Democrats demand Capitol Hill police probe pre-riot ‘tours’

The district director of conservative Rep. Bob Good of Virginia admitted Thursday to being with the throng of protesters who marched to the Capitol before the MAGA riots – amid Democratic calls for a probe of whether rioters got help from inside.

Sandy Adams and her husband Melvin Adams attended the event and wrote about it – saying they were close enough to see Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt be carried to an ambulance after she was shot to death after she stormed the building.

They went ‘to join with many, many thousands of wonderful red-blooded American patriots in Washington DC,’ Melvin Adams wrote in an email obtained by the Washington Post

Adams claimed the couple did not go inside the building, standing back from the clash with police. ‘I did witness the use of flash bombs and tear gas at the entrances in efforts to control the crowd,’ according to Adams. 

‘But the tragic nature of events inside came home full force when a young lady who had been shot was being taken to the ambulance, passing so close to us that we could have literally reached out and touched her,’ he wrote. 

News of the top Republican staffer’s attendance comes as the House Democratic Whip charged that sitting lawmakers gave inside help to MAGA mob rioters – as a group of Democratic lawmakers is demanding to know how rioters appeared to gain ‘unusually detailed knowledge’ of the Capitol they ransacked. 

Rep. James C. Clyburn of South Carolina is pointing to rioters who located his own unmarked office, as well as ‘tours’ that several Democrats say GOP lawmakers provided in advance of the January 6 riot. 

‘Well, it seems to me that something was going on – some coordination was going on between sitting members of Congress and some of these called visitors to the Capitol,’ Clyburn said. 

A group of House Democrats, led by Rep. Mikie Sherrill (N.J.), have written Capitol Police demanding the identities of people who toured Capitol facilities the day before the riot – along with any information on the members who brought them there. Sherrill is a former Navy helicopter pilot who ultimately helped rally support for the first Trump impeachment. 

Good is a fervently pro-Trump first-term Republican who defeated another Republican in the primary. He was the athletic director of Liberty University. 

The Democratic lawmakers are seeking answers to a series of questions about procedures for public admittance to the Capitol – with an eye toward identifying who was in the building Jan. 5 and what lawmakers may have gotten them in.

Rep. James C. Clyburn, the House Democratic whip,  said there was coordination 'between sitting members of Congress' and those who ransacked the Capitol

Rep. James C. Clyburn, the House Democratic whip,  said there was coordination ‘between sitting members of Congress’ and those who ransacked the Capitol

‘Many of the Members who signed this letter, including those of us who have served in the military and are trained to recognize suspicious activity, as well as various members of our staff, witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, January 5,’ they wrote. The letter was signed by 34 lawmakers.

They called the tours ‘noticeable and concerning’ and said rioters the following day seemed to have ‘unusually detailed knowledge’ of the building.

‘This is unusual for several reasons, including the fact that access to the Capitol Complex has been restricted since public tours ended in March of last year due to the pandemic. The tours being conducted on Tuesday, January 5, were a noticeable and concerning departure from the procedures in place as of March 2020 that limited the number of visitors to the Capitol.’

They say the tours were ‘so concerning’ that they were reported to the Sergeant at Arms the day before the riot.   

‘The visitors encountered by some of the Members of Congress on this letter appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day. That group left the White House and marched to the Capitol with the objective of preventing Congress from certifying our election. Members of the group that attacked the Capitol seemed to have an unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the Capitol Complex. The presence of these groups within the Capitol Complex was indeed suspicious. Given the events of January 6, the ties between these groups inside the Capitol Complex and the attacks on the Capitol need to be investigated,’ they wrote.

The members went on to ask detailed questions bout the system for tracking Capitol visitors. 

‘Are there video logs of the day in question?’ they demanded to know. ‘Is facial recognition software used for visitors entering the complex?’

‘I’ve been listening to my colleagues and watching many of their interviews on television and many of them saw things going on the day before that led them to believe that something was amiss,’ Clyburn added.  

‘PANIC BUTTONS REMOVED’ FROM SQUAD MEMBER’S OFFICE

Target? Ayanna Pressley's staff revealed that panic buttons had been 'torn out' of her office

Target? Ayanna Pressley’s staff revealed that panic buttons had been ‘torn out’ of her office

Sarah Groh, the chief of staff to Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), revealed panic buttons were ‘torn out’ of the ‘squad’ member’s congressional office.

Both Clyburn and Pressley are members of the Congressional Black Caucus and prominent nationally with Pressley one of the members of ‘the Squad’ of radical Democrats led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

During the riots, Pressley’s office staff were barricading themselves behind their office door for protection, when they began looking for specially installed panic buttons. Pressley has them throughout the office after encountering threats since her election two years ago as part of the ‘squad.’ 

‘Every panic button in my office had been torn out – the whole unit,’ Groh said.  

HOW DID MOB FIND MOST SENIOR BLACK DEMOCRAT’S UNMARKED OFFICE? 

Clyburn has raised questions about how people who breached the Capitol had located his unmarked office inside the sprawling Capitol. 

‘Now I do know my own office where I do most of my work is unmarked, it’s on a different floor from the office where it is designated as my office. Nobody bothered the door that was designated to be mine – but they showed up at my office where I do most of my work. It seems to me that they had knowledge of where I cold be found,’ he said.

Clyburn’s leadership office, he is the party whip and Number Three leader, is marked with a wood plaque.

MAGA mob: President Trump did not use the speech to acknowledge any responsibility for the desecration of the Capitol for which he is being impeached, but came closer than  before by saying to his supporters of violence and lawbreaking: 'If you do any of this you do not support our movement.'

MAGA mob: President Trump did not use the speech to acknowledge any responsibility for the desecration of the Capitol for which he is being impeached, but came closer than  before by saying to his supporters of violence and lawbreaking: ‘If you do any of this you do not support our movement.’

NAVY VET REP.: I SAW PRE-RIOT TOURS OF PEOPLE ‘CASING THE JOINT’ 

 Clyburn alluded to comments by other House Democrats who have reported seeing what they identified suspicious activity by fellow lawmakers in advance of the riots. 

Rep. Mikie Sherill said there were lawmakers ‘who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5, a reconnaissance for the next day,’ she said. ‘I’m going to see that they’re held accountable and, if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress,’ she added in a Facebook live post.   

Sherrill, who represents New Jersey‘s 11th district, said during a Facebook Live video Tuesday night that she wants members of Congress who ‘abetted’ President Donald Trump and the violent crowd who descended on the Capitol to be held accountable and prevented from running for office in the future.

But she did not name the Republicans she says abated the insurrectionists. 

Her accusation came as more details emerged over the attack indicating three Republican lawmakers may have helped protesters get inside. Sherrill is a Navy veteran and former federal prosecutor who sits on the House Armed Services Committee.

‘We can’t have a democracy if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the elections results,’ Sherrill said of her colleagues she claims assisted Trump in inciting a crowd to storm the Capitol last Wednesday, January 6.

‘Not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn’t have access to classified material,’ she continued in her straight-to-camera remarks. 

‘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 Jan. 5 – a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy – I’m going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.’   

Tim Ryan said there were fears Republican lawmakers gave tours to visitors who were ‘casing the joint’ – and that groups getting tours involved ‘handfuls’ of people and were not ‘one-on-one or small family’ tour.

Before the pandemic, it was not uncommon for lawmakers and their aides to provide tours to visitors through the Capitol, but public tours have been cancelled and the building is open only for official business. 

AOC: I AVOIDED ‘EXTRACTION POINTS’ BECAUSE I FEARED REPUBLICANS

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed concern that her own colleagues in Congress might have shared her location to the mob of fanatic Trump supporters while they were storming the Capitol last Wednesday. 

Lawmakers were instructed to head for a designated ‘extraction point’ to seek protection from the chaos, but AOC asserted that that wasn’t really an option ‘because there were QAnon and white-supremacist sympathizers and, frankly, white-supremacist members of Congress in that extraction point who I know and who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, et cetera.’

‘So I didn’t even feel safe around other members of Congress,’ she said during an hour long Instagram live video from Tuesday.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's remarks comes as other Democrats have sounded off on the possibility that some GOP members of the Congress abetted the rioters as they stormed the building.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks comes as other Democrats have sounded off on the possibility that some GOP members of the Congress abetted the rioters as they stormed the building.

Ocasio-Cortez has said that she thought she would be killed during the January 6 raid on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.

The Democratic congresswoman – a lightning rod for the president and his followers – said during an Instagram Live broadcast that she could not go into detail about her harrowing time inside the Capitol, due to security concerns.

But she said she had had a ‘very close encounter’ with the insurrectionists during which, she said, ‘I thought I was going to die.’

She added: ‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.’

She said: ‘I didn’t even feel safe going to that extraction point 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,’ she said, adding that she ‘didn’t feel safe around other members of Congress.’

The 31-year-old said that some of her colleagues had invited their children into Congress that day, and they were exposed to the trauma.

The rioters pummeled the door of the House chamber, with the politicians inside. The Senate chamber was breached, when the Senators had been safely evacuated, but the House was not.

‘It is not an exaggeration to say that many, many members of the House were nearly assassinated,’ said Ocasio-Cortez.

‘It’s just not an exaggeration to say that at all. We were very lucky that things happened within certain minutes. That allowed members to escape the gap, the House floor unharmed.

‘But many of us merely narrowly escaped death. And it’s also extremely traumatizing.’

The New Yorker praised the police officers who managed to repel the invaders, saying they were on the frontline of the fight against white supremacy, and speaking of her dismay in seeing rioters running through the Capitol waving the Confederate flag.

‘There were also black and brown officers that were confronting white supremacists and putting themselves, not just to protect members, but they put themselves in harm’s way,’ she said.

‘On the front line, facing the racist violence.’

But, continuing, she said she believed some of the Capitol Police were working with the rioters.

WHAT ABOUT THE CAPITOL COPS? DEMS REVEAL 17 UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR POSSIBLE COMPLICITY OR WORSE 

On Monday Tim Ryan, the Ohio congressman leading the investigation into the riots, said one member of the Capitol Police had been arrested.

Two were also suspended – one for taking a selfie with a rioter; another for putting on a MAGA hat and appearing to show the frenzied mob around.  

‘There were those acts of heroism. But next to that there was also acts of betrayal.

‘And to run in the Capitol, in our nation’s capital, and not know if an officer is there to help you or to harm you – it’s also quite traumatizing.’ 

A Capitol Police officer who posed for a selfie with a rioter (above) has been suspended

I HAD INSIDE HELP, STOP THE STEAL ORGANIZER BOASTED – AND NAMED NAMES 

Pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander said in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

Pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander said in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

Ali Alexander, a pro-Trump organizer of the ‘stop the steal’ rally the day Congress met to count the electoral votes making Joe Biden the next president, said he coordinated with three House Republican members: Reps. Paul Gosar (Ariz.) and Andy Biggs (Ariz.), and Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, who spoke at the Trump rally before the riot.

He said in a since-deleted video: ‘I want to let you guys know how we’re responding because I was the person who came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then Congressman Andy Biggs.’ 

Of the three he named, Biggs’ office denied involvement, telling the Washington Post: ‘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.’ 

Gosar has made no public statement but his twitter account tagged Alexander repeatedly.

And Brooks has not addressed Alexander’s claims but issued a lengthy statement Tuesday defending his speech to the rally at the Ellipse before the mob rioted, at which he shouted: ‘Today is the day patriots start taking down names and kicking a**.’

‘Those three members of Congress are going to need to lawyer up, very fast,” former House GOP Rep. Charlie Dent told CNN.

The network also reported following the suspensions of two Capitol Police officers that at least 10 others were being investigated for their behavior during the riot, which resulted in the death of a Capitol Police officer. 

 

 

 

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., an ally of President Donald Trump, passes through a metal detector before entering the House chamber, a new security measure put into place after a mob stormed the Capitol, in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., an ally of President Donald Trump, passes through a metal detector before entering the House chamber, a new security measure put into place after a mob stormed the Capitol, in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

  

New security outside House chamber

 Amid heightened security and even with 20,000 National Guard set to be deployed for the inauguration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi oversaw the installation of new metal detectors outside the House chamber – and said she would impose steep fines after House Republican members scoffed and raised constitutional concerns.

 She says members who fail to comply will face fines of fine $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for the second offense, after GOP lawmakers brushed by Capitol Police officers and refused to go through the magnetometers.

is proposing fines of up to $10,000 will be imposed on members who fail to abide by the security protocols of the House.

 ‘It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People´s House must and will be safe,’ said Pelosi. ‘Many House Republicans have disrespected our heroes by verbally abusing them and refusing to adhere to basic precautions.’

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