Organisers of protest rally addressed by Donald Trump at White House say they had ‘back-to-back’ briefings with pro-Trump lawmakers in run-up to 6 January
Some of the organisers of the pro-Trump rally in Washington that preceded the storming of the Capitol on 6 January have said they worked closely with several Republican politicians and officials and were assured a “blanket” White House pardon, according to a report.
Two sources described as being involved in planning the protest at the White House, where Donald Trump urged his supporters to march on the Capitol, told Rolling Stone they had “dozens” of planning briefings with members of Congress and Mr Trump’s team, and that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had the opportunity to prevent the protest from escalating.
Some protesters marched from the event to the Capitol, where Congress was certifying the election results to name Joe Biden as the next president, and the first clashes broke out with police at Capitol Hill before Mr Trump had finished speaking. The violence saw six people killed and 138 police officers injured.
The rally organisers claimed they were in touch with Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Arizona’s Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs, Colorado’s Lauren Boebert, Mo Brooks of Alaska, North Carolina’s Madison Cawthorn and Louie Gohmert of Texas.
“I remember Marjorie Taylor Greene specifically,” one of the two sources told Rolling Stone. “I remember talking to probably close to a dozen other members [of Congress] at one point or another or their staffs.
“We would talk to Boebert’s team, Cawthorn’s team, Gosar’s team like back to back to back to back,” the source said.
The report also claims that both sources mentioned the possibility of a “blanket pardon” for organising the rally, and said it came from Mr Gosar’s office, which assured them the offer had been cleared by the then-president.
“Our impression was that it was a done deal,” one organiser said, adding that Mr Gosar said “that he’d spoken to the president about it in the Oval … in a meeting about pardons and that our names came up”.
Mr Gosar could not be reached for comment by The Independent. Ms Greene’s communication director Nick Dyer refuted the allegations.
“Congresswoman Greene and her staff were focused on the Congressional election objection on the House floor and had nothing to do with planning of any protest,” Mr Dyer said in a statement to The Independent.
“She objected just like Democrats who have objected to Republican Presidential victories over the years,” he added.