid himself Tuesday afternoon, putting together an essentially incoherent chart connecting various conspiracy theories about the Obama administration and holding it up during a congressional hearing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The intent of the chart is to say that the Justice Department discredited itself during the Obama years and is somehow connected to the Uranium One scandal dominating conservative media. Special counsel Robert Mueller was one of President Obama’s two FBI directors (Jim Comey, later fired by President Trump, was the other). It allegedly illustrates connections between the DOJ under Obama and various alleged scandals (e.g., “Benghazi.”)

In reality, it looks like the kind of thing a conspiracy theorist would put together to explain how the Grey Aliens and zombie Hitler are covering up the truth about chemtrails:

(Louie Gohmert)

It’s not actually clear what the lines connecting different things mean. It’s not clear why some of them are green and others are black and dotted.

It’s not clear why “Hillary Clinton Emails” and “Hillary Clinton Secret Server” are different things, or why they’re not connected. It’s not clear why the words “Obama” and “Mueller” are on there twice, or why the first mention isn’t connected to the second. It’s not clear why Bill and Hillary Clinton, who are right next to each other, are not connected by any sort of line (green, dotted, or otherwise).

A lot of things aren’t clear about the chart — other than that it’s hilarious. A member of Congress actually held this up while the attorney general was testifying!

However, what’s also clear is that it is, on another level, terrifying. A member of Congress held this up, in all seriousness, in order to discredit a serious probe into the president’s alleged collusion with a hostile power to influence a US election. Louie Gohmert has a vote as to whether Trump should be impeached, and he seems to believe that former Attorney General Eric Holder did Benghazi.