Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona says he did not give tours before Capitol siege
Jan 18, 2021, 10:17 AM | Updated: 3:27 pm
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona on Monday morning denied giving reconnaissance tours the day before the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol that interrupted the electoral vote count certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
“I haven’t taken anyone on a tour of the Capitol in I don’t know how many months,” Biggs told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.
“I know exactly where I was on Jan. 5, I had a series of meetings and then I was home with my family.”
The comments are in response to Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) who in a Facebook video accused some members of Congress of having groups come through the Capitol on Jan. 5 for reconnaissance.
Sherrill in a letter requesting an investigation said she, other members of Congress and staff witnessed an “extremely high number of groups in the complex” on Jan 5, adding it was unusual since the complex has been restricted to the public since tours ended last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Visitors encountered by some members of Congress appeared to be associated with the siege, according to the letter that was signed by more than 30 other lawmakers, and the rioters seemed to have unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the Capitol.
Sherrill did not name specific members of Congress who were allegedly observed giving the tours in the video or the letter.
Biggs said Sherrill’s claims are untrue, grossly irresponsible and inflammatory.
“It basically does what they claim President Trump did is it incites people to respond in violent ways,” Biggs said.
He said Sherrill may have seen some new members of Congress taking family around.
“The bottom line is it didn’t happen, there’s no evidence anybody did anything like that,” Biggs said.
Arizona Democratic leaders, meanwhile, have asked federal authorities to investigate Biggs and several other lawmakers from the state over alleged connections to the Capitol siege.
The letter, sent Jan. 13, accuses Biggs, fellow Arizona representative Paul Gosar and Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks of helping pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander organize the incident, a claim that was denied by Biggs’ staff.
“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 told CNN. “He did not have any contact with protestors or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests.”
Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, were killed during the riot.