New Jersey congresswoman demands investigation into colleagues' 'reconnaissance' tours of Capitol

Written by on January 14, 2021


On this excerpt from a social media video, Rep. Mikie Sherrill claims some members of Congress led individuals on a “reconnaissance” tour earlier than the riots.

As Congress debated the second impeachment of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., demanded a direct investigation into colleagues she stated led individuals by means of the Capitol on Jan. 5 in what she termed a “reconnaissance for the next day,” when insurrectionists took half in a lethal siege on the legislative department.

Her request was directed by letter to the performing Home sergeant at arms, performing Senate sergeant at arms and United States Capitol Police, citing “suspicious conduct and entry given to guests to the Capitol Complicated on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, the day earlier than the assaults on the Capitol.”

“The excursions being performed on Tuesday, January 5, had been a noticeable and regarding departure from the procedures in place as of March 2020 that restricted the variety of guests to the Capitol,” Sherrill wrote. “These excursions had been so regarding that they had been reported to the Sergeant at Arms on January 5.”

Extra: Joint Chiefs of Staff call Capitol riot ‘sedition and insurrection,’ remind troops of oath

The letter was signed by fellow Democrats together with New Jersey Reps. Frank Pallone, Tom Malinowski, Invoice Pascrell Jr., Donald M. Payne Jr., Albio Sires and Josh Gottheimer.

“Most of the Members who signed this letter, together with these of us who’ve served within the navy and are skilled to acknowledge suspicious exercise, in addition to numerous members of our workers, witnessed a particularly excessive variety of outdoors teams within the complicated on Tuesday, January 5,” reads the letter. “That is uncommon for a number of causes, together with the truth that entry to the Capitol Complicated has been restricted since public excursions resulted in March of final yr because of the pandemic.”


Rep. Mikie Sherrill broadcast this thirteen-and-a-half minute video on social media, Tuesday, Jan. 12. Towards the top of the video, she says some members of Congress led individuals on a “reconnaissance” tour of the Capitol.

Extra questions raised about GOP lawmakers’ coordination with rioters

Sherrill’s letter comes after Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., a former U.S. Military captain, final week requested a wide-ranging investigation — that features reviewing actions of congressional colleagues — by Comptroller Common Gene Dodaro, who leads the Authorities Accountability Workplace.

In a letter co-signed by 107 Home Democrats, Crow requested the company to assessment the “influence of rhetoric by authorities and elected officers that contributed to or led to the riot” in addition to “efforts by authorities and/or elected officers to restrict preparation, coordination, or response, notably concerning the usage of drive and arrests.”

Crow stated members of Congress discovered to have been concerned within the assault ought to be expelled from Congress, prohibited from holding elected workplace once more and prosecuted criminally.

“Should you’re concerned in what was an riot, a prison assault on the USA Capitol, to attempt to derail our democracy, try to be topic to prison prosecution,” Crow stated in an interview Wednesday on MSNBC.


Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern went viral after a pro-Trump rioter was photographed carrying it in the course of the breach on the Capitol. USA TODAY

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Chuck Younger, a spokesman on the Authorities Accountability Workplace, confirmed the company acquired Crow’s request however stated it has not launched an investigation but. “It nonetheless must undergo our formal assessment course of earlier than selections are made,” he stated in an e mail, noting that the GAO doesn’t often duplicate efforts by different investigators.

The workplace of Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., stated regulation enforcement businesses are reviewing why “panic buttons” had been faraway from her congressional workplace earlier than the riot. Aides found the buttons had been gone, the Boston Globe first reported, whereas they had been taking cowl and pulling out fuel masks in the course of the assault.

“Our workers has used these units earlier than and they’re often examined and maintained,” Ricardo Sanchez, Pressley’s press secretary, stated in a press release. “The matter has been raised with the related businesses and is presently underneath investigation.”

Extra: New videos emerge tying Andy Biggs to ‘Stop the Steal,’ but he’s pointing to antifa

Weeks earlier than the riot, right-wing activist Ali Alexander, who organized “Cease the Steal” rallies across the nation, stated three Republican lawmakers – Arizona Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar and Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama – helped him plan and “schemed up” the Washington rally. 

“We’re working with members of Congress whereas different individuals are attempting to showboat,” Alexander stated in a Dec. 21 video that went viral, according to the Arizona Republic.

Biggs denied any function in cheerleading for the “Cease the Steal” motion and stated allegations he helped manage the Capitol protest had been “whoppers.”

“It simply did not occur,” he stated whereas making the rounds on Arizona’s conservative discuss radio packages.

White Home officers didn’t instantly reply to questions on whether or not they have been contacted by any investigators wanting into how the riot was deliberate.

Sherrill’s letter says she and others noticed “guests encountered by among the members of Congress on this letter seemed to be related to the rally on the White Home the next day.”

“That group left the White Home and marched to the Capitol with the target of stopping Congress from certifying our election,” the letter states. “Members of the group that attacked the Capitol appeared to have an unusually detailed data of the format of the Capitol Complicated. The presence of those teams inside the Capitol Complicated was certainly suspicious. Given the occasions of January 6, the ties between these teams contained in the Capitol Complicated and the assaults on the Capitol have to be investigated.”

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Throughout a Webcast on Tuesday, Sherrill stated a few of her colleagues “abetted” the president’s try and overturn the outcomes of the election and undermine democracy by inciting a violent mob.

“I’ll see they’re held accountable and, if vital, make sure that they do not serve in Congress,” she stated.

Sherrill stated she meant to assist an article of impeachment in opposition to Trump for “incitement of riot.” Trump was anticipated Wednesday to be impeached for the second time.

Gov. Phil Murphy echoed Sherrill, saying he “heard this from two different members with related tales.”

“If it’s confirmed that there have been members of the Home of Representatives who had been displaying round people who the subsequent day had been a part of an riot, I’m going to apply regulation with out a license: that’s treason,” Murphy stated. “And the results of that, as , are nice.”

Sherrill’s letter requested investigators to look into particular points together with:

  • Are logbooks of Capitol Complicated guests inspected often and picked up in any kind of database?
  • Have any extra regulation enforcement businesses requested entry to those logs?
  • Are there video logs of the day in query?
  • Is facial recognition software program used for guests getting into the complicated?
  • Are any of the people recorded within the Capitol complicated on January 5 being investigated for his or her function within the riot the next day?

The entire letter is under:

Employees writers Joey Garrison and Brett Murphy contributed to this report. Data from the Arizona Republic was used on this reportWilliam Westhoven is a neighborhood reporter for For limitless entry to a very powerful information out of your area people, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

E mail: Twitter: @wwesthoven

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