Some House Democrats have 'real concern' Republican colleagues may have aided Capitol attack
WASHINGTON - A growing number of House Democrats are calling for an investigation into whether their Republican counterparts helped President Trump's supporters who forcibly stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to dismiss last year's election results.
Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., Told Yahoo News that many of his Democratic counterparts are discussing the possibility of members of the Republican House having a role in the attacks.
“I would hope no member did this, but the truth is there are more questions than answers: What kind of communication did people have with members? Have members informed them of certain things, such as: B. About the inputs to use or other information before or during the attack? “Richmond asked, adding," This is a real problem and I've heard a lot of people talk about it. "
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Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., A freshman to Congress, told Yahoo News that he wanted to see an investigation into the role his Republican counterparts may have played in the attacks.
"Many of my colleagues and I firmly believe that Donald Trump's most egregious enabler in Congress should be investigated for complicity in the uprising against the United States," said Torres.
Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol after a rally the President held on the National Mall. During a speech to the crowd, Trump reiterated his false claim that his loss of the election to President-elect Joe Biden was fraudulent.
Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La. (Reuters)
Trump also urged the crowd to "fight like hell," saying he knew they were going to march to the Capitol, where lawmakers certified Biden's victory. The subsequent unrest briefly stopped the election certificate. Five deaths have been linked to the violence, including that of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was reportedly hit by a fire extinguisher, and Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter, who was shot and killed by law enforcement. On Wednesday evening, Trump was charged by the House of Representatives for his role in inciting insurrection.
Concern about the possible involvement of Republican members increased Tuesday night after Rep. Mikie Sherill, DN.J., claimed she had "seen members of Congress walking through the Capitol with groups whom I saw on January 5th to clarify had seen for the next day. Sherill, a former Navy helicopter pilot, explained her allegations in a letter Wednesday night she and her colleagues Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., DN.J., and Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., Addressed to officials, who were charged with securing the Capitol.
This letter indicated that several members observed that "suspicious" groups were given tours of the Capitol complex the day before the attack. It was also alleged that these groups were reported to officials at that time.
"The visitors some members of Congress encountered in this letter appeared to be related to the White House rally the following day," the letter said. "Members of the group that attacked the Capitol appeared to have an unusually detailed understanding of the layout of the Capitol complex."
This letter was addressed to the Acting Sergeants of the House and Senate and the Acting Chief of the United States Capitol Police. She asked the officials for information about visitors to the complex on January 5. Sherill's office did not respond to requests for comment.
Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio. (Getty Images)
The rioters penetrated deep into the Mazelian Capitol complex and reached key locations including the office of the Speaker of the Democratic House, Nancy Pelosi, and the chambers of the House and Senate. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., claimed during a live Instagram broadcast Tuesday that she "did not feel safe around other members of Congress" when she was evacuated to a safe location during the attack.
“I myself didn't even feel safe going to this extraction point because there were QAnons and white supremacist sympathizers and frankly white supremacist congressmen at that extraction point that I know and who I believed would reveal my location would. ”Ocasio- said Cortez.
Ocasio-Cortez, a high-profile progressive who has dealt with previous death threats, also said she had a "very close encounter" that caused her to fear for her life during the attack. For security reasons, she declined to elaborate on this experience. The Ocasio-Cortez office did not respond to requests for comment.
Adam Neubold and Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio. (Facebook, 2)
Federal law enforcement agencies are currently investigating the attack on the Capitol and how it may have been coordinated. Many of the rioters who broke through the building were prepared with weapons and protective gear. Several people were arrested in connection with the attack. In a news conference Tuesday, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin, who is investigating the Capitol riot, suggested there would be disturbing revelations about what happened.
"I think people will be shocked at some of the monstrous behaviors that have taken place in the Capitol," said Sherwin.
The FBI did not respond to requests for comment on whether it was investigating possible involvement of Congressmen.
At least one Republican Congressman has a previously unreported connection to a group that led a "caravan" to attack the Capitol. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, participated in weapons training with a company in his home state in 2018 that brought a group to the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Rep. Bill Johnson is attending training at ATG Worldwide in Ohio in 2018. (Facebook)
Rep. Johnson and his staff attended a Range Day in November 2018 with a Lisbon, Ohio-based company called ATG Worldwide. According to its website, ATG offers weapons training courses. The company posted photos on Facebook showing Johnson and his staff firing various weapons at their range on November 13, 2018.
"We believe he really enjoyed just postponing a few laps and not politicizing," ATG wrote in a message accompanying the photos.
In a statement to Yahoo News, Johnson described his day at ATG as part of his testimony to "make it a habit to meet with small business owners in my district."
“As a 27-year-old Air Force veteran, I particularly enjoy visiting the many veteran companies in east and southeast Ohio. Over two years ago I stopped at a local rifle range owned by a retired Navy SEAL. We talked about my work in Congress, our mutual military experiences, fired guns at its range, and I left. The business owner has never been a sponsor of my campaign, ”said Johnson.
ATG Worldwide Director Adam Newbold, a retired Navy SEAL, was reportedly questioned by the FBI after posting a Facebook video describing "breaching the Capitol" the night of the attack. This clip has since been removed. Neither ATG nor Newbold responded to requests for comment. However, on Tuesday, the company shared a video message from Newbold on its Facebook page. In it he described that he was "angry at the direction of our country" and that a "caravan" was leading to the Capitol on January 6th.
Screen grab from a Facebook video posted on January 12th by AGT Global Director Adam Newbold.
"ATG organized a caravan to go to Washington DC and we organized to join a national caravan from across the country," Newbold said in the clip. "So it wasn't just all ATG members. It wasn't ATG members who planned and planned to take over the land. ... We just planned and invited everyone who wanted to go down there to come with us."
On Linkedin, Newbold claims to own another company that reportedly received a $ 98 million US Army apprenticeship contract in 2014.
In his statement to Yahoo News, Johnson described himself as "sick" through Newbold's comments.
“As I read his comments today in support of the demolition of the Capitol, it made me sick. I represent more than 700,000 people and not all of them obey the law. Anyone who is involved in criminal activity - including that particular person for breaking the law - should be prosecuted, "said Johnson, adding," Anyone trying to stop my visit to a small business in my district two years ago to be characterized as some kind of conspiracy lies and tries to take part in the horrific attack on Congress. "
In his Facebook video, Newbold defended his behavior by bringing knives and other equipment to the "caravan".
"I don't apologize for being a rough man willing to do rough things in rough situations," he said.
This story was updated at 9:31 p.m. with the testimony of Bill Johnson.
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