A number of Republican members of Congress named in a Rolling Stone report as being involved in planning the details of rallies and electoral certification objection on the day of Jan. 6 ahead of the riot at the U.S. Capitol building, either personally or through top staff members, are pushing back on or outright refuting the story.
“No one in my office, including me, participated in the planning of the rally or in any criminal activity on Jan. 6. We did not attend or participate at all,” Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said in a statement on Monday. “However, I am extremely interested to find out who, besides the FBI operatives, did plan the events on Jan. 6. For the purpose of a potential defamation lawsuit against those making baseless accusations of a crime, I need to know who these persons are who are alleging that I helped.”
A Rolling Stone report published Sunday, citing conversations with two anonymous sources, says that “multiple people associated with the March for Trump and Stop the Steal events” had “communicated with members of Congress throughout this process.”
Specifically, the story names Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Gohmert.
“If you’re talking about someone participating in meetings, setting the agenda, raising the money, I don’t know of anything that suggests my staff as doing that stuff,” Brooks told the Montgomery Advertiser in an interview pushing back on the report on Monday.
Brooks also rejected a portion of the Rolling Stone report that said he and Cawthorn spoke with then-President Donald Trump at the rally at the Ellipse outside the White House on Jan. 6.
“There was a meeting at the White House about voter fraud and election theft activity,” Brooks said. “But I have no recollection of any kind of organizational activity regarding the speeches on Jan. 6.”
Boebert also pushed back on the report.
“I had no role in the planning or execution of any event that took place at the Capitol or anywhere in Washington, DC on January 6th,” Boebert said in a statement on Monday. “With the help of my staff, I accepted an invitation to speak at one event but ultimately I did not speak at any events on January 6th. Once again, the media is acting as a messaging tool for the radical left.”
In comments to Rolling Stone, a spokesperson for Greene said that she “and her staff were focused on the Congressional election objection on the House floor and had nothing to do with [the] planning of any protest.”
Much of the lawmakers’ connections to planning certain aspects of Jan. 6 reported in the Rolling Stone story was already public knowledge. Members had publicized that they planned to object to the certification of the Electoral College results. Cawthorn and Brooks spoke at the rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6.
Gosar spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally that Alexander organized in Phoenix on Dec. 19, 2020, and Biggs taped a recorded message that was played at that rally. ProPublica previously reported that Gosar’s chief of staff Tom Van Flein said he was in “regular contact” with Alexander about objecting to the certification of the election results.
Gosar, Greene, and Boebert were all listed as “invited speakers” at a separate “Wild Protest” organized by Alexander that was set to occur near the Capitol, though it is not clear that they accepted any such invitation.
The Rolling Stone report, however, did reveal new information and make new allegations, including that the members or their staffs were involved on planning calls, though it did not specify in great detail how they were involved with the planning.
The outlet reported that it obtained “documentary evidence” that its two anonymous organizer sources were in contact with Gosar and Boebert on Jan. 6.
Its sources also alleged that Gosar floated the idea of Trump issuing a blanket pardon “in an unrelated ongoing investigation to encourage them to plan the protests” and gave the impression that he had spoken to Trump about the idea and was attempting to get Freedom Caucus support for it.
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Original Author: Emily Brooks
Original Location: GOP members lash out at Rolling Stone report linking them to Jan. 6 planning