We haven't devoted a full post to this yet this week, because there's so much news and also we were waiting for things to fill out, but by now you're probably well-aware that Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill the other night revealed in a Facebook Live sesh that she had witnessed what appeared to be congressmen giving people "reconnaissance" tours of the Capitol the very day before the riots.

Some key quotes:

Sherrill, a former Navy helicopter pilot, described seeing "members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 for reconnaissance for the next day."

And:

"I [...] intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted [Donald Trump] — those members of Congress who had groups coming through the capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 for reconnaissance for the next day — those members of Congress who incited the violent crowd, those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy, I'm going see that they're held accountable," Sherrill said.

So that there, if she is correct, is terrifying and fucked up!

It's important to keep a couple things in mind about Sherrill's allegations. For one, Sherrill has serious military training, so when she says "reconaissance," she's saying it in the professional sense, kind of like how a constitutional lawyer saying "treason" is different from a rando on Twitter saying "hOw iS tHiS nOt tReAsOn?"

Secondly, as Sherrill noted on the Rachel Maddow program Wednesday night, in an interview you really should watch, the Capitol has been closed to outside groups for about a hundred million months because of the coronavirus. In other words, if you got you a t'ur group goin' through the Capitol, it's because a congressman brought you in for special.


Here's that Maddow interview:

Sherrill explained a bit more of her training to Maddow, how she was specifically taught to "look for things that were out of place." So she noticed at the beginning of last week when weird people started to show up. She had already told her staff to stay home on January 5, because of her own security concerns. "The only reason you'd have a visitor is on official business," said Sherrill, adding that it was "so odd to see them that my chief of staff called the sergeant of arms to say what is going on?"

She continued:

SHERRILL: And he reiterated the only way these people could have gotten into the Capitol complex was with a member or that member's staff. And we now know that those violent groups that attacked the Capitol complex had inside knowledge of the Capitol grounds.

Once more:

SHERRILL: The only way that these people, these groups, could have gotten into the complex is if another member of Congress or their staff walked them in. And that was reiterated by the sergeant of arms on January 5.

Maddow and others have noted that if you have ever been in the Capitol complex, it's really frickin' easy to get lost. As in, new congressmen get lost all the time. (We have been there! It is real darn big and confusing!) Yet so many of Trump's terrorists seemed to know just where to go. Inside job? We're not gonna be shocked if true.

Sherrill hasn't said who she saw, but we have our own guesses that we guess we'll keep to ourselves, but let's just say that if this story blows up, and we think it's gonna, we will not be surprised at any of the names, or if the state of Arizona is heavily represented. We also have a feeling that Sherrill isn't saying it, but that she's particularly concerned because of who specifically she saw escorting people around.

Rep. Tim Ryan says he also too has some ideas about who:

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said he's aware of "a couple" names of colleagues who are being eyed as potentially giving tours to the would-be insurrectionists. But he said he wouldn't name them yet.

"I'm going to wait to make sure we get verification," Ryan told a reporter at the Capitol Wednesday.

Ryan said the information was passed to authorities as early as last Wednesday night. He said it involved "handfuls" of people who were escorted through the Capitol. Enough to know that these weren't "one-on-one" tours or "a small family."

Wednesday, Sherrill and over 30 colleagues sent a letter to the acting sergeants-at-arms of the House and the Senate, as well as the head of the Capitol Police, saying what they saw, and demanding a full investigation. Among the colleagues signing the letter are those Democratic members of the House with the most national security and military experience, like Tom Malinowski, Elaine Luria, and Abigail Spanberger. Also signing were Pramila Jayapal, Veronica Escobar, Jackie Speier, Mary Gay Scanlon, and about a fuckin' million more of the best Democratic members of the House.

The letter reads, in part:

"Many of the Members who signed this letter, including those of us who have served in the military and are trained to recognize suspicious activity, as well as various members of our staff, witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, January 5," wrote the Members. "This is unusual for several reasons, including the fact that access to the Capitol Complex has been restricted since public tours ended in March of last year due to the pandemic.

"The tours being conducted on Tuesday, January 5, were a noticeable and concerning departure from the procedures in place as of March 2020 that limited the number of visitors to the Capitol. These tours were so concerning that they were reported to the Sergeant at Arms on January 5."

"If you see something, say something," they say. If you see something and you're literally trained to recognize things like this, the people you're saying something to had better fuckin' listen. They want the logbooks of whoever came in. They want the facial recognition. They want alllllll the records. And they sure do want that cross-referenced with anybody who's currently under investigation in the insurrection.

As the Post notes, Sherrill originally made her allegations around the same time Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was coming forward to share how there was a point during the attack when she literally thought she was going to die, and that she didn't trust her GOP colleagues not to literally serve her up to the frothing mob. We'd also note that Rep. Ayanna Pressley's chief of staff told the Boston Globe that the panic buttons had been strangely ripped out in her office before the attack.

Remember Wednesday morning during impeachment, as we followed along as reporters live-tweeted GOP reps refusing to acknowledge the metal detectors, even when they set them off? Remember how reps have literally bragged about how they were carrying guns the day of the attack? All we're saying is that this particular point in American history, with the dregs of society that have managed to get themselves elected to Congress, we are not putting anything past them. Anything.

This investigation needs to continue until we have all the answers, and if actual GOP members of Congress aided and abetted the attack, they need to be expelled and prosecuted and LOCK THEM UP, THAT'S RIGHT, MICHAEL FLYNN, LOCK THEM UP.

[Washington Post / Mikie Sherrill website / Politico]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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