Well, this was a Sunday night surprise! Two sources who are communicating with House investigators made a stunning series of allegations to Rolling Stone, including the promise of a “blanket pardon” from Trump.
As the House investigation into the Jan. 6 attack heats up, some of the planners of the pro-Trump rallies that took place in Washington, D.C., have begun communicating with congressional investigators and sharing new information about what happened when the former president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Two of these people have spoken to Rolling Stone extensively in recent weeks and detailed explosive allegations that multiple members of Congress were intimately involved in planning both Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss and the Jan. 6 events that turned violent.
Rolling Stone separately confirmed a third person involved in the main Jan. 6 rally in D.C. has communicated with the committee. This is the first report that the committee is hearing major new allegations from potential cooperating witnesses. While there have been prior indications that members of Congress were involved, this is also the first account detailing their purported role and its scope. The two sources also claim they interacted with members of Trump’s team, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who they describe as having had an opportunity to prevent the violence.
The two sources, both of whom have been granted anonymity due to the ongoing investigation, describe participating in “dozens” of planning briefings ahead of that day when Trump supporters broke into the Capitol as his election loss to President Joe Biden was being certified.
“I remember Marjorie Taylor Greene specifically,” the organizer says. “I remember talking to probably close to a dozen other members at one point or another or their staffs.”
Rolling Stone has confirmed that both sources were involved in organizing the main rally event aimed at objecting to the electoral certification, which took place at the White House Ellipse on Jan. 6.
They told Rolling Stone multiple people associated with the March for Trump and Stop the Steal events communicated with Congress members throughout the planning process.
Along with Greene, the conspiratorial pro-Trump Republican from Georgia who took office earlier this year, the pair both say the members who participated in these conversations or had top staffers join in included Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).
“We would talk to Boebert’s team, Cawthorn’s team, Gosar’s team like back to back to back to back,” says the organizer.
They said Paul Gosar dangled the possibility of a “blanket pardon” in an unrelated ongoing investigation to encourage them to plan the protests.
The rally planner describes the pardon as being offered while “encouraging” the staging of protests against the election. While the organizer says they did not get involved in planning the rallies solely due to the pardon, they were upset that it ultimately did not materialize.
The two sources say they can provide new details about the members’ specific roles in these efforts, and plan to share that information with congressional investigators right away.
While both sources say their communications with the House’s Jan. 6 committee thus far have been informal, they are expecting to testify publicly.
“I have no problem openly testifying,” the planner says.
- They finger Katrina Pierson, Trump campaign staffer, as a key liaison between the organizers and the White House, calling her their "go-to girl."
- Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows played a major role in the conversations and was "100% made aware of what was going on."
- Congress members and their staff advised them to also hold rallies in specific states. The organizer says locations were chosen to put “pressure” on key senators that “we considered to be persuadable.”
- Planners believed the events would only involve supporting objections on the House floor. They say they warned Meadows of the potential for violence from Ali Alexander's protest, but that he did nothing to stop it.