One week after the deadly insurrection at the Capitol, there are still more questions than answers on whether any lawmakers or police assisted the pro-Trump rioters.
The idea of an insurrection is unheard of in modern US history, and the possibility that lawmakers or allies inside the Capitol were helping only contributes to the uncertainty and worry about the event and what’s to come.
At least one protest organizer said he coordinated with three House Republicans. There are unverified accusations of a “reconnaissance” mission one day before the attack. And more than a dozen US Capitol Police officers are under internal investigation for allegedly helping rioters.
While President Donald Trump’s role in inciting the violence is clear, there are some early indications and accusations that other insiders may have more actively aided the mob.
Ali Alexander, a right-wing conspiracy theorist who led one of the “Stop The Steal” groups, claimed in a livestream video that he planned the rally that preceded the riot with three GOP lawmakers: Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama.
Brooks spoke at the rally before Trump took the stage, and urged the crowd to “start taking down names and kicking ass.” In a 2,800-word statement about his involvement, Brooks said he was only telling the crowd to fight back at the ballot box. (Brooks also revealed that a White House official called him one day earlier and invited him to speak at the rally.)
CNN previously reported that Gosar associated himself with Alexander’s group in recent months. A spokesman for Biggs told CNN that he hasn’t ever met or worked with Alexander.
Alexander said he hoped his “mob” would pressure lawmakers to block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory through the Electoral College. After the riot was quelled, the three lawmakers voted to throw out Biden’s electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania. Their effort failed.