“The four of us planned to put maximum pressure on Congress while they voted,” Alexander said in a deleted Periscope video since then, highlighted by the State Oversight Project, a non-profit investigative organization. The plan, he said, was “to change the hearts and minds of the Republicans who were in this body, hearing our loud roar from outside.”
After riots inside the Capitol left five people dead – and Alexander and his group were banned by 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 and denied helping to organize the rally on January 6.
“Congressman Biggs is not aware of a hearing or meeting with Mr. Alexander at any time – let alone work with him to organize part of the planned protest,” the statement said.
Neither Brooks nor Gosar responded to requests for comment from The Washington Post. But in a lengthy, provocative statement Wednesday, the Alabama lawmaker insisted he was not responsible for the riot either. Brooks added that he would not encourage any action that could undermine the GOP’s efforts to block the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
“I insult anyone who assumes that I am so politically inexperienced that I want to torpedo my honest and accurate electoral efforts, for which I have spent months fighting,” Brooks wrote.
The videos and social media posts suggest links between the three Republicans and the right-wing activist.
Alexander, a criminal who is also identified in media reports as Ali Akbar, won a large number of followers live through monologues in which he professed his conservative views and support for Trump. Speaking to Politico magazine in 2018, he called himself an “interpreter of energy for this period.”
After Trump lost in November, the Daily Beast noted, Alexander has positioned himself as the leading voice behind the movement in support of the president’s challenge to the election results. He was labeled a “true patriot” by Gosar on Twitter, and on December 19, the two spoke at Stop Stealing Rally in Phoenix.
“We will not go quietly. We will close this country if we have to, “Alexander told the crowd, later leading them in the 1776 chant.
Later at the event, Alexander posted a video message from Biggs, calling him a “friend” and a “hero.” In the recording, Biggs said he wanted to be able to attend the event and promised to challenge the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
“As for Jan. 6, I’ll be down there in the House well with my friend from Alabama’s Mo Brooks,” Biggs said in the recording. Alexander’s tweet, including the Biggs message, was retouched by Trump on December 26.
A Biggs spokesman told CNN that the congressman had recorded the video at the request of Gosar employees.
In late December, Alexander said he planned to protest in front of the Capitol on January 6. His event appears to be one of at least four racing rallies that have asked for permits for that date. But far-right online forums have shown that Trump supporters are preparing for more than a rally – and Alexander also seems to suggest that the protesters can do more than just wave signs.
If Democrats thwart Republican objections from Congress, “everyone can guess what I and 500,000 others will do for this building,” he wrote on Twitter in December, according to the Daily Beast. “1776 is * always * an option.”
At a rally the night before the vote, Alexander led the crowd, chanting, “Victory or death!” The next morning, Gosar tagged the activist in several tweets.
Speaking about the riot in a video of Periscope over the weekend, Alexander said he wanted people not to enter the Capitol or even to go up the stairs. He also claims that the rebels did not necessarily break the law, although dozens have now been indicted by federal prosecutors.
In an email to The Post, Alexander said he “remained peaceful” during the riots and claimed that his earlier speeches “mentioned peace” and misrepresented themselves.
“Linking our legally permitted peaceful events to the disruption of the US Capitol building is defamatory and untrue,” he said. “People are being deceived, and then these same people are inciting violence against me and my team.”
At around 4.30pm on Wednesday – about two hours after the rebels broke through the Capitol – Alexander posted a video looking at the crowd in front of the building, claiming that most of the protesters were peaceful and praised those who did not enter.
But he said in the video: “I’m not giving up on that. I do not condemn him. “
Kim Bellwyer contributed to this report.