In the wake of last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol building by Trump supporters in an apparent attempt to block the Congress from affirming the outcome of the 2020 election in president-elect Joe Biden's favor, the role of the outgoing president's congressional allies in fomenting, or even planning, the siege has been questioned.
On Tuesday, Jan. 12, during a Facebook live video, Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J. alleged that a day before Trump supporters stormed the federal building, she saw some members of Congress offering tours designed to provide reconnaissance to people who participated in the riot.
Sherill did not specify which lawmakers were offering the reconnaissance tours but noted that a request for an investigation had been filed with certain agencies.
Congress Members Photographed with Rioters
Photos of Rep. Lisa McClain and Rep. Lauren Boebert allegedly giving rioters the tour a day before the insurrection are being circulated on social media in the wake of Sherill's allegations.
Congressmen Involved in Planning the Capitol Riots
Although there is no other evidence to back this claim, there is footage that supports the assertion that certain Congress members were involved in the planning of the siege.
In a since deleted video, "Stop the [Election] Steal" organizer Ali Alexander claimed he and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, and Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Arizona, came up with the plan to disrupt the Electoral College certification in Congress.
All three Republicans have had some connection, whether direct or indirect, to Alexander. Gosar, one of the most vocal promoters of Trump's election fraud conspiracy theories, described Alexander as a "true patriot" on Twitter, where they have had several interactions and there is even video footage of the pair at a "Stop the Steal" protest in November.
The two also spoke at a "Stop the Steal Rally" on Dec. 19 in Phoenix, Arizona. Alexander has referred to Gosar as "his great friend." Gosar has yet to comment on the allegations.
Meanwhile, Biggs has denied any involvement with Alexander. However, at the same Phoenix Rally, Alexander played a video of Biggs that had been pre-recorded for the crowd, as reported in the Arizona Republic. Biggs' spokesperson Daniel Stefanski released a statement explaining that Biggs made the video for Gosar, who did not inform him about Alexander's involvement.
In the same video, Biggs mentioned Brooks as his ally in the fight over the "2020 election, according to The Intercept. In a statement to that outlet, Brooks stated that he "has no recollection of ever communicating in any way with whoever Ali Alexander is."
It is not yet clear if these same congressmen are the ones Sherill was referring to but one other lawmaker has extended support to Sherill's claims. According to Politico, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, said he is aware of "a couple" of colleagues who are being eyed as potentially giving tours. "I'm going to wait to make sure we get verification," Ryan told reporters on Jan. 13.