Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill on Wednesday demanded an investigation of Republican lawmakers who she said gave "reconnaissance" tours of the U.S. Capitol the day before it was attacked by supporters of President Donald Trump. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images)

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) on Tuesday accused unnamed Republican House colleagues of giving "reconnassaince" tours of the U.S. Capitol on January 5, 2021 to members of the MAGA mob who attacked the building the following day. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images)

Rep. Mikie Sherrill Leads Demand for Probe of GOP Colleagues Who Gave 'Reconnaissance' Tours to Capitol Invaders

"Those members who attempted to help our president undermine our democracy, I'm going to see that they're held accountable."

Brett Wilkins

Accusing unnamed pro-Trump Republican colleagues of giving "reconnaissance" tours to some of the right-wing rioters who took part in the deadly January 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Mikie Sherrill on Wednesday led House Democrats in demanding a probe of GOP lawmakers' actions. 

In a letter to the head of the Capitol Police and the sergeants-at-arms for the House and Senate, Sherrill (D-N.J.) requested an "immediate investigation into the suspicious behavior and access given to visitors to the Capitol" on the day before it was stormed. 

"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," Sherrill wrote. "This is unusual for several reasons, including the fact that access to the Capitol... has been restricted since public tours ended in March of last year due to the pandemic."

"The visitors encountered by some of the members of Congress on this letter appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day," Sherrill added. "Members of the group that attacked the Capitol seemed to have an unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the Capitol complex. The presence of these groups... was indeed suspicious."

Over 30 of Sherrill's Democratic colleagues signed the letter, which came amid reports of a claim by Sarah Groh, chief of staff for Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), that "every panic button" in the congresswoman's office was "torn out" ahead of the riot. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) also said that his office did not have a panic button, although he noted that he had only been a member of Congress for three days on January 6. 

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the inspector general of the Capitol Police is opening an investigation into January 6 security breaches and whether the department's officers were involved in the attack. So far, three Capitol Police officers have been suspended and 17 others are under investigation in connection with the riot. 

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan federal watchdog agency, said it will also investigate what, if any, role members of Congress played in the insurrection. 

Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), who requested the GAO inquiry, said that "to the extent there were members of the House that were complicit, and I believe there were, we will pursue appropriate remedies including expulsion and a prohibition from holding elective office for the rest of their lives."

Crow added that "they will of course be subject to criminal investigation and prosecution if that's what the facts of the investigation show."

Sherrill's letter follows a Tuesday Facebook Live video in which she accused "members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol" of leading future rioters as they conducted "reconnaissance for the next day."

"Those members who attempted to help our president undermine our democracy, I'm going to see that they're held accountable," Sherrill vowed in the video, adding that she planned to help ensure that Trump "is removed and never runs for office again and doesn't have access to classified material."

Although Sherrill did not name any of the Republicans she accused of leading the alleged reconnaissance tours, far-right Trump supporters including Reps. Andy Biggs (Az.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), and Paul Gosar (Az.) allegedly helped to organize the insurrection.

At least five people died during the attack, which occurred while lawmakers were attempting to certify the Electoral College vote that officially affirmed Biden as the next president.

Trump, along with some of his most prominent supporters, as well as numerous Republican members of Congress, stand accused of inciting the rioters with with lies about a "stolen election" and calls to "take back our country" and wage "trial by combat."

On Wednesday Sherrill joined her Democratic—and 10 GOP—colleagues in voting to impeach Trump, who became the first president ever to be impeached twice. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass Strictest US Abortion Ban While Roe Still Stands

Reproductive rights supporters vowed to fight against the ban that begins at fertilization and, like legislation in Texas, "creates a bounty-hunting scheme" for enforcement.

Jessica Corbett ·


Judy Blume, Mo Willems Among 1,300 Children's Authors to Condemn 'Wave of Book Suppression'

"Reading stories that reflect the diversity of our world builds empathy and respect for everyone's humanity."

Kenny Stancil ·


Now Do Windfall Tax, Say Climate Groups After Passage of Big Oil Price Gouging Bill

"Voters will reward politicians who stand up for people, not polluters," said one campaigner, "and taxing windfall profits is wildly popular in every part of the country."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez: Maloney Should Quit DCCC Post If He Runs Against Mondaire Jones

"It's completely inappropriate" for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney to be in charge of the House Democrats' campaign arm "if he's going to challenge another member," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Kenny Stancil ·


War, Disasters Drive 'All-Time High' of Nearly 60 Million Displaced in Home Nations

The head of the Norwegian Refugee Council noted the situation "is phenomenally worse than even our record figure suggests" because it does not include those forced to flee Russia's assault on Ukraine.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo