Watchdog Says Two GOP Reps Gave ‘Explicit Support’ To Organizer Of Jan. 6 Rally
Ethics watchdog Campaign for Accountability alleges in a complaint filed last week that two Repubican congressmen gave “explicit support” to an organizer of the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the storming of the U.S. Capitol, according to Newsweek.
In an investigation request addressed to the House Office of Congressional Ethics on Friday, the Campaign for Accountability requested a probe to determine whether the alleged actions of Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar of Arizona were in violation of federal law. The complaint also mentioned Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, who was similarly accused of actions that the organization wrote "may have violated laws prohibiting sedition and insurrection."
Biggs' deputy chief of staff, Daniel Stefanski, denied Biggs' involvement in the events that led to the riots in a statement shared with Newsweek. Newsweek contacted Gosar's and Cawthorn's offices for comment but did not receive responses in time for publication.
Congressional lawmakers convened in Washington, D.C. on January 6 to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. Objections to the Electoral College results were expected following former President Donald Trump's vocal support for baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, which have been widely debunked.
Trump spoke at a “Save America” rally prior to a mob of his supporters attacking the Capitol. The ethics watchdog alleges that Biggs and Gosar had a hand in planning the rally.
Ali Alexander, one of the activists behind the Capitol rally, previously credited Biggs and Gosar with helping him plan a pressure campaign to halt the certification of Electoral College results, according to The Washington Post. Alexander "received explicit support from Representatives Gosar and Biggs," the Campaign for Accountability said in a Friday news release.
The release went on to specify what their alleged assistance to Alexander entailed. The details included a video Biggs allegedly created that Alexander used at an event held on behalf of Trump last month, which the organization said encouraged supporters to "take action to prevent certification." Meanwhile, Gosar tweeted a message that read, "Who is joining me?" on January 5 to accompany an advertisement for the "Save America" rally. The flyer featured Gosar's name in the bottom left corner and read, "The time is now. Hold the line," along with the date of the rally and the hashtag "#FightforTrump."
Michelle Kuppersmith, executive director of the Campaign for Accountability, said in a statement: "Representatives Gosar, Biggs and Cawthorn deliberately misled Trump supporters and actively encouraged them to believe they could stop the certification of the election results. Their words helped light the match, resulting in death and destruction at the U.S. Capitol."