Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) is seeking to distance himself from a rally in Washington, D.C., that preceded the storming of the Capitol amid scrutiny of actions from himself and others before the riot, The Hill reports.
Biggs, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and one of former President Trump’s top allies in the House, was one of dozens of congressional Republicans who voted to object to the electoral results.
The Arizona Republican issued a statement on Friday seeking to defend his actions while pushing back on “sensational lies” following the Jan. 6 riot by a pro-Trump mob that sought to halt the Electoral College count.
“For the last two weeks, Leftists in the Democratic Party and the media have claimed that I: organized the peaceful rally of January 6, planned the unlawful riots that took place, led reconnaissance tours of the U.S. Capitol to those scheming to riot, funded the rally and the riot,” Biggs said.
“Every one of those allegations is false. I have publicly denied all them, of course. And I believed that when they heard the truth, honest reporters would stop writing untruths. I was wrong,” he continued. “The reality is that there are few honest reporters remaining, and Leftists do not care about truth. For them, the ends justify the means. The media has buried my statements, ignored the evidence, and is instead generating ever-more-sensational lies about me.”
Biggs, along with Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), have come under fire after “Stop the Steal” rally organizer Ali Alexander posted a since-deleted video claiming the congressmen helped coordinate an event seeking to put pressure on Congress not to certify the Electoral College results.
Alexander had encouraged supporters of Trump to rally outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, though Biggs said he has never “had phone, text, social media, or email contact with” Alexander and has “no idea” why he named him in the video. Staff have denied for weeks that Biggs was involved in planning the rally.
Alexander’s claims have led to left-leaning watchdog group Campaign for Accountability to file an ethics complaint and call for a criminal probe. In the complaint filed Friday, the group cited a video that Alexander had played at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Arizona in December that Alexander had said Biggs sent for the crowd.
Biggs in that video urged Trump’s supporters to “keep fighting” to overturn the election results but did not mention Alexander during his remarks, The Arizona Republic reported earlier this month.
After playing Biggs’s statement, Alexander reportedly told the crowd that “we are all marching to D.C. on January the 6th, and we are going to plop our asses on the U.S. Capitol with or without a permit. … And those members of Congress will hear from us after they exit that chamber January 6th.”
A spokesperson for the congressman later told CNN that Biggs had recorded the video at the request of Gosar’s staff and had never worked with Alexander.
In addition to asserting that he has had no connection to Alexander, Biggs on Friday also denied giving tours in the Capitol to anyone involved in the insurrection Jan. 6, saying he has not given any tours since before Nov. 3.
“In sum: Each and every one of the allegations is false. I do not know why the rumors started, why the media has repeatedly ignored the evidence, or how to state the truth more clearly. This assault on my reputation is difficult to watch,” he said.
In an interview with The Hill, the Arizona Republican also denied reports that he had asked Trump for a preemptive pardon.
“My position is I didn’t do anything wrong, so I don’t need a pardon,” he said.
Biggs said that since the allegations against him have been launched, he and his family along with other members of Congress have faced death threats.
“Those are the things where you say enough is enough,” he said. “There’s nothing true about anything they’re saying about me, but it’s a spawning death threats.”
Following the Capitol riot, which left several people dead including a Capitol Police officer, four committees in the lower chamber — the House Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, Judiciary and Homeland Security panels — announced that they have jointly launched a review into the intelligence and events that led to the riot.