Dem congresswoman claims some members led ‘reconnaissance tours’ day before Capitol riot

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A Democratic lawmaker from New Jersey has claimed that she saw House colleagues leading people through the U.S. Capitol Building a day before last week’s riot in what she described as a “reconnaissance” tour, adding that those members will be held to account.

In a video posted to Facebook, Rep. Mikie Sherrill addressed constituents in her state about measures that Congress will take to hold President Donald Trump and “those responsible” accountable for allegedly inciting the violence.

“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,” she said.

Sherill did not accuse any of her colleagues specifically or offer up any details into why she thinks that their actions amounted to “reconnaissance.” It’s also not clear how those alleged “reconnaissance” actions were in any way connected to the Jan. 6 rioting that occurred the next day.

She went on to discuss why she voted in favor of a resolution pressing Vice President Mike Pence to trigger the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office, though he only has about a week left before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated. Other Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, similarly demanded that Pence invoke the amendment. Schumer claimed that the storming of the Capitol was an “insurrection.”

The measure passed the Democrat-controlled House with a few Republicans voting in favor as well. But it was moot since Pence had already stated he would not be inclined to act.

In her video, Sherrill also related to constituents her version of what happened on Jan. 6. The rioting sent Congress into a recess and the building itself into lockdown. The assault occurred as a joint session of the House and Senate were meeting to count the Electoral College votes.

The FBI and the Department of Justice said on Tuesday that more than 170 people have already been charged in connection with the Capitol assault. Politico cited federal investigators who said some of the evidence discovered inside the Capitol Building will be “shocking.”

The outlet also quoted investigators as saying they are sparing no resources into turning up details of a potential “seditious conspiracy.”

Politico also reported that Sherill and other Democrats are calling for Republicans who, like the president, they claim made remarks which allegedly encouraged the violence, to be punished. That includes GOP members who challenged certain slates of electoral ballots from states they say unconstitutionally changed voting procedures and rules ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

In a lengthy column published early Wednesday, Fox News’ congressional correspondent Chad Pergram noted that lawmakers are increasingly distrustful of each other after having crossed “the Rubicon.”

“One can argue about the appropriateness of the metal detectors and whether its [sic] right to have guns in the chamber now. GOPers may have an argument with Democrats about them. But do Republicans really want to make the job of U.S. Capitol Police officers harder after all of this? Is that truly the hill on which they care to fight?” Pergram wrote.

“The fight over firearms and masks is central to the entire conflagration,” he continued. “Lawmakers don’t trust one another. They don’t trust one another with their safety. It’s one thing to disagree on policy. But when they think the other side is literally coming for them? Well, we’ve crossed the Rubicon there.

“This is different territory.”

Jon Dougherty

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