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US Capitol riots: Congressmen accused of ‘abetting’ protesters

Law enforcement has been given the names of House Republicans over claims they helped MAGA rioters with ‘reconnaissance,’ a senior Democrat revealed Wednesday.

Tim Ryan, who chairs the subcommittee which oversees Capitol Police, said that the names were given to authorities on the day of the riot, but declined to name them.

‘I’m going to wait to make sure we get verification,’ Ryan said.

He said it appeared the Republicans had shown groups of around the Capitol before the riots and there were fears that the visitors had been ‘casing the joint,’ saying the groups involved ‘handfuls’ of people and were not ‘one-on-one or small family’ tours.

Ryan spoke after mounting claims from Democrats of the MAGA rioters having assistance from inside the House, with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying she feared for her left, and Mikie Sherrill saying she witnessed GOP members giving ‘tours.’

And it was also revealed that a pro-Trump activist, Ali Alexander, claimed he was assisted by three GOP representatives to help organize the January 6 assault on the Capitol. 

Alexander told his followers on Periscope late last month that Republican Representatives Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona and Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama were planning something big.

Alexander helped organize one of the demonstrations that converged on the Capitol last Wednesday – since then, his Facebook and Twitter accounts have been locked and he is banned from the social media platforms.

Representative Tim Ryan said Wednesday that law enforcement have been given the names of some members of Congress who were seen by fellow Democratic Representative Mikie Sherrill showing groups around the Capitol in what she described as a 'reconnaissance' tour

Representative Tim Ryan said Wednesday that law enforcement have been given the names of some members of Congress who were seen by fellow Democratic Representative Mikie Sherrill showing groups around the Capitol in what she described as a 'reconnaissance' tour

Representative Tim Ryan said Wednesday that law enforcement have been given the names of some members of Congress who were seen by fellow Democratic Representative Mikie Sherrill showing groups around the Capitol in what she described as a ‘reconnaissance’ tour

Pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

Pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

Pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

He said in a since-deleted video: ‘I want to let you guys know how we’re responding because I was the person who came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then Congressman Andy Biggs.’

All three lawmakers are hard-line Trump supporters.

‘We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside,’ Alexander detailed. 

In the video posted on Periscope, he said the purpose of the rally was ‘to build momentum and pressure’ on the day Congress moved to certify the election for Joe Biden. He also vowed that his group ‘Stop the Steal’ would find rooms in the nation’s capital if hotels shut down in the midst of the unrest.  

Of the three he named, Biggs’ office denied involvement, telling the Washington Post: ‘Congressman Biggs is not aware of hearing of or meeting Mr. Alexander at any point – let alone working with him to organize some part of a planned protest.’ 

Gosar has made no public statement but his twitter account tagged Alexander repeatedly.

And Brooks has not addressed Alexander’s claims but issued a lengthy statement Tuesday defending his speech to the rally at the Ellipse before the mob rioted, at which he shouted: ‘Today is the day patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.’

Brooks, 66, said he was there at the request of Trump’s office and said: ‘My message is not violence, it is words,’ adding: ‘My parents raised me to be a good, self-supporting citizen and I have strived to be just that.’ 

Another senior Democrat, Jason Crow, told CNN that House members were drawing up plans to censure or expel multiple members of the Republican caucus over their MAGA riot links.

‘We’re looking at our options within the House as to how we stop this,’ Crow said. 

‘And whether this is an expulsion proceeding, a censure, we can’t let this stand because this is exactly my point. Donald Trump is one thing, he’s shown us time and time again who he is. But he doesn’t do this without support.’

Among the GOP members he highlighted were Marjorie Taylor-Greene, a QAnon follower who has repeatedly posted ‘stop the steal’ conspiracies on her Twitter account.

He described her as one of a group of ‘morally bankrupt, depraved, frankly dangerous individuals,’ in the Republican caucus.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared her GOP colleagues would disclose her location to the mob during the riot last week – she did not name who she thought would do so

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared her GOP colleagues would disclose her location to the mob during the riot last week – she did not name who she thought would do so

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared her GOP colleagues would disclose her location to the mob during the riot last week – she did not name who she thought would do so

Sherrill, who represents New Jersey‘s 11th district, said during a Facebook Live video Tuesday night that she wants members of Congress who ‘abetted’ President Donald Trump and the violent crowd who descended on the Capitol to be held accountable and prevented from running for office in the future.

But she did not name the Republicans she says abated the insurrectionists. 

Her accusation came as more details emerged over the attack indicating three Republican lawmakers may have helped protesters get inside. Sherrill is a Navy veteran and former federal prosecutor who sits on the House Armed Services Committee.

‘We can’t have a democracy if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the elections results,’ Sherrill said of her colleagues she claims assisted Trump in inciting a crowd to storm the Capitol last Wednesday, January 6.

‘Not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn’t have access to classified material,’ she continued in her straight-to-camera remarks. 

‘I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him; those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 – a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy – I’m going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.’   

Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared for her life during the riots, specifically expressing her concerns that some GOP lawmakers would give away her location to the mob.  

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn walks past members of the National Guard Wednesday morning as they try to get some sleep inside the U.S. Capitol

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn walks past members of the National Guard Wednesday morning as they try to get some sleep inside the U.S. Capitol

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn walks past members of the National Guard Wednesday morning as they try to get some sleep inside the U.S. Capitol

‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive, and not just in a general sense but also in a very, very specific sense,’ the progressive lawmaker said during the hour-long live stream.

She called the close encounter ‘traumatizing’ and claimed her ‘near assassination’ is ‘not an exaggeration’.

‘There were QAnon and white supremacist sympathizers, and frankly white supremacist members of Congress, in that extraction point who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, etc.,’ Ocasio-Cortez said.

She did not name any of the lawmakers she felt could have jeopardized her situation.          

WHO IS ALI ALEXANDER?

Ali Abdul-Razaq Ali, 35, is a far-right activist who who goes by Ali Alexander. He identifies as black and Arab, according to Politico

He helped organize ‘Stop the Steal’ movement, which oppose Joe Biden’s election win and is pushing to prove that President Donald Trump won reelection on November 3.

Ali also takes responsibility for organizing the January 6 rally that convened outside the Capitol before it was stormed by thousands of pro-Trump protesters. He said in a live-streamed video that GOP Representatives Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs and Mo Brooks assisted with the effort to disrupt the join session of Congress moving to certify the Electoral College results for Biden.  

‘I want to let you guys know how we’re responding because I was the person who came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then Congressman Andy Biggs,’ Ali said in the now-deleted video.  

‘We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside,’ he continued.

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the 'Stop the Steal' protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the 'Stop the Steal' protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the ‘Stop the Steal’ protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

Mugshot of Ali in January 2007 in a case where he pleaded guilty to  felony property theft

Mugshot of Ali in January 2007 in a case where he pleaded guilty to  felony property theft

Ali also pleaded guilty a year later to a credit card abuse felony. This mugshot was taken August 2007

Ali also pleaded guilty a year later to a credit card abuse felony. This mugshot was taken August 2007

Ali Alexander pleaded guilty to two  separate felony charges in 2007 and 2008 in Forth Worth Texas

The activist runs with with Trump’s circle. In the summer of 2019 he gathered at the White House for the president’s ‘social media summit’ to bash platforms for their supposed anti-conservative and anti-Trump bias. 

This week, following reports of his involvement in the storming of the Capitol, Ali was banned from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and his accounts were removed. 

Ali Abdul-Razaq Ali, 35, who goes by Ali Alexander, is a far-right activist from Fort Worth, Texas

Ali Abdul-Razaq Ali, 35, who goes by Ali Alexander, is a far-right activist from Fort Worth, Texas

Ali Abdul-Razaq Ali, 35, who goes by Ali Alexander, is a far-right activist from Fort Worth, Texas

Ali raised questions during the Democratic primary race over then-candidate Kamal Harris’s ‘black-ness’, sparking speculation he was waging a ‘birther’-like campaign against her. The now vice president-elect is half Indian and half Jamaican. 

‘Kamala Harris is implying she is descended from American Black Slaves,’ he wrote on Twitter in June 2019. ‘She’s not. She comes from Jamaican Slave Owners. That’s fine. She’s not an American Black. Period.’ Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. retweeted and then deleted the post, asking if it was true, and helping it go viral.  

Ali resides in Forth Worth, Texas. In 2007 he pleaded guilty to felony property theft in the Lone Star state and the next year also pleaded guilty to to a credit card abuse felony – also in Texas. 

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Alexander did not specifically call for violence and instead claimed the left is ‘trying to push us to war.’

Biggs’ office sent out a statement claiming the congressman has not met or spoken with Alexander.

Biggs’ office responded to CNN, claiming he has not met or spoken with Alexander.

‘Congressman Biggs is not aware of hearing of or meeting Mr. Alexander at any point — let alone working with him to organize some part of a planned protest,’ the representative’s spokesperson said.

‘He did not have any contact with protestors or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests,’ they continued. ‘He was focused on his research and arguments to work within the confines of the law and established precedent to restore integrity to our elections, and to ensure that all Americans — regardless of party affiliation — can again have complete trust in our elections systems.’

Biggs, Gosar and Brooks all came under fire after going forward with objecting to the election results even after the violent Capitol riot forced them to evacuate the chamber and delayed proceedings for hours.

Sherrill, in her thirteen-and-a-half minute video posted to Facebook Tuesday, did not reveal which lawmakers she saw showing constituents around the Capitol last week – but she did make the shocking claim that the January 5 tours were part of some effort to get protesters familiar with the building before storming it the next day.

While some GOP lawmakers have come under fire for inciting the riots – whether directly or indirectly – or standing idly by as they unfolded, this is the most serious charge yet against sitting members of Congress regarding the unprecedented attack last week.

The six-hour riot resulted in hundreds of injuries and five deaths, including one Capitol Police officer and a female Trump supporter.

The House voted Tuesday evening on a non-binding resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to get Trump out of office now. The vote passed 223-205, with Sherrill voting in favor of it, even though Pence notified House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier Tuesday that he would not comply with the measure.

With the 25th Amendment off the table, and no hope of Trump resigning before his last seven days are up, House Democrats are likely to move forward Wednesday on impeaching the president for the second time.

Sherrill said in her video that she intends to support the effort.

She also voiced the sharp divide, which is widening in Congress, claiming those who do not agree with Democratic ideals of democracy are ‘now on different sides of this line.’

Source: Daily Mail US

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