Donald Trump wanted to go to the floor of the House to defend himself as Democrats moved forward with a second impeachment, a report revealed Wednesda
Donald Trump wanted to go to the floor of the House to defend himself as Democrats moved forward with a second impeachment, a report revealed Wednesday – and the president is still considering pardoning himself in his last six days in office.
Advisers told The New York Times they had to persuade Trump not to march over to Capitol Hill Wednesday to issue some sort of defense. They claim the president wanted to do the same thing during his first impeachment in December 2019.
Instead, aides were able to convince the president to release a pre-recorded five-minute video Wednesday evening condemning last week’s violence at the Capitol.
In the address from the Oval Office, Trump urged his supporters to stand down from further rioting this week and next as Joe Biden prepares for inauguration and rumors circulate of more organized ‘armed’ protests in the nation’s capital.
The video remarks were released on the White House Twitter account – after the social media platform banned the president from his account – and came shortly after the House voted 232-197 to impeach him.
President Donald Trump is still weighing a self-pardon, a report revealed Wednesday evening, as advisers claim they had to persuade the president not to march down to the House floor to defend himself against impeachment
The video was released on the White House Twitter account at the exact same time House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the article of impeachment against Trump at an engrossment ceremony after the 232-197 vote Wednesday night where 10 Republicans crossed the line to vote for the rebuke of the president
More National Guard members continue to arrive in Washington D.C. Thursday morning as they were deployed from several states to defend the nation’s capital as concerns arise of more violent protests in the coming days
Most National Guard are stationed at the Capitol as rumors swirl of upcoming protests with ‘armed patriots’ – yet no more unrest has ensued in Washington D.C. since last week’s unprecedented descent on the Capitol building
By the end of the week there will be around 10,000 National Guard troops in D.C. after they were called in following the storming of the Capitol last week, which Democrats claim was ‘incited’ by Trump in a rally held near the White House before the chaos unfolded
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone says Trump pardoning himself before leaving office would be a bad move, warning it would provoke investigators
The unprecedented rebuke of Trump makes him the first president to ever be impeached twice.
House Democrats, and 10 Republicans who crossed the line to vote ‘yea’, impeached Trump over claims he ‘incited an insurrection’.
Advisers claim they were only able to persuade Trump to release the video as he began to realize this week the catastrophic fallout from the Capitol storming Wednesday, January 6.
Trump has still left open the possibility of pardoning himself.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has expressed concerns over that course of action, warnings that this would inflame investigators who are already pursuing him.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who signed impeachment papers Wednesday evening, was putting a maximum pressure campaign on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment before she went forward with impeachment.
She said she wanted to get Trump out of office as soon as possible so he couldn’t pardon himself or those involved in the Capitol riot last week.
Democrats and some Republicans even urged the president to resign – admittedly the least likely outcome as he nears his final day in the White House.
Trump repeatedly denounced violence following the MAGA riot in the Capitol during his video address to the nation.
The riot that left the Capitol vandalized, hundreds injured and five dead. Among those dead include Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit over the head with a fire hydrant and succumbed to his injuries a day later, and a female pro-Trump protester Ashlit Babbit, who was involved in the storming.
Trump did not mention in the pre-taped video the second impeachment voted on hours earlier.
The president spoke straight to the camera, as he did in a previous video where he acknowledged last week for the first time that there would be a transition in power the day after his supporters invaded the Capitol and clashed with Capitol Police, leaving one officer dead. Another took his own life after the riots.
This time, Trump was unable to tweet out the statement for himself because Twitter has blocked his account after the Capitol riot. Instead it came from the official White House account, which Twitter told NBC News was permitted.
The president said the riot ‘angered and appalled millions of Americans across the political spectrum.’
‘I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week,’ Trump said, clearly reading from a prompter.
‘Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country – and no place in our movement.’
His appeal came amid warnings from law enforcement of further violence during the handover on January 20 – and grave threats to his own political future through impeachment. The Senate is not only moving ahead with a trial, but will hold a vote to bar Trump from holding future office if he is convicted.
His statements were unequivocal – but followed a series of public comments where he made statements that could be seen to justify violence with a wink, including telling his supporters at the speech in The Ellipse before they marched on the Capitol: ‘We’re going to have to fight much harder.’
‘We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong,’ he said then – a stark contrast to his address from the Oval Office.
Trump on Wednesday defended his movement, after rioters decked out in Trump gear were seen fighting with police, and even beating officers with American flags.
Trump issued a speech from the Resolute Desk, in which he said ‘unequivocally’ condemned violence. It was posted from the official White House account after he was banned from Twitter. Twitter said: ‘This Tweet is not in violation of the Twitter Rules. As we previously made clear, other official administration accounts, including @WhiteHouse, are permitted to Tweet as long as they do not demonstrably engage in ban evasion or share content that otherwise violates the Twitter Rules’
MAGA mob: 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.’
‘Making America Great Again has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement and upholding our nation’s most sacred traditions and values,’ said Trump, who made ‘law and order’ and overriding theme of his campaign,’ he said.
‘Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for,’ said Trump.
Lawmakers have combed over his January 6 speech, where he urged supporters to march on the Capitol to protest an election result he called ‘rigged’ while Congress was meeting to count the electoral votes.
‘No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence, no true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag,’ said Trump.
‘No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things you are not supporting our movement, you are attacking it, and you are attacking our country,’ he added.
‘We cannot tolerate it. We have seen political violence spiral out of control.’
His appeal for calm, just a week before he is to leave office, comes amid extraordinary repercussions for his future and the party he effectively took over. A series of major corporations have released statements saying they would withhold future PAC campaign contributions to the scores of Republicans who voted not to seat electors from states that sent certified votes to Washington, not withstanding Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud.
There have been business setbacks as well – with New York City saying it will end contracts with the Trump Organization and top lender Deutsche Bank saying it will part ways with Trump. A break with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell points to a coming split between Trumpists and those who want to end their alliance with him. Three Trump cabinet members quit since Wednesday, and some White House aides walked amid concerns they may no longer be employable due to their association with Trump.
Trump also tried to connect the violence committed by his supporters to violence and vandalism at protests this summer – a tactic his supporters also used on the floor in his defense.
‘We have seen too many riots, too many mobs, too many acts of intimidation and destruction. Whether you are on the right or the left, a Democrat or a Republican, there is never a justification for violence. No excuses, no exceptions. America is a nation of laws,’ Trump said.
‘Those who engaged in the attacks last week will be brought to justice,’ he said – with hundreds of law enforcement officers opening hundreds of cases to try to bring perpetrators to justice.
In the wake of the riots, an estimated 20,000 National Guard are being deployed in the Capitol, the Capitol is surrounded by a tall fence, and officials are warning of the potential for further violence.
The video came hours after a statement sent from the White House as the impeachment debate was taking place.
‘In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You,’ the statement read.
The White House blasted the statement out to its press list after Twitter, Facebook and Instagram froze Trump’s social media accounts for inciting violence. Spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany also tweeted it from her official press secretary account and the Trump campaign texted it to followers.
The statement contained several words in ALL CAPS – which was a regular feature of Trump’s tweets.
Trump on had Tuesday denied all responsibility for last week’s riot, saying his fiery speech to his supporters before they marched on the Capitol was ‘totally appropriate.’
In his first public remarks since Wednesday’s MAGA storming of the Capitol, the president slammed Democrats, accusing them of creating ‘tremendous danger’ with their attempt to remove him from office but said repeatedly he wanted ‘no violence.’
The president defended his speech at a rally on ellipse, where he encouraged his thousands of supporters to ‘march’ on the Capitol.
They did so, leaving five dead and a path of destruction in their wake in the form of busted windows, broken furniture and destroyed office space. Dozens have now been rounded up by police and FBI.
‘If you read my speech – and many people have done it and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television, it is been analyzed – and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate,’ he said as he boarded Air Force One to head for Alamo, Texas, on the Mexican border, to inspect his wall.
‘They’ve analyzed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence and everybody to a tee thought it was totally appropriate,’ he continued. He offered no indication of who ‘they’ are.
Trump also denounced the Democrats’ efforts to remove him from office, which has been joined by some Republicans, to remove him from office – and called it a ‘danger,’ not his supporters’ actions.
But, he said he wanted no violence from his supporters. Trump reportedly had initially enjoyed the sight of his supporters on Capitol Hill last week, fighting for him to illegally take a second term in the White House. He changed his tune and called on them to stand down when he warned he could be held legally responsible for their actions.
‘We want no violence, never violence. We want absolutely no violence,’ he said repeatedly Tuesday before he left for Texas to tout the completion of a section of his border wall.
HOUSE REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED ‘YES’ ON IMPEACHMENT
Liz Cheney – Wyoming. Republican royalty and House Number 3
‘There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.’
Adam Kinzinger – Illinois. Outspoken Trump critic and Air Force veteran
‘If these actions are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?’
John Katko – New York. Holds swing district and co-chairs moderate group
‘To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy.’
Fred Upton – Michigan. 14-term rep who co-chairs moderate group
‘It is time to say: Enough is enough.’
Jaime Herrera Beutler – Washington
Five-term rep in deep blue state
‘The President of the United States incited a riot. That riot led to five deaths.’
Dan Newhouse – Washington
One of only two GOP reps from state
‘Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republican is not an option.’
Peter Meijer – Michigan
Holds Gerald Ford’s seat
‘There was no such courage from our President who betrayed and misled millions.’
Tom Rice – South Carolina
Voted to overturn election results
‘I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. This utter failure is inexcusable.’
Anthony Gonzalez – Ohio
‘The President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties.’
Former NFL starting wide receiver
David Valadao – California
‘His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It’s time to put country over politics.’
Reclaimed district from Dems in 2020
‘And on the impeachment, it’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics. It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous. This impeachment is causing tremendous anger,’ he said.
He denounced Democratic leaders but made no mention of the Republicans who have called on him to leave office.
‘It’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path. I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger, I want no violence,’ he said.
That calculus appeared however to have changed with the new video, issued after the House voted 232-197 to impeach him for a second time for ‘incitement of insurrection,’ exactly a week after the MAGA mob stormed Capitol Hill.
The Democratic majority was joined by 10 Republicans, making the House’s move bipartisan – unlike Trump’s first impeachment less than 13 months ago.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would not bring the Senate back before January 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. It means that Trump cannot be removed from office before he leaves anyway.
McConnell’s move was revealed as the House debated the impeachment article. Then he added to the drama with a statement suggesting he could convict, saying: ‘While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.’
Just before he entered history as the first president to be impeached twice, the White House put out a statement from Trump, which called for peace but did not address his impeachment.
‘In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You,’ the president’s statement said.
Later, after the impeachment vote, Trump put out a video message.
The call for calm did nothing to quell a Republican rebellion against him, led by the House number three Liz Cheney, which ended with a total of 10 GOP members voting to impeach Trump.
Halfway through the debate another defiant Republican, Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington, said: ‘Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republic is not an option.
‘A vote against impeachment is a vote to validate this unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital. It is also a vote to condone President Trump’s inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed.’
‘Our country needed a leader and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office,’ Newhouse added. His floor speech got Democratic applause.
The 10 votes make the impeachment the most bipartisan ever, another historical marker which also creates a deep split in the Republican party which is unlikely to end with Trump’s departure.
The vote ended with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, in the chair, declaring the count of 232 to 197 – but with silence from the Democrats and handful of Republicans still present. Pelosi had warned her members not to celebrate the outcome.
‘We’re heartbroken over what this means to our country,’ Pelosi said at the engrossment ceremony for the article of impeachment that took place Wednesday evening. ‘To have a president who incites insurrection.’
She said she ‘sadly’ signed the documents.
It concluded a day of debate in which Pelosi had called Trump a ‘clear and present danger,’ as Democrats said they were standing in a ‘crime scene’ and demanded that Trump pay a price for a campaign of ‘lies and conspiracy theories’ which had fomented violence.
Trump’s Republican allies did not defend Trump’s behavior, but instead pitched censuring the president or launching a 9/11-style commission, more fitting punishments they argued for someone who was already leaving office.
Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, went as far to say Trump’s conduct was impeachable, but wouldn’t vote for the article, calling it ‘flawed.’
The Republican revolt was led by Cheney, the number three in the caucus and party royalty as the daughter of the former vice president Dick Cheney.
She had issued a fiery denunciation of Trump when she announced her vote 24 hours earlier, saying he ‘lit the flame on insurrection’ but did not speak on the floor.
In the Senate, which will have to hold a trial of Trump in the wake of the vote as soon as it receives the article, McConnell’s announcement that he is willing to convict raises new questions about how Republicans will vote when the trial happens.
So far only Sen. Mitt Romney appears certain to back conviction, while on Wednesday Sen. Lindsey Graham accused McConnell of risking more violence by backing impeachment. No other Republican senator has made their position public.
Impeachment is by a two-thirds majority of the Senate, which in principle means the 50 Democrats have to be joined by 17 Republicans, but in fact it is only a majority of those present, meaning some GOP members could stay away to let a vote go through without actively taking part.
In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer continued to push McConnell to reconvene the Senate sooner – but said there would be a trial no matter what.
‘A Senate trial can begin immediately, with agreement from the current Senate Majority Leader to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session, or it will begin after January 19th,’ Schumer said.
‘But make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again.’
Bringing down the hammer: Nancy Pelosi gavels the end of the voting and declares that Donald Trump has been impeached again 232-197 – 10 of the majority votes coming from Republicans
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds up the article of impeachment after signing it at an engrossment ceremony Wednesday night on Capitol Hill
The article of impeachment against President Donald Trump sits on a table before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at an engrossment ceremony after Wednesday’s vote
Republican House number three Liz Cheney (right) led 10 of the House GOP into voting for impeachment – but is now facing a backlash from Trump ultra-loyalists. She was see n speaking to Jamie Raskin, one of the key Democrats pushing for Trump’s impeachment and removal
READ THE FULL ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT
Wednesday afternoon: House passed single Article
What happens next? Nancy Pelosi decides when to transmit Article to Senate. When she does, it must begin trial on the next sitting day and sit six days a week until it concludes
Tuesday January 19: Earliest date Mitch McConnell has said Senate can begin considering Article. Senate procedures may mean trial will not begin until the following day at 1pm
Wednesday January 20, noon: Trump leaves office
What happens next? If a trial is under way, it can continue. Most legal experts say if it has not begun, it can, but there is a minority who say impeachment cannot continue if the president is not in office
Rep. Tom Cole, the first GOP lawmaker to speak, argued against a hasty impeachment vote ‘not because of the president’s inappropriate and reckless words are deserving of defense but because the presidency itself demands due process.’ Cole had himself voted to overturn the election results.
Republicans also warned impeaching Trump for a second time would only make partisan hostilities worse.
‘This is a reckless impeachment,’ complained Republican Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri. ‘This will only bring up the hate and fire more than ever before.’
Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona charged Democrats with wanting ‘complete destruction of your nemesis.’
‘Instead of stopping the Trump train, his movement will go stronger, for you would have made him a martyr,’ Biggs warned.
Democrats described the terror of last week’s attack.
‘We are debating this resolution at an actual crime scene and we wouldn’t be here if not for the president of the United States,’ said Rep. Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat.
‘People were sending text messages to their loved ones, telling them they loved them. They thought they were saying goodbye,’ he added.
Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, the House’s lead impeachment manager, referred to the rioters as a ‘bloodthirsty mob.’
‘They wounded dozens of people, hospitalizing dozens of people,’ he said. ‘They may have been hunting for Pence and Pelosi to stage their coup, but every one of us in this room right now, could have died.’
Rep. Joaquin Castro echoed Raskin’s description.
‘Let me ask you a question? What do you think they would have done if they had gotten in? What do you think they would have done to you? And who do you think sent them here?’ he asked his fellow members. ‘The most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office.’
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, speaking to an InstagramLive audience Tuesday night since she was proxy voting, said, ‘I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die.’
‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive,’ the high-profile progressive lawmaker said.
On the floor Wednesday, the Democrats pointed to the Republicans’ high-profile defection: the No. 3 House Republican, Cheney.
Cheney, the Republican Conference Chair, laced into Trump in her statement, saying he ‘lit the flame’ of insurrection – and Democrats repeated her words back to the Republicans.
The House’s No. 3 Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn, walks into the Capitol Building surrounded by members of the National Guard
Armed National Guard troops are seen outside the U.S. Capitol Building as members inside debate impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time in 13 months
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally, speaks on the House floor Wednesday as impeachment proceedings began
‘There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,’ she said.
The decision to back impeachment by Cheney, a member of Republican royalty as the daughter of Dick Cheney, and seen as a future contender for the party’s House leadership and the Speaker’s chair, means that impeachment would be bipartisan.
On the floor Wednesday, Democrats pointed to Cheney’s statement as evidence they were in the right.
The Democrats’ No. 2, Rep. Steny Hoyer, recited Cheney’s words during his turn to speak.
‘That is not some irresponsible new member of Congress of the United States,’ Hoyer said. ‘This is the daughter of the former Republican whip and former vice president of the United States of America.’
‘She knows of which she speaks,’ Hoyer argued.
Cheney never gave her own floor speech.
Reps. Jim Jordan and Paul Gosar, two of Trump’s top GOP House allies, were pushing to have Cheney removed from her leadership position.
Hundreds of National Guard troops were sleeping on the stone floor of the US Capitol on Wednesday morning as security in Washington intensified a week out from Joe Biden’s inauguration
The troops could be seen spreading out inside the Rotunda of the US Capitol on Wednesday morning
The troops cradled their weapons and huddled together as they slept inside the Capitol on Wednesday
The view of the GOP powerbroker emerged shortly before Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the House GOP leadership, announced that she would vote for impeaching President Trump.
‘On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic,’ wrote Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president.
‘Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,’ she continued.
‘I will vote to impeach the President,’ Cheney concluded.
Cheney’s statement denouncing the president comes after Trump told supporters they need to ‘get rid’ of people like her.
‘We got to get rid of the weak Congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world. We got to get rid of them,’ Trump said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised her, amid speculation numerous House Republicans might follow her lead.
‘Good for her for honoring her oath of us. Would that more Republicans would honor their oaths of office,’ Pelosi said.
Convicting Trump on an impeachment article requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, where Republicans hold 50 votes – a high bar to meet.
Assuming passage in the House, it has not been determined when Democratic leaders will transmit the impeachment article, or when the Senate might take it up.
A McConnell memo that emerged over the weekend cited scheduling challenges for impeachment – a trial might not even begin until after Jan. 19th, since the Senate is not in session.
President-elect Joe Biden said Monday there was the possibility of dual-tracking an impeachment and Senate session that would be needed to get his cabinet confirmed.
Biden phoned McConnell on Monday, according to the Times on the subject of a trial, and McConnell said he would consult the Senate parliamentarian and get back.
There are Senate rules and precedents governing impeachment, but leaders also might be able to negotiate a way to handle it, with the possibility of a special impeachment committee taking up some of the burden.
House Democrat accuses Republican lawmakers of leading MAGA rioters on Capitol ‘reconnaissance’ before riot as Stop the Steal organizer revealed to have boasted of help from three GOP congressmen
Rep. Mikie Sherrill said Tuesday she saw lawmakers giving tours she perceived to be ‘a reconnaissance to groups Tuesday, January 5
A Democratic representative revealed Tuesday she witnessed members of Congress leading ‘reconnaissance’ tours through the Capitol the day before the mob stormed the building – as more details emerged over the attack indicating three Republican lawmakers may have helped protesters get inside.
Mikie 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.
‘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.’
At the same time, new revelations are surfacing that a pro-Trump activist, Ali Alexander, claimed he was assisted by three GOP representatives to help organize the January 6 assault on the Capitol to disrupt the election certification.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared for her life during the riots, specifically expressing her concerns that some GOP lawmakers would give away her location to the mob.
Sherrill’s comments come as pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed 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
‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive, and not just in a general sense but also in a very, very specific sense,’ the progressive lawmaker said during the hour-long live stream.
She called the close encounter ‘traumatizing’ and claimed her ‘near assassination’ is ‘not an exaggeration’.
‘There were QAnon and white supremacist sympathizers, and frankly white supremacist members of Congress, in that extraction point who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, etc.,’ Ocasio-Cortez said.
She did not name any of the lawmakers she felt could have jeopardized her situation.
It is now known that Alexander told his followers on Periscope late last month that Republican Representatives Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona and Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama were planning something big.
Alexander helped organize one of the demonstrations that converged on the Capitol lawn Wednesday – since then, his Facebook and Twitter accounts have been locked and he is banned from the social media platforms.
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.’
All three lawmakers are hard-line Trump supporters.
‘We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside,’ Alexander detailed.
In the video to Periscope, he said the purpose of the rally was ‘to build momentum and pressure’ on the day Congress moved to certify the election for Joe Biden. He also vowed that his group ‘Stop the Steal’ would find rooms in the nation’s capital if hotels shut down in the midst of the unrest.
Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the ‘Stop the Steal’ protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday
WHO IS ALI ALEXANDER?
Ali Abdul-Razaq Ali, 35, is a far-right activist who who goes by Ali Alexander. He identifies as black and Arab, according to Politico.
He helped organize ‘Stop the Steal’ movement, which oppose Joe Biden’s election win and is pushing to prove that President Donald Trump won reelection on November 3.
Ali also takes responsibility for organizing the January 6 rally that convened outside the Capitol before it was stormed by thousands of pro-Trump protesters. He said in a live-streamed video that GOP Representatives Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs and Mo Brooks assisted with the effort to disrupt the join session of Congress moving to certify the Electoral College results for Biden.
‘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,’ Ali said in the now-deleted video.
‘We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside,’ he continued.
Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the ‘Stop the Steal’ protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday
Ali Alexander pleaded guilty to two separate felony charges in 2007 and 2008 in Forth Worth Texas
The activist runs with with Trump’s circle. In the summer of 2019 he gathered at the White House for the president’s ‘social media summit’ to bash platforms for their supposed anti-conservative and anti-Trump bias.
This week, following reports of his involvement in the storming of the Capitol, Ali was banned from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and his accounts were removed.
Ali Abdul-Razaq Ali, 35, who goes by Ali Alexander, is a far-right activist from Fort Worth, Texas
Ali raised questions during the Democratic primary race over then-candidate Kamal Harris’s ‘black-ness’, sparking speculation he was waging a ‘birther’-like campaign against her. The now vice president-elect is half Indian and half Jamaican.
‘Kamala Harris is implying she is descended from American Black Slaves,’ he wrote on Twitter in June 2019. ‘She’s not. She comes from Jamaican Slave Owners. That’s fine. She’s not an American Black. Period.’ Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. retweeted and then deleted the post, asking if it was true, and helping it go viral.
Ali resides in Forth Worth, Texas. In 2007 he pleaded guilty to felony property theft in the Lone Star state and the next year also pleaded guilty to to a credit card abuse felony – also in Texas.
Alexander did not specifically call for violence and instead claimed the left is ‘trying to push us to war.’
Biggs’ office sent out a statement claiming the congressman has not met or spoken with Alexander.
‘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,’ the representative’s spokesperson said.
‘He did not have any contact with protestors or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests,’ they continued. ‘He was focused on his research and arguments to work within the confines of the law and established precedent to restore integrity to our elections, and to ensure that all Americans — regardless of party affiliation — can again have complete trust in our elections systems.’
Biggs, Gosar and Brooks all came under fire after going forward with objecting to the election results even after the violent Capitol riot forced them to evacuate the chamber and delayed proceedings for hours.
Sherrill, in her thirteen-and-a-half minute video posted to Facebook Tuesday, did not reveal which lawmakers she saw showing constituents around the Capitol last week – but she did make the shocking claim that the January 5 tours were part of some effort to get protesters familiar with the building before storming it the next day.
While some GOP lawmakers have come under fire for inciting the riots – whether directly or indirectly – or standing idly by as they unfolded, this is the most serious charge yet against sitting members of Congress regarding the unprecedented attack last week.