On the day before the pro-Donald Trump mob violently breached the Capitol, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-New Jersey) saw some members of Congress leading groups on what she termed “reconnaissance” tours of the building.
In a Facebook Live speech on Tuesday evening, Sherrill said she was in favor of impeachment and wanted lawmakers involved in last week’s attempted coup to be “held accountable.” Sherrill added that she saw “members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on January 5 — a reconnaissance for the next day,” and continued that she would help remove these members from Congress if need be.
The representative’s statement is among a number of claims that have come up in the last week supporting the idea that the Trump supporters involved in the breach of the Capitol had help from official sources with insider knowledge of the layout and security of the building. One video appears to show members of the violent mob discussing the Capitol floor plan in detail on the day of the breach and planning things like breaking windows in order to “take this building.”
The attack on the Capitol was coordinated and planned.
Here are the insurrectionists talking about the plan, including detailed schematics of the Capitol building.
— Holly Figueroa O’Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) January 13, 2021
One of the organizers of the violent attempted coup, Ali Alexander, claimed in a now-deleted video that he specifically had help from members of Congress in planning the breach that killed five people. Alexander names three Trump-friendly Congress members who he says helped him plan the “Stop the Steal” mob: Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Arizona).
According to Alexander, the four of them wanted to place “maximum pressure on Congress” while they were certifying the Electoral College vote and “change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) has also come under fire in recent days for a tweet that partially revealed the location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) while the violent Trump supporters were in the Capitol building. “The Speaker has been removed from the chambers,” Boebert tweeted.
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) tweeted in reply that “we were specifically instructed by those protecting us not to tell anyone, including our family, where exactly we were.” Evidently, Boebert had been specifically instructed not to post on social media during the breach, according to Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California), but defied those instructions.
Meanwhile the question of whether armed Trump loyalists had help from officers within the Capitol Police force in staging their coup is currently pending investigation.
At least a dozen officers are under investigation for their involvement in the breach, and several Capitol Police officers have been suspended. One had taken a selfie with a member of the mob, and one, donning a “Make America Great Again” hat, helped in directing the far right militants around the Capitol during the breach. Investigators in another case found messages from officers in support of the extremist coup and bolstering Trump’s fraudulent claims about the election. The Capitol Police chief resigned on Sunday.
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