One of the organisers of the Capitol riot has said that his plot was aided by three Republican congressmen.
In a now deleted video, conservative talking head and activist Ali Alexander said he worked alongside three Republican lawmakers to plan the attack on the US Capitol.
Mr Alexander claimed Reps. Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks and Paul Gosar helped him plan the protest that led to the attack on the building. He said its intention was to put pressure on lawmakers inside to overturn the election in favour of Donald Trump.
The Washington Post first reported the allegation.
“We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting,” Mr Alexander said in the video. “[We hoped to] change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside.”
Mr Alexander is the main organiser behind the “Stop the Steal” movement.
Tweets he made in December suggest he was already plotting the ill-fated Capitol attack in December.
“Everyone can guess what me and 500,000 others will do to that building,” Mr Alexander tweeted in December. “1776 is *always* an option.”
Mr Alexander was replying to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, a believer in both the QAnon and Trump voter fraud conspiracy theories, who had claimed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were working on a backdoor deal to block lawmakers from objecting to the certification.
The organiser told The Washington Post that he had “remained peaceful” during the riot and disavowed the insurrection.
However, in a video recorded by Mr Alexander at the time of the rioting, he said “I don’t disavow this” and “I do not denounce this”.
A spokesman for Mr Biggs told The Washington Post he had never knowingly been in contact with Mr Alexander, and neither Mr Brooks nor Mr Gosar offered statement to the Post.
The Independent reached out to Mr Brooks for further comment. His press spokesman said: “Congressman Brooks has no recollection of ever communicating in any way with whoever Ali Alexander is. Congressman Brooks has not in any way, shape or form coordinated with Ali Alexander on the January 6th ‘Save America’ rally. Congressman Brooks spoke at the ‘Save America’ rally at the invitation of the White House (the invitation was extended the day before), not anyone else.
“Congressman Brooks never incited violence, as has been egregiously and falsely claimed by his political opponents and the Fake News Media who distort Congressman Brooks’ remarks, take them out of context, and thereby sully Congressman Brooks’ reputation for political advantage. As the words in the speech unambiguously reflect (see the very preceding sentence to the “take name” sentence), Congressman Brooks gave his “take names” remarks in the context of winning elections in 2022 and 2024 and sought to motivate despondent Republicans into seeking change at the ballot box in 2022 and 2024. The only action Congressman Brooks asked the rally attendees to undertake at the Capitol was to say the words “USA”. Period.”
Mr Gosar and Mr Brooks did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.
Mr Gosar tweeted on 6 November that Mr Alexander was a “true patriot working his butt off for America” following a “Stop the Steal” rally in Phoenix shortly after the election.
Mr Alexander led the crowds in cheers of “1776” and vowed “we’ll shut down this country if we have to” in ordert to keep Mr Trump in office.
During that same event, Mr Alexander played a message recorded by Mr Biggs, who called Mr Alexander a “friend” and a “hero” before vowing to challenge the electoral count in Congress.
A spokesperson for Mr Biggs told CNN that he recorded the video at the request of Mr Gosar.