'Stop the Steal' organizer tries out the ‘Trump defense’ as he testifies to Congress: report

"Stop the Steal" organizer Ali Alexander arrived on Capitol Hill on Thursday to give closed-door testimony before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Accompanied by a small entourage, including a man carrying two boxes of evidence. In a copy of his opening statement obtained by The New York Times, Alexander denied culpability.

"I had nothing to do with any violence or lawbreaking that happened on January 6. I had nothing to do with the planning. I had nothing to do with the preparation. And I had nothing to do with the execution," he wrote. "I did absolutely nothing wrong."

Alexander's defense was analyzed by Philip Bump in The Washington Post.

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"What happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6 of this year is most immediately and obviously attributable to one person: Donald Trump. It was Trump’s months of dishonesty about the danger of election fraud before Nov. 3 that tilled the soil, it was Trump’s months of dishonesty about the election results that sowed the seeds, it was Trump’s weeks of encouragement to show up in Washington that day that yielded the crop," he wrote.

Trump was impeached for inciting the insurrection, but Senate Republicans blocked him from being convicted and removed from office.

"But as has been the case since Trump emerged as a dominant force in right-wing politics, the energy he brought to the issue created an entire ecosystem in which his allies could thrive. Conspiracy theorists and grifters circled around the idea that the election was stolen, addressing unmet demand in the marketplace," he explained. "Few did so more successfully than Ali Alexander. Alexander has been a figure on the fringe right for some time, a name familiar to people who’d heard of Alex Jones or Laura Loomer."

Alexander led the crowd in chanting "victory or death" at a "Stop the Steal" rally on the night before the Jan. 6 insurrection.

" Alexander’s prepared remarks disparage the organizers of the Ellipse rally and make the remarkable claim that 'there may not have been a problem had that same leadership at the Ellipse event not intentionally removed instructions from the program that were supposed to be included to provide clarity on exactly where to go following the Ellipse event.' In other words, had the Ellipse rally specifically promoted his rally on Capitol Hill, there might have been no violence in the first place," Bump explained. "Of course, the violence would also not have occurred had Donald Trump not repeatedly made false claims about the election. It might not have happened had Alexander not similarly touted those claims and elevated them as a rallying cry to gain attention and resources. It might not have happened had he and others not organized large rallies for that day centered on false claims of fraud."

Bump was not impressed by Alexander's defense.

"Ali Alexander would like credit for doing everything in his power to exacerbate the situation that collapsed into violence except explicitly advocating violence targeting that particular building on that particular day. Fine. Granted," he wrote.

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Alexander's testimony is likely to include answers to questions about the role members of Congress allegedly played in organizing Jan. 6.

Alexander took credit for organizing Jan. 6 in a since-deleted Periscope video.

"I was the person that came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman [Paul] Gosar (R-AZ), Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL), and then Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ). 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 minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud war from outside," Alexander said.

"This evidence actually exonerates those members. This evidence actually exonerates me and this evidence actually is going to exonerate President Donald J. Trump," Alexander told Ben Siegel of ABC News.