At least five Republican members of Congress have ties to extremist groups who laid siege to the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.
Nearly 150 GOP House members backed former president Donald Trump's false claim that fraud had cost him re-election, but some lawmakers have even closer ties to the insurgents who stormed into the halls of Congress looking to execute Democrats and Vice President Mike Pence to stop the certification of President Joe Biden's win, reported the New York Times.
- Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) had links to the "Stop The Steal" campaign aimed at keeping Trump in office despite his election loss, and whose leader, Ali Alexander, claimed helped him organize the Capitol protest that turned violent, which the lawmaker denies.
- Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has close connections to the Three Percenter militia group, who had members take part in the Jan. 6 insurrection, and other right-wing extremist groups, and has been accused of leading suspected militants through the Capitol ahead of the assault, which she had repeatedly denied.
- Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) appeared alongside members of the Proud Boys extremist group that played a key role in the insurgency, and has been an outspoken promoter of Trump's election lies.
- Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) also appeared at "Stop The Steal" events and met with members of the right-wing Oath Keepers organization, whose Arizona chapter head claims the GOP lawmaker told him a few years earlier the United States was already engaged in civil war: "[His] response to the group was just flat out: 'We're in it. We just haven't started shooting at each other yet."
- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has promoted elements of the Qanon conspiracy theory that motivated many of the insurgents and has rallied alongside militia groups, and her past social media posts have shown her support for executing top Democrats and belief in other notorious conspiracies, such as "false flag" theories about mass shootings and 9/11.
Alexander, the "Stop The Steal" leader, has also claimed that Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), another advocate of Trump's election lies, helped him plot the Capitol demonstration.
It's not clear whether any elected officials directly assisted the attack, although some Democrats have claimed GOP lawmakers led reconnaissance tours ahead of the deadly demonstration or alerted militants to their position during the chaos.
Trump has been impeached by the Democratic-led House for his role in inciting the assault, and the possible support roles played by GOP officials remains under investigation.