This weekend, Rolling Stone released a bombshell report stating that two organizers involved with the Women for America First rally in D.C. on January 6 — where Trump himself spoke — had revealed that multiple far-right members of Congress were involved with planning surrounding that event. With top Trump ally Steve Bannon having openly proclaimed in the lead-up to January 6 that “all hell” would “break loose,” the question then becomes: did these members of Congress know of the seemingly all-but-certain impending violence? In response to the Rolling Stone report, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) proposed the expulsion from Congress of Republican House members who were involved.
As Ocasio-Cortez put it:
‘Any member of Congress who helped plot a terrorist attack on our nation’s capitol must be expelled. This was a terror attack. 138 injured, almost 10 dead. Those responsible remain a danger to our democracy, our country, and human life in the vicinity of our Capitol and beyond.’
Any member of Congress who helped plot a terrorist attack on our nation’s capitol must be expelled.
This was a terror attack. 138 injured, almost 10 dead. Those responsible remain a danger to our democracy, our country, and human life in the vicinity of our Capitol and beyond. https://t.co/D0qLlaFjTh
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 25, 2021
The members of Congress who are alleged to have been involved in planning around January 6 either directly or through top staff members include Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) — all of whom are close allies of the former president, and three of whom had only just taken office for the first time when January 6 arrived. A rally organizer, whose name was not publicly shared by Rolling Stone, told the publication that they “would talk to Boebert’s team, Cawthorn’s team, Gosar’s team like back to back to back to back.” To be clear, the rally in D.C. on January 6 where Trump spoke was not explicitly billed as including an assault on the Capitol building — but police barricades at the Capitol were crossed shortly before the then-president’s remarks concluded.
Notably, Gosar was also said by the organizers who spoke to Rolling Stone to have presented them with the possibility of a “blanket pardon” from then-President Trump, although it’s not immediately clear whether Gosar came up with this proposal on his own or had actually spoken to Trump about it. Either way, the pardon offer (which never materialized) was meant as an encouragement for the protest planners, one of whom told Rolling Stone that their “impression was that it was a done deal, that he’d spoken to the president about it in the Oval… in a meeting about pardons and that our names came up.” Clearly, there’s a lot of corruption here for the House committee investigating the Capitol riot to dive into — Rolling Stone also reported that the organizers who served as sources for the publication were both in contact with Gosar and Boebert on January 6 itself.