Several Congressional Democrats claim the January 6 Capitol insurrection was aided by 'insiders'

  • Several Democratic members of Congress have alleged that the mob at the US Capitol had help from people with insider knowledge of the building.
  • On Tuesday, New Jersey Rep. Mikie Sherril released a Facebook Live video claiming she saw several members of Congress taking people on "reconnaissance" tours on January 5.
  • House Majority Whip James Clyburn said last week that he believed members of the Capitol security team were "complicit" in the insurrection 
  • The Acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin said his office was working on an "unprecedented" investigation into the riots. 
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Several Congressional Democrats have alleged the January 6 breach of the Capitol Building was aided by people on the inside.

Rep. Tim Ryan, chairman of a House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police said in a briefing on Monday that more than a dozen Capitol Police officers are under investigation for their role in the riot. 

But on Tuesday, New Jersey Rep. Mikie Sherrill went further and released a 13-minute Facebook Live video in which she suggested that members of Congress were also complicit in the attack.

Sherill said she witnessed members of Congress escort people through the Capitol Building on January 5, and referred to it as "reconnaissance" for the January 6 insurrection.

Read more: 'I thought I was going to die': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rips GOP lawmakers, shares experience during Capitol riots on Instagram Live

Sherill, a Navy veteran, described the tense minutes she and other members of Congress spent inside the Capitol, sheltered in a secure location. She then told constituents that she would vote in support of invoking of the 25th Amendment. 

"Not only do I intend to see that the president is removed," she said.

"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 January 5 for reconnaissance for the next day — those members of Congress who incited the violent crowd, those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy, I'm going see that they're held accountable." 

Security was 'not just derelict. They were complicit.'

House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina told CBS News on Friday that he also believed the insurrectionists had help from people inside.

"They knew where to go. I've been told … by some other Congresspeople that their staff are saying that they saw people being allowed into the building through side doors.

"Who opened those side doors for these protesters, or I call them these mobsters, to come into the building, not through the main entrance where magnetometers are but through side doors. Yes, somebody on the inside of those buildings were complicit in this."

Read more: Trump told Pence 'you can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a p—y' before certification vote in Congress, The New York Times reported

He also noted that while the office with his name on it wasn't touched, "the office where I do most of my work in, they were on that floor and outside that door," suggesting the mob had insider knowledge of where Clyburn actually spent most of his time.

On the morning of the attack, Clyburn told CBS "there were no security people on the steps. They were all out in a place which I thought gave low security."

He accused security forces of being "not just derelict. You could say they were complicit."

Clyburn declined to name other members of Congress who supported his theory, though Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson appeared on the Rashad Richey Morning Show earlier this week to say he believed it was an "inside job."

At least one person involved in the riot has claimed to have had help.

In a now-deleted Periscope video, Ali Alexander, a far-right leader of the Stop the Steal movement, claimed he had teamed up with Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona and Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama to put "maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting."

A representative for Biggs told The New York Times: "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 on Jan. 6. He did not have any contact with protesters or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests on Jan. 6."

Neither Gosar nor Brooks have responded for request for comment on Alexander's claims.

Brooks spoke at Trump's "Save America" rally prior to the insurrection and told the crowd: "Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass."

Following the riots, Brooks called for participants to be "prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," but also advanced the unproven theory that the mob included members of antifa. 

Federal investigators say they're looking into potential sedition charges for people involved in the riot. 

Acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin said Tuesday that an "unprecedented" investigation into the day's events was being conducted, though he has not offered any evidence of coordination with people inside the Capitol.

He said his team of investigators was combing through evidence to determine if the assault was planned in advance. 

"I think people are going to be shocked with some of the egregious contact that happened within the Capitol," Sherwin said. 


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