In an interview with CBS on Friday, House Majority Whip James Clyburn
threw cold water on the idea that the attack on the Capitol Building last week was simply a protest gone wrong, highlighting the fact that certain people involved in the riot knew exactly where to go inside the maze-like halls of Congress.
Clyburn, like many other members of the House and Senate, has been trying to piece together information about what happened last Wednesday, when President Donald Trump sent hundreds of his armed supporters to Capitol Hill to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 election.
Stocked with poles, guns, pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails and stun guns, the attackers desecrated the building, destroyed multiple offices and fatally injured a Capitol Police officer, as Blavity previously reported.
While many videos showed the crowds simply overrunning Capitol Police officers and breaking down doors or windows to get in, other videos show some of the rioters being let in through side doors, raising questions about who was involved in the attack.
"I do believe that something was going on. They knew where to go. I've been told…by some other Congresspeople that their staff are saying that they saw people being allowed into the building through side doors," Clyburn told CBSN anchor Lana Zak.
"Who opened those side doors for these protesters, or I call them these mobsters, to come into the building, not through the main entrance where magnetometers are but through side doors. Yes, somebody on the inside of those buildings were complicit in this," he added.
Clyburn also restated earlier comments he made to SiriusXM about the fact that the rioters did not attack the office with his name on it and instead went after the office where he usually works, which few would know about without deep knowledge of the building and his work patterns.
"The office with my name on the door was not touched. But the office where I do most of my work in, they were on that floor and outside that door," he said. "There were no security people on the steps. They were all out in a place which I thought gave low security. They were not just derelict. You could say they were complicit."
As Majority House Whip, Clyburn is one of the country's highest-ranking Black members of Congress and would be a likely target for groups seeking to attack the Democratic chain of command.
Multiple news outlets have reported information that validates Clyburn's assertion that at least some of the rioters had inside knowledge or help.
The New York Times spoke to two Trump supporters who explicitly said a Capitol Police officer tried to help them find the office of Senator Chuck Schumer, who will be the Senate Majority Leader for the next Congress.
As a mob raided the Capitol, a Capitol Police officer gave them directions to Chuck Schumer's office, per this Times report: "But they could not find Mr. Schumer’s office. He said they asked a Capitol Police officer, who tried to direct them." https://t.co/suzMuEDHU9
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) January 8, 2021
On Monday, House Rep. Tim Ryan held a hearing where he confirmed that multiple Capitol Police officers were either being investigated or suspended due to their complicity in what happened on Wednesday.
The two officers that Ryan said were already being suspended were the now-infamous officer who took a selfie with the domestic terrorists as they rampaged through the building and another unnamed officer who allegedly helped the rioters get around.
BREAKING: Two Capitol Police officers have been suspended in connection with last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Tim Ryan said.
One of the suspended officers took a selfie with a rioter. The other donned a MAGA hat and “started directing people around,” Ryan said.
— NPR (@NPR) January 11, 2021
The revelations came after multiple Democrats accused some Republican lawmakers of potentially coordinating with some of the domestic terrorists before and during the attempted coup.
Senator Brian Schatz wrote on Twitter that the country should be careful before attempting to implicate any Republican lawmakers, but he shared a tweet from controversial Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert that took place during the attack where she highlighted the location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, someone multiple attackers explicitly said they wanted to take hostage and potentially kill.
"It’s not clear to what extent the rioters were coordinating operationally with government officials, so we ought to be extremely careful in this line of inquiry. But we must discover which elected and appointed officials, if any, and which civil servants, were helping the coup," he said, adding that a Republican specifically flouted requests from Secret Service that Congress members not tweet about their location.
We were specifically instructed by those protecting us not to tell anyone, including our family, where exactly we were, for reasons that remain obvious. https://t.co/0UNu77fBzY
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 12, 2021
Some have also pointed to another tweet from CNN reporter Jim Acosta that may draw direct links between some of the domestic terrorists and officials in the White House.
A source close to the White House who is in touch with some of the rioters at the Capitol said it's the goal of those involved to stay inside the Capitol through the night.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 6, 2021
Nearly a week has passed since the terror attack yet federal authorities have not held a press conference or hearing about what happened. We still do not know how many members of the pro-Trump mob made it into the building, and authorities allowed most to leave without being arrested.
The FBI and Department Of Justice spent the weekend scouring social media footage of the incident, identifying suspects and arresting them. More than 90 people are now facing a variety of charges related to the attack against Congress.
But there are hundreds of people who came and went throughout the hour-long attack, and there are now significant concerns that dozens of members of police forces across the country as well as members of the country's armed forces took part in the attack on Congress.
“That was a heavily trained group of militia terrorists that attacked us. They had radios, we found them, they had two-way communicators and earpieces. They had bear spray. They had flashbangs … They were prepared. They strategically put two IEDs, pipe bombs, in two different locations. These guys were military trained. A lot of them were former military,” one Black officer said.
“I got called a n****r 15 times today,” another Black officer added.
"Trump did this and we got all of these f**king people in our department that voted for him. How the f**k can you support him?”