Democrat Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) claimed, in a short video interview posted on Facebook, 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.
Sherill posted the interview, she said, to explain why she and other Democratic lawmakers would be voting for impeachment. She added, though, that they would also be calling for an investigation into select Republican colleagues, though she did not specify whether the investigation would be within Congress or as part of law enforcement’s ongoing efforts to identify those who planned and executed the Capitol riots.
“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. 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,” Sherill said.
The full 13-minute video is available on Sherill’s official Facebook page.
Sherill declined to provide details of what she witnessed and did not identify any “members of Congress” who “abetted” “groups coming through the Capitol.” She also refused to comment any further to the media, telling Fox News only that, “We’re requesting an investigation right now with certain agencies.”
“The congresswoman didn’t name any of the lawmakers, or offer additional details into what qualified their actions to be ‘reconnaissance,'” Politico added. She also refused to say how she knew the “tours” allegedly being given by Republican lawmakers connected to the following day’s attack. She told Politico only that she was referring what information she had to “authorities.”
Rep. Tim Ryan, Politico noted, also mentioned being “aware of a couple … colleagues who are being eyed as potentially giving tours to the would-be insurrectionists,” but that he was waiting on verification, adding that he only considered the possibility that his colleagues had been in league with rioters after Wednesday’s incident.
“Ryan said the information was passed to authorities as early as last Wednesday night. He said it involved ‘handfuls’ of people who were escorted through the Capitol. Enough to know that these weren’t ‘one-on-one’ tours or ‘a small family,” he told Politico.
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.