As Republicans grapple with purging their own deplorables, three new GOPers are identified as helping to plan the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. All three are House Congressional Republicans — two from Arizona: Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, and Mo Brooks from Alabama.
The Washington Post reports today that all three lawmakers have been named as complicit in last week’s deadly riot in a now-deleted Twitter video (that still lives here) made by a far right activist who planned one of several marches on the Capitol. The activist is Ali Alexander, a.k.a. Ali Abdul-Razaq Akbar, a convicted felon who led MAGA protesters in a chant of “Victory or death!” the night before The Capitol was sacked.
In a video he posted January 8 for his 115,000 Twitter followers, Alexander said the quiet part out loud by explaining that:
“I was the person who came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and Congressman Andy Biggs. We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting, so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud war from outside.”
Of course the “loud war” devolved into a deadly insurrection inside, after armed rioters broke into the Capitol, looted offices and searched for hostages. Capitol Hill officer Brian Sicknick was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher, one insurgent trying to break through a door was shot in the neck by law enforcement, and three rioters died on their way to sack the Capitol. Videos and photos released since last Wednesday show masked rioters in combat gear with zip ties, while reports emerged that rioters intended to hang Vice President Mike Pence and kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Biggs, Brooks and Gosar — all hardline Trumpists and proliferators of the big lie that Trump had the election stolen from him — have denied to The Washington Post having contact with Alexander or helping him organize his “Stop the Steal” march January 6. The problem, however, is the Internet says otherwise.
There’s a convincing trail of Twitter posts and re-tweets, including a video, showing each of the Congressmen in roles of coordination and/or support with Alexander and his efforts to overturn the election — a goal shared by all four men. The Post reported on a video Biggs sent to Alexander in November, praising him as a “friend” and “hero” for his performance at pro-Trump rallies and his leadership in the “Stop the Steal” movement.
Biggs then tried to throw Gosar under the bus by telling CNN through a spokesperson that he only “recorded the video following a request from Gosar’s staff.”
One can imagine three old white men being clueless about how modern technology works, and that their digital footprints will help authorities assemble cases of treason and sedition against them.
Last week’s now-deleted video of Alexander naming Biggs, Brooks and Gosar as his top helpers in planning the “Stop the Steal” march wasn’t even his first. CNN reported that in December Alexander told followers on Periscope that he, Biggs, Brooks and Gosar “were planning something big” for January 6 aimed at stopping the electoral count certification.
And the body of evidence against Biggs, Brooks, Gosar and other insurrectionists in positions of power, will certainly grow. Case in point are the terabytes of data hackers downloaded from the far-right social media platform Parler before it was taken offline last weekend. The hackers are reportedly parsing the data and turning it over to law enforcement in the effort to find and indict more traitors.
For his role in last Wednesday’s Capitol riot, Alexander — who has since been kicked off of Twitter and other social media — is now under scrutiny. He’s a colorful character with a shady past who’s amassed a large following by trafficking in white supremacist ethos. He’s known for disavowing Muslims, slurring women and appearing on extremist podcasts produced by the likes of Proud Boys. Politico reported yesterday that he actively campaigned against Vice President Elect Kamala Harris when she was running for president in 2019, spreading the false rumor that Harris wasn’t “an American Black” since her father is from Jamaica. That false tweet got him a retweet by Donald Trump Jr, Politico noted, and an invite to a social media summit hosted by the White House that summer.
Alexander, 34, changed his name from Ali Abdul-Razaq Akbar some time after a criminal spree in his early 20s. He was charged with felony crimes in Texas, including property theft in 2007 and credit card fraud the following year.
Astute observers will note Alexander’s skin color is not white, and one has to ask how self-aware he is. The rich irony of a black man leading a mob of white supremacists to overthrow the Capitol would be comical if it weren’t so diabolical.