Arizona Democratic lawmakers want FBI to investigate Reps. Biggs, Gosar
PHOENIX – Democratic leaders in the Arizona Legislature have asked federal authorities to investigate several lawmakers from the state, including U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs, over alleged connections to the Capitol siege.
The request was made in a letter Tuesday addressed to Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and FBI Director Christopher Wray. It was signed by eight Democratic legislators, including Senate Minority Leader Rebecca Rios and House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding.
In addition to naming Biggs and Gosar, the letter mentions state Rep. Mark Finchem and former state Rep. Anthony Kern. Finchem and Kern acknowledged being near the Capitol on Jan. 6, the day supporters of President Donald Trump violently broke in and disrupted the congressional electoral vote count that eventually certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Our country needs to know what role elected officials played in the Jan. 6 planned insurrection — what they knew, when they knew it. Letter signed by all #AZLeg Democrats asking FBI and @TheJusticeDept to investigate involvement of Rep. Mark Finchem, Congressmen Biggs and Gosar. pic.twitter.com/kUhAQAWkqq
— Arizona House Democrats (@AZHouseDems) January 13, 2021
“It is an urgent matter for these agencies to get to the bottom of how involved these elected officials were in helping plan, helping incite, effectively, an attempted coup on the United States government,” state Rep. Athena Salman, who is among the signers, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.
Gosar was in middle of objecting to the acceptance of Arizona’s certified election results on the House floor when the rioters disrupted proceedings.
Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, were killed during the rampage.
“For weeks prior to the breach, a group of Republican Arizona legislators and legislators-elect publicly advocated for the overthrow of the election results which encouraged precisely the kind of violent conduct that we witnessed,” the Arizona Democrats’ letter says.
The letter cites reports that Biggs and Gosar helped pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander, along with Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, organize the rally that lead up to the attack on the Capitol.
The connection between Gosar and Alexander is documented in a Twitter thread by investigative reporter Jason Paladino. Gosar frequently referenced and tagged Alexander on Twitter.
Biggs appeared in a video played during a Dec. 19 “Stop the Steal” rally in Arizona organized by Alexander. “Stop the Steal” is a movement promoted by Alexander that falsely claims Trump won the election.
A spokesman for Biggs told CNN and other outlets that Gosar’s staff asked for the video shown at the December rally and said Biggs had nothing to do with the Jan. 6 rally before the Capitol siege.
“Congressman Biggs is not aware of hearing of or meeting Mr. Alexander at any point — let alone working with him to organize some part of a planned protest,” the spokesman said. “He did not have any contact with protestors or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests.”
Kern tweeted photos on Jan. 6 from outside the Capitol and repeated falsehoods about the election results.
Finchem released a statement Monday acknowledging that he was in the Capitol area on the day of the attack but never went inside and only learned about the breach later.
His statement repeated disproven claims about who perpetrated the violence, falsely blaming it on outside agitators and not Trump supporters.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.