Report: Rally organizers say GOP lawmakers worked on Jan. 6 protests

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Crowds of people gather as US President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (The Hill) – Two people who helped plan the pro-Trump rallies that took place in Washington, D.C., ahead of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 say members of Congress and the White House helped plan the protest that turned violent.

The two people spoke to Rolling Stone for a report published Sunday evening. Neither of the sources were identified, though Rolling Stone described one as a “rally organizer” and another as a “planner.”

Rolling Stone reported the two are also talking to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

The sources said they took part in “dozens” of planning briefings before the Jan. 6 rally where Trump spoke. That rally ended with protesters marching to the Capitol, where they overwhelmed Capitol Police and invaded the building, interrupting the counting of Electoral College votes by a joint session of Congress. Five deaths were connected the the violence.

The two sources for the Rolling Stone piece said the members who either participated in the work or sent top staffers included GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Madison Cawthorn (N.C.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Louie Gohmert (Texas.).

Both organizers also told the magazine that Mark Meadows, who was serving as then-President Trump’s chief of staff, played a significant role in discussions regarding the protests ahead of Jan. 6.

One of the planners said “Meadows was 100 percent made aware of what was going on,” adding that he was “a regular figure in these really tiny groups of national organizers.”

The sources also said concerns were raised to Meadows that the “Stop the Steal” protest could turn violent.

Meadows has been subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 panel. The committee said he is, “so far, engaging with the Select Committee.”

Rolling Stone reported that Gosar floated the possibility of a “blanket pardon” that could be available for those planning the protests, with one of the two sources saying that “our impression was that it was a done deal.”

“That he’d spoken to the president about it in the Oval … in a meeting about pardons and that our names came up. They were working on submitting the paperwork and getting members of the House Freedom Caucus to sign on as a show of support,” the source added.

The source said Gosar offered “several assurances” about the pardons.

Gosar’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill and did not comment for the Rolling Stone piece.

Greene’s office responded to Rolling Stone’s report in a statement to The Hill, contending that the congresswoman and her staff were solely focused on objecting to the certification of the Electoral College vote and “had nothing to do with the planning of any protest.”

Her office also pointed to Democratic lawmakers who “tried to prevent President Trump’s election win from being certified.”

“No one cares about Jan. 6 when gas prices are skyrocketing, grocery store shelves are empty, unemployment is skyrocketing, businesses are going bankrupt, our border is being invaded, children are forced to wear masks, vaccine mandates are getting workers fired, and 13 members of our military are murdered by the Taliban and Americans are left stranded in Afghanistan,” her office added.

The Hill has reached out to Meadows and the GOP lawmakers mentioned in Rolling Stone’s report for comment.

The two sources the magazine that they have informally been in contact with the panel thus far but that they intent to testify in a public setting.

“I have no problem openly testifying,” one organizer told the magazine.

The Hill reached out to the Jan. 6 select committee for comment.

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