Newly surfaced video shows a swath of MAGA rioters discussing floor plans and police positioning as they plotted to ‘take over’ the Capitol in Washington DC last week.
The clip, captured by reporter Jeremy Lee Quinn, shows a dozen-strong group of pro-Trump insurrectionists hatching a detailed plan to ‘take this building’ while standing inside what appears to be an office inside the legislature.
Its re-emergence on Twitter Wednesday comes after House Democrat Mikie Sherrill claimed that she witnessed members of Congress leading ‘reconnaissance’ tours through the Capitol the day before the mob stormed the building – indicating lawmakers may have helped protesters get inside.
Facebook on Tuesday warned of an increase in signals indicating that the Capitol siege was a ‘galvanizing event’ that is spawning plans for future gatherings nationwide.
A spokeswoman for the social media giant, who asked not to be named for security reasons, said they have tracked digital flyers promoting such events, some of them featuring calls to arms or the insignia of militias or hate groups.
The video begins with a man appealing to the crowd gathered outside the Capitol, shouting through a megaphone: ‘Who’s ready to make history with me? Who’s a patriot? I’m going in to Capitol Hill by myself. Who wants to back [me] the f*** up.’
‘Patriots let’s do this right f***ing now,’ the man thunders, as a stream of demonstrators – clad in Trump merchandise, holding US flags and with some wearing gas masks – pile in through a window of the Capitol chanting, ‘USA! USA!’
Once inside the group begin speaking about a door that has been ‘barricaded ‘by police ‘at the top of the stairs’.
‘What’s the floor plan?’ calls out a male member of the group.
The man who had earlier spoken on the megaphone, and appears to be the leader of the group, then discloses a detailed route of doors and stairways the group should follow and avoid, adding at one stage, ‘[the] door to the right, there’s a cop’.
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The two-minute clip, which was originally posted live on Periscope last week by reporter Jeremy Lee Quinn (@JLeeQuinn) , shows a dozen-strong group of pro-Trump insurrectionists hatching a detailed plan to ‘take this building’ (a man who appears to be leading the group is shown above)
Once inside the group begin talking about a door that has been barricaded by police ‘at the top of the stairs’. ‘What’s the floor plan?’ calls out a male member of the group
‘So people should probably co-ordinate together, if you’re going to take this building’, a woman wielding a megaphone shouts to the group
This is the clip that’s been ripped from my lifestream… I’m ripping it back. It was a kind of autonomous organizing in that it wasn’t well organized. It felt improvised & chaotic more than anything. No indication these people knew each other but were coordinating in the moment. pic.twitter.com/bcgBH4SBIP
— Jeremy Lee Quinn (@JLeeQuinn) January 13, 2021
‘The door is already open,’ another man, wearing a gasmask atop his head, calls out. ‘We need a plan, we need more people, we need to push forward,’ he says.
Members of the group, none of whom appear to be wearing facemasks, then begin moving furniture in the room, with one calling out, ‘Take the table, use the table as a shield.’
A woman can be heard in the background repeatedly coughing and spluttering as the group starts to mobilize.
Several people then begin lifting a large, heavy wooden table and file it through a door leading further into the Capitol.
They then lay the table across the top of a stairwell, in an apparent attempt to block police off from their entry point into the building.
The vast majority of the group then return to room they entered into. A woman with a megaphone then peers through a broken window, telling them: ‘Guys, I’ve been in the other room. There’s another room on the other side of this wall … there’s a glass, which somebody has broken and you can drop down into a room underneath it.
‘There’s also two doors in the other room,’ she continues. ‘One in the rear, and one to the right when you go in.
‘So people should probably co-ordinate together, if you’re going to take this building.
‘The door is already open,’ another man, wearing a gasmask atop his head (above), calls out. ‘We need a plan, we need more people, we need to push forward,’ he says
Several people then begin lifting a large, heavy wooden table and file it through a door leading further into the Capitol
Dozens of people have since been arrested for storming inside the Capitol. Hundreds more are being hunted by the authorities but are yet to be found, including 25 people who are being investigated on terrorism charges
Members of the group call out ‘we need more people’ before venturing further into the building.
Quinn asks the man who appears to be leading the group, ‘Tell me what you’re doing’, as he begins waving him through an open door, ‘give me some narrative.’
‘Look for yourself,’ the man tells him, pulling a gas mask down over his face.
Quinn then walks down through a hallway, where large groups of rioters have spilled into nearby offices, smashing up furniture and ransacking desks.
One of the protesters, dressed in a grey hooded sweatshirt and stood near a Mac computer, is seen winding an electrical device up, which he appears to be stealing.
It’s unclear what the device is, however viewers online have theorized it could be a large external hard drive.
At the mid-way point of the video, the demonstrators are seen racing out of a window as tear gas and what appears to be a series of flash bangs are deployed.
A succession of pops and flashes ring out, prompting one rioter to call out ‘they’re shooting’, in reference to police.
Quinn then tells the camera ‘I’m okay, but I’m getting out of here’, then proceeds to exit the Capitol through a window, returning to the crowd gathered outside.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday, Quinn wrote: ‘It was a kind of autonomous organizing in that it wasn’t well organized.
‘It felt improvised & chaotic more than anything. No indication these people knew each other but were coordinating in the moment.’
One of the protesters, dressed in a grey hooded sweatshirt and stood near a Mac computer, is seen winding an electrical device up, which he appears to be stealing
The woman who told the protesters ‘you need to co-ordinate if you’re going to take this building is shown second from right
The protesters were recorded barricading a stairwell and ransacking nearby offices before dispersing when tear gas and what appeared to be a flashbang was deployed
Demonstrators racing out of a window as tear gas and what appears to be a flash bang is deployed. A succession of pops and flashes ring out, prompting one rioter to call out ‘they’re shooting’, in reference to police
Dozens of people have since been arrested for storming inside the Capitol. Hundreds more are being hunted by the authorities but are yet to be found, including 25 people who are being investigated on terrorism charges.
Among the group who laid siege to the legislature were white nationalists, neo-Nazis and QAnon conspiracy theorists, coming from states as far-flung as Arizona and Oregon, while photographs from the riot have shown people wearing clothes with a range of antisemitic messages.
Five people also died. One protester, Ashli Babbitt, was shot dead as she attempted to climb through a shattered window of a barricaded door near to the chamber. Three protesters died from ‘medical emergencies’ and one officer, Brian Sicknick, died ‘from injuries sustained’ while responding to the attack.
On Tuesday night, Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill who represents New Jersey’s 11th district, said during a Facebook Live video, alleged that she had witnessed member of Congress conducting ‘reconnaissance tours’ through the Capitol on January 5 – the day before the riot.
Sherrill said she wants members of Congress who ‘abetted’ President Donald Trump and the violent crowd who descended on the Capitol to be held accountable and banned from running for office in the future.
‘We can’t have a democracy if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the elections results,’ Sherrill said of her colleagues she claims assisted Trump in inciting a crowd to storm the Capitol last Wednesday, January 6.
‘Not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn’t have access to classified material,’ she continued in her straight-to-camera remarks.
‘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 – a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy – I’m going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.’
Rep. Mikie Sherrill said Tuesday she saw lawmakers giving tours she perceived to be ‘a reconnaissance to groups Tuesday, January 5
Sherrill said she wants members of Congress who ‘abetted’ President Donald Trump and the violent crowd who descended on the Capitol to be held accountable and banned from running for office in the future
At the same time, new revelations are surfacing that a pro-Trump activist, Ali Alexander, claimed he was assisted by three GOP representatives to help organize the January 6 assault on the Capitol to disrupt the election certification.
He identified the lawmakers as Reps. Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs and Mo Brooks.
Alexander said in a since-deleted video: ‘I want to let you guys know how we’re responding because I was the person who came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then Congressman Andy Biggs.’
All three lawmakers are hard-line Trump supporters.
‘We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside,’ Alexander detailed.
Biggs’ office responded to CNN, claiming he has not met or spoken with Alexander.
‘Congressman Biggs is not aware of hearing of or meeting Mr. Alexander at any point — let alone working with him to organize some part of a planned protest,’ the representative’s spokesperson said.
‘He did not have any contact with protesters or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests,’ they continued. ‘He was focused on his research and arguments to work within the confines of the law and established precedent to restore integrity to our elections, and to ensure that all Americans — regardless of party affiliation — can again have complete trust in our elections systems.’
Sherrill’s comments come as pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6
Sherrill, in her thirteen-and-a-half minute video posted to Facebook Tuesday, did not reveal which lawmakers she saw showing constituents around the Capitol last week.
Facebook also warned this week that ‘signals’ across the social media platform indicate the siege was a ‘galvanizing event’ that’s spawning plans for other, similar gatherings nationwide.
Signals Facebook tracked included digital flyers promoting the events, some of them featuring calls to arms or the insignia of militias or hate groups.
Authorities have already spoken of three separate plots to attack the Capitol ahead of the inauguration, including one described as the ‘largest armed protest in American history.’
The most concerning is said to involve armed rioters encircling the Capitol and blocking Democrats from entering – killing them if necessary – so that Republicans can take command of government.
Another protest is being planned in honor of Ashli Babbitt, the USAF veteran who was shot at point blank range by a police officer as she tried to clamber into the Speaker’s Lobby during the riot.
An FBI internal memo warned of a group that was calling for the ‘storming’ of state, local and federal government buildings, as well as court houses if Trump is removed from office.
It is not yet clear how many other plots law enforcement are already aware of.