Dems Claim ‘Coordination’ Between GOP Lawmakers, Rioters

Dems Claim 'Coordination' Between GOP Lawmakers, Rioters james clyburn delivers an impassioned speech to followers Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. (Paul Sancya/AP)

Thursday, 14 January 2021 05:22 PM

One of the most powerful Democrats in the House said Thursday he believes some GOP lawmakers gave inside help to the rioting Trump-supporters who were part of a deadly Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol.

In an NPR interview, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., said "it seems to be that something was going on."

"Some coordination was going on between sitting members of Congress and some of these so-called visitors to the Capitol," he said. "I've been listening to my colleagues and watching their interviews on television. And many of them saw things going on the day before that led them to believe that something was amiss."

"I do know my own office where I do most of my work is unmarked," he said. "It's on a different floor from the office . . . that's designated as my office. Nobody bothered the door that was designated to be mine, but they showed up at my office where I do most of my work. It seems to me that they had knowledge about where I could be found."

The suspicion is the latest to surface from Democrats in the wake of the siege.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., and 33 other House members demanded an investigation into access given by fellow House lawmakers to visitors to the Capitol the day before the riot, Roll Call reported Wednesday.

In a Facebook post, Sherrill had alleged members of Congress led guests on what she described as "reconnaissance" a day before the riot, the news outlet noted.

In her letter, she asked the acting House sergeant-at-arms, acting Senate sergeant-at-arms, and United States Capitol Police to investigate "suspicious behavior" Jan. 5 and changes to visitor access, Roll Call reported.

"The visitors encountered by some of the Members of Congress on this letter appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day," she wrote. "That group left the White House and marched to the Capitol with the objective of preventing Congress from certifying our election."

"Members of the group that attacked the Capitol seemed to have an unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the Capitol Complex. The presence of these groups within the Capitol Complex was indeed suspicious. Given the events of Jan. 6, the ties between these groups inside the Capitol Complex and the attacks on the Capitol need to be investigated."

Visitors, official tour groups and almost anyone without a congressional ID have been barred from the Capitol since mid-March, when the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic led congressional leaders to partially close the usually public building, the news outlet noted.

"The tours being conducted on Tuesday, Jan. 5, were a noticeable and concerning departure from the procedures in place as of March 2020 that limited the number of visitors to the Capitol," Sherrill and others wrote. "These tours were so concerning that they were reported to the Sergeant at Arms on Jan. 5."

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