On Tuesday evening, Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill indicated that some Republican legislators had been directly involved in helping insurgents plan the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. As all the pieces begin to fall together, it’s becoming clearer that Republican officials—from state and local party leaders to members of Congress—were not just involved in encouraging the insurrection through spreading lies about election fraud, but assisted the coup plotters with information on how to best go about causing harm. That includes how best to capture members of Congress considered enemies of Donald Trump.
Evidence is building up that Reps. Mo Brooks, Andy Biggs, and Paul Gosar were directly involved in planning events on Jan. 6. Others, like Rep. Lauren Boebert, appear to have not just encouraged insurrection actors in their assault but provided real-time updates on the location of terrorist targets. Now, following Sherrill’s accusations that some Republicans had helped the insurrectionists by leading them on “reconnaissance” of the Capitol in advance of the assault, there appears to be more evidence that not only were insurgents provided with information on how best to carry out their assault, they were doing exactly what Republicans asked of them.
One day before insurgents took the Capitol and went in search of congressional hostages, that is exactly what Republican organizations across the nation told them to do. As Media Matters shows, multiple Republican organizations were directly calling on those attending the Jan. 6 event to “Occupy the Capitol.” That message came from organizations in (at least) Texas, Oregon, Georgia, and North Carolina.
The flyer passed around urging this occupation makes multiple references to 1776, a reference that was repeated by Boebert on Jan. 6.
As insurgents stormed the Capitol and roamed the halls, Boebert kept them updated with where to find members of Congress and specifically provided location information on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
And someone clearly provided even more detailed information, as can be seen in this video of insurgents both inside and outside the building coordinating to gain access to additional areas of the building. When some of those inside are confused about what happens next, a person from outside speaks through an opened window to tell them she has been there before and give details of a route to get access to Congressional offices. (Actual timestamp is 0:34.)
“Hey guys, I’ve been in the other room … in the other room on the other side of this door, there is a glass, that can be broken. You can drop down into a room underneath it. There are also two doors in the other room, one in the rear, and one on the right as you go in it. So, we should probably coordinate together if you’re going to take this building.”
GOP organizations were explicitly calling on those attending the rally to capture the Capitol. Boebert was assisting them in locating potential hostages. And these people had clearly been provided the information they needed to move through the building and bypass potential roadblocks in order to reach the House and Senate chambers.
This was a widespread plot that demands an extensive ongoing investigation.