Charges have been surprising small against people who tried to overturn a presidential election with violence by attacking the Capitol Building, sending lawmakers into hiding for their own safety, erecting a gallows pole while chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” when the vice-president refused to break the law and stop the certification of the vote for Joe Biden, and beat and bear-sprayed police. However, an extensive investigation by the Jan. 6 commission to investigate the attack are uncovering evidence against people who may not be able to get out of trouble so easily: other elected officials.
NEW: Jan. 6 investigators interviewed a riot defendant this week and found that the defendant had evidence about events that preceded Jan. 6 — including about contacts between Trump allies and GOP officials in a key state.https://t.co/DXSJ8K5Soo
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) November 4, 2021
Yet another of the rioters came forward to speak to the committee today and said that he witnessed conversations between rally organizers and state-level GOP officials who, at best, participated in the attack and, at worst, coordinated it. The penalty as a lawmaker for an attempted insurrection is their expulsion from any elected position.
According to POLITICO:
‘The rioter, who interviewed with the committee twice in the past week, described knowledge of contacts between GOP officials in a key state Trump lost and allies of the former president in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 attack. The person interviewed was one of the 650-plus defendants charged in the attack, and discussed those contacts in a voluntary interview with congressional investigators.’
I stand with @AOC and DEMAND that any and all lawmakers involved in the January 6 riot be EXPELLED.
Are you with me? ✋
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) November 5, 2021
The witness today, whose identity is not being revealed, is not the first to say that rioters worked with lawmakers to commit the attack. Those who are testifying so far have not been kind to the twice-impeached ex-president who never won the popular vote, either. An attorney for Leanard Gruppo, who participated in the attack, testified about his experience behind closed doors, but his attorney told reporters that “Mr. Gruppo is a great man and it was an honor to represent him. Even the greatest of us make mistakes. Former President Trump has left chaos, damage and heart ache in his wake and he has shown no responsibility for all the lies.”
More than 100 Capitol riot defendants have pleaded guilty for their roles in the attack, most to misdemeanor crimes. The Jan. 6 select committee began soliciting voluntary testimony last month from these rioters . That request appears to have begun bearing fruit. At least three convicted rioters have cooperated or signaled their intent to speak to the committee, including Leonard Gruppo, who provided testimony on Oct. 12, according to court records. And more may be coming: Judge Beryl Howell, chief of the district court of Washington D.C., recently credited Gruppo during his sentencing for cooperating with Congress.’
Jan 6 committee has subpoenaed a number of people associated with Women for America First, which organized the rally near the White House featuring Trump, as well as those associated with the Stop the Steal rally that secured a permit for the Capitol lawn. https://t.co/T5mCQDhFQJ
— Nancy Levine (@nancylevine) October 31, 2021
The committee does not appear to be near completion, either. Interviews continue to be held and a number of them have made certain paths for investigation more clear, including the path of looking into the participation by elected officials.
‘The defendants’ interviews are part of more than 150 that the committee has conducted in recent days as it seeks details about Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election results. The panel has taken an expansive approach to its probe, subpoenaing top Trump aides like former chief of staff Mark Meadows, demanding testimony from the organizers of a Jan. 6 pro-Trump rally that preceded the Capitol attack and interviewing former DOJ officials who Trump pressured to help reverse his defeat.’
The Big Question: The FBI chose not to look deeply into disturbing extremist chatter about killing cops and targeting lawmakers on Jan 6.
The bureau said this plotting was just "aspirational".
So why did FBI take similar online talk so seriously before? https://t.co/9wzB1Vx1rE
— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) November 1, 2021