Mounting evidence of GOP reps aiding Capitol invasion
Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J. leaves a House Democratic Caucus meeting. | AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Evidence mounts by the day that some Republican members of Congress were involved from the inside in the planning and execution of the invasion of the Capitol last week.

Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey said on national television last night that she and other Democratic colleagues personally witnessed elected Republican members of the House and members of their staffs giving tours of the Capitol to right-wing terrorists, a day before the invasion last week.

Her first reaction was surprise that groups were going around in the building, she said, because public tours have been forbidden as a protective measure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Under the existing precautionary rules, Sherrill said, people could not have gained entrance to the building unless they had been escorted in by members of Congress or their aides.

Sherrill, a former Navy helicopter pilot, has experience in the area of security. “We were trained to look out at our stops for people who seemed not to belong where we were seeing them. An individual hanging around near a helicopter in a hangar, for example, was something we would deem as suspicious.” Those were the kind of thoughts that went through her head, she said, when she saw groups conducting what looked like reconnaissance tours the day before the sedition invasion.

The inside of the Capitol complex is a huge, confusing place where even veteran members of Congress are known to sometimes get lost. The Trumpite terrorists who stormed in, however, seemed to have no trouble finding their way to places, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, that are not easy to locate for a novice with no prior knowledge of the Capitol’s layout.

The reconnaissance tours the day before were apparently quite helpful to them.

Sherrill and other representatives on board with her on this issue say they intend to go after any of their colleagues who aided and abetted the fascist terrorists.

She said that information about the suspicious activity was immediately reported to the Sergeant-at-Arms, who confirmed that the only way terrorists or anyone else could gain access to the buildings a day before the attack was if they had been ushered in by elected representatives or the members of their staff.

The more than 30 House members who have joined her in the demand for investigations, which are now underway, are saying that they too witnessed these reconnaissance tours taking place.

Sherill said she was not revealing specific names because the matter is being investigated.

She said her concern was so great the day before the invasion that she told much of her staff to stay home on Jan. 6. where they would be safe.

“Given what happened the next day this is shocking,” she said, “the very idea that members of Congress would be involved in this attack on democracy.”

Sherrill described how she had to hide under chairs, lying on the floor during the attack, and said anyone found to have been involved should be expelled.

“Any elected official involved in this attack absolutely must be removed from the Congress of the United States,” she said.


CONTRIBUTOR

John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.

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