“The four of us planned to put maximum pressure on Congress while voting,” Alexander said in a recently deleted video about Periscope highlighted by the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit investigation. The plan, he said, was to “change the hearts and minds of the Republicans who were in that body and hear our loud roar from outside.”
After riots inside the Capitol left five people dead – and Alexander and his group were banned from Twitter this week ̵
In a statement to The Washington Post, a spokesman for Biggs said the congressman had never been in contact with Alexander or other protesters, denying that he had helped organize a rally on January 6th.
“Congressman Biggs is not aware of hearing about or meeting Alexander at any time – let alone working with him to organize part of a planned protest,” the statement said.
Neither Brooks nor Gosar responded to requests for comment from The Washington Post. But in a lengthy, defiant statement Wednesday, the Alabama lawmaker insisted he bears no responsibility for the uprising either. Brooks added that he would not have promoted any action that could undermine the GOP’s efforts to block the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory for the Electoral College.
“I am very offended by anyone who suggests that I am so politically inexperienced that I want to torpedo my honest and accurate electoral system efforts, which I spent months fighting for,” Brooks wrote.
Videos and social media posts suggest connections between all three Republicans and the right-wing activist.
Alexander, a criminal who has also been identified in media reports as Ali Akbar, received a large following of live-streaming monologues in which he declared his conservative views and support for Trump. Speaking to Politico Magazine in 2018, he called himself an “interpreter of energy during this period.”
After Trump lost in November, the Daily Beast noted, Alexander positioned himself as a leading voice behind the movement to support the president’s challenge to the election results. He was branded “a true patriot” by Gosar on Twitter, and on December 19, the two spoke at a “Stop the Steal” meeting in Phoenix.
“We do not want to go silent. We will close this country if we have to, “Alexander told the crowd, leading them later in a song from” 1776. “
Later at the event, Alexander played a video message from Biggs calling him a “friend” and “hero.” In the recording, Biggs said he wished he could have attended the event and promised to challenge the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
“When it comes to January 6, I will be right down there in the well of the house with my friend from Alabama Representative Mo Brooks,” Biggs said in the recording. A tweet from Alexander, including the message from Biggs, was retweeted by Trump on December 26th.
A spokesman for Biggs told CNN that the congressman recorded the video at the request of Gosar’s staff.
In late December, Alexander said he was planning a protest outside the Capitol on January 6th. His event appears to be one of at least four competing collections that had sought permission for this date. But right-wing extremist online forums showed that Trump’s supporters were preparing for more than just a rally – and Alexander also seemed to suggest that protesters might be doing more than just waving signs.
If Democrats got in the way of an objection from congressional Republicans, “everyone can guess what I and 500,000 others will do with that building,” he wrote on Twitter in December, according to the Daily Beast. “1776 is * always * an option.”
At a demonstration meeting the night before the vote, Alexander led the audience to sing, “Victory or Death!” The following morning, Gosar tagged the activist in several tweets.
Alexander told about the riot in a video about Periscope over the weekend and said he wished people had not entered the American Capitol or even walked up the stairs. He also argued that the rebels had not necessarily violated the law, although dozens have now been prosecuted by federal prosecutors.
In an email to The Post, Alexander said he “had remained peaceful” during the riots, claiming that his previous speech “mentioned peace” and was misrepresented.
“Mixing our legal, peaceful permitted events with the demolition of the US Capitol building is defamatory and false,” he said. “People get misled, and then the same people promote violence against me and my team.”
Around At 4.30pm on Wednesday – about two hours after rebels broke the Capitol – Alexander posted a video of himself overlooking the crowd outside the building, claiming that the majority of protesters were peaceful and praised those who did not enter.
But, he said in the video, “I do not deny this. I do not condemn this. ”
Kim Bellware contributed to this report.