More than 30 House lawmakers called Wednesday for an investigation into whether there were ties between outside groups who visited the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 5 and the attack that took place one day later, after Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) suggested members of Congress may have helped some of the rioters conduct “reconnaissance” before they stormed the building.
Sherrill and 33 other members of Congress sent a 邮件 to Congress’ two sergeants at arms and the U.S. Capitol Police asking them to look into the “extremely high number of outside groups” at the Capitol Jan. 5, which they note was “unusual” because tours of the building are currently suspended.
The outside groups “appeared to be associated with” the rally that took place before Wednesday’s violence, lawmakers said, and the rioters the following day “seemed to have an unusually detailed knowledge” of the Capitol building’s layout.
The groups, who could only have gained entry through a member of Congress or one of their staffers, were so “noticeable and concerning” that lawmakers said they reported their presence to the sergeant at arms Jan. 5, before the attack.
Sherrill, who served in the military and 注意到 she is “trained to recognize suspicious activity,” said in an address Tuesday night said she would hold accountable “members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 for reconnaissance for the next day.”
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who chairs the subcommittee that funds the sergeant at arms and Capitol Police, told NPR Wednesday the matter was under investigation.
Ryan also told reporters Wednesday he would not disclose any names of members who may be involved until there was hard evidence, saying, “I don’t want to throw any member under the bus.”
The lawmakers’ letter follows suggestions from other House Democrats that the rioters may have had some sort of insider access or knowledge of the Capitol building. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told CBS News the rioters “knew where to go” and may have been let in through side entrances by people inside the Capitol, and knew which of his offices to target despite it not being publicly marked with his name. “Somebody on the inside of those buildings were complicit in this,” Clyburn said. Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s chief of staff Sarah Groh also told the 波士顿环球报 the panic buttons in the progressive congresswoman’s office were inexplicably “torn out” ahead of the attack. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a prominent target for the president’s supporters, said Tuesday she had feared going to the “secure location” for lawmakers during Wednesday’s siege because “there were QAnon and white supremacist members of Congress who I felt would disclose my location and create opportunities to allow me to be hurt.”
Lawmakers Led ‘Reconnaissance’ Tours Of The Capitol Ahead Of Last Week’s Riots, Democratic Congresswoman Alleges (Forbes)
Sherrill wants probe of her allegation that members of Congress led ‘reconnaissance’ tours before Capitol riot (NJ.com)
Rep. Tim Ryan: Probe Underway On Whether Members Gave Capitol Tours To Rioters (NPR)
James Clyburn says “somebody on the inside” of Capitol was “complicit” in letting rioters inside the building (CBS News)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: ‘I Thought I Was Going To Die’ During Capitol Takeover (Forbes)