Thirty members of Congress have submitted a letter to the House Sergeant-at-Arms, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, and the Capitol Police requesting an investigation into what they’ve termed “suspicious tours” of the United States Capitol conducted on Tuesday of last week, the day before a rally in support of President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of November’s presidential election turned into a riot.
As the Daily Wire reported earlier on Wednesday, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NY) claimed in a Facebook Live that “some of her Republican Congressional colleagues led people through the United States Capitol last Tuesday on what appeared to be a ‘reconnaissance’ mission ahead of Wednesday’s attack.”
“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 for reconnaissance for the next day,” Sherrill said. “Those members of Congress who incited the violent crowd. Those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy, I’m going see that they’re held accountable.”
Sherrill did not mention any of her colleagues by name, nor cite any specific evidence in support of her claim — and did not provide any further details when pressed by media — but did tell Fox News that she and others were “requesting an investigation right now with certain agencies.”
Wednesday night, Sherrill and her group released a letter, calling for an investigation into the matter, but without accusing fellow members of Congress of aiding and abetting the rioters.
Today I joined with more than 30 of my colleagues in requesting an investigation from the Acting House SAA, Acting Senate SAA, and USCP into the suspicious behavior and access given to visitors to the Capitol Complex on Jan. 5, 2021 – the day before the attacks on the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/zpPUSUuSrj
— Rep. Mikie Sherrill (@RepSherrill) January 13, 2021
“Many of the Members who signed this letter, including those of us who have served in the military and are trained to recognize suspicious activity, as well as various members of our staff, witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, January 5,” Sherrill said in a Tweet announcing their investigation. “This is unusual for several reasons, including the fact that access to the Capitol Complex has been restricted since public tours ended in March due to the pandemic. We found these tours so concerning that senior staff questioned the SAA on January 5 about what was taking place.”
The tours, Sherrill writes, were “noticeable,” “suspicious,” and “concerning,” and she and others claim the individuals receiving the tours were “associated with the rally at the White House” set for January 6th.
The letter requests the SAA, HAA, and Capitol Police reveal whether there are log books or surveillance videos documenting the tours that went through the Capitol on the 5th, and demands to know whether any agency is considering the possibility that rioters had help from individuals on the inside — and whether any individuals seen in logs or on video were also seen in photos and videos taken at the January 6th rally.
Investigators are currently looking into the possibility that the Capitol attack was planned in the days and weeks ahead of President Donald Trump’s rally and whether rally coordinators had information indicating the possibility of violence, according to NBC News. Leading law enforcement officials, though, told the network Tuesday that there was currently “no intelligence” to indicate rioters planned a large-scale insurrection.
The FBI, the United States Attorney’s Office, and others noted at a press conference late Tuesday that there have already been 160 arrests related to the Capitol riots and that “hundreds” more are likely, as are additional charges against those already in custody. The FBI has promised a long-term investigation.
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