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Jan. 6 Protest Planners: Lawmaker Floated 'Blanket Pardon'

'Rolling Stone' talks to pair of organizers about Rep. Paul Gosar, others
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2021 11:20 AM CDT
Jan. 6 Protest Planners: Rep. Gosar Floated Pardons
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, protesters storm the Capitol in Washington.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(Newser) Rolling Stone is out with an exclusive that features interviews with two unnamed organizers of the Jan. 6 protest in DC, both of whom are cooperating with the House panel investigating the violence of that day. Both men say they met or otherwise interacted with White House officials (particularly Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows) and various members of Congress in organizing the pro-Trump demonstration. "I remember Marjorie Taylor Greene specifically," one of the organizers says. "I remember talking to probably close to a dozen other members at one point or another or their staffs." Others mentioned are Reps. Paul Gosar, Lauren Boebert, Mo Brooks, Madison Cawthorn, Andy Biggs, and Louie Gohmert.

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"We would talk to Boebert's team, Cawthorn's team, Gosar's team like back to back to back to back," says the same organizer. Both men say the protest they envisioned was never intended to reach the Capitol but was supposed to be contained in the park known as the Ellipse. Both also say that Gosar in particular strongly encouraged the demonstration by raising the possibility of a "blanket pardon" for participants. "Our impression was that it was a done deal, that he'd spoken to the president about it in the Oval ... and that our names came up," one of the organizers says. "They were working on submitting the paperwork and getting members of the House Freedom Caucus to sign on as a show of support."

The story deals with another element of that day—a demonstration at the Capitol billed as the Wild Protest. Both planners say concerns were raised to Meadows in advance that it could become violent. One of the organizers of the Wild Protest was Trump supporter Ali Alexander, who "declared in a since-deleted livestream broadcast that Gosar, Brooks, and Biggs helped him formulate the strategy for that event," per Rolling Stone. Read the full article. (Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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