State and Local Officials’ Involvement in Jan. 6 Trump Rally and Capitol Attack

American Oversight is investigating reports of government officials from across the country having participated in the Jan. 6 rally and subsequent deadly mob attack on the U.S. Capitol in support of then-President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

American Oversight is investigating reports of government officials from across the country having participated in the Jan. 6 rally and subsequent deadly mob attack on the U.S. Capitol in support of then-President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

On Jan. 6, 2021, a heavily armed mob invaded the U.S. Capitol in a violent attack that left five people, including one Capitol Police officer, dead. The riot happened after thousands had been riled up by then-President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally, in which his supporters repeated the lies of a fraudulent election in the service of his attempt to overturn the results of the election.  Jan. 6 raised a slew of questions not just about government and law enforcement preparation for and response to the violence — and about the former president’s incitement of the seditious actions, for which he faced his second impeachment — but also about the participation of state lawmakers and local officials in the day’s events.

American Oversight has filed a number of open records requests, including in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and other states, to learn more about how those government officials participated in or promoted what quickly became a violent insurrection.

In West Virginia, we filed a records request with the state legislature for communications about the events sent by or to Derrick Evans, then a state delegate. Evans was one of the individuals charged with crimes related to the Capitol assault, and resigned after filming himself storming the building with other rioters on Jan. 6. 

Michigan lawmakers have called for the expulsion of State Rep. Matt Maddock, who helped spread false claims about election fraud in the run-up to Jan. 6 and addressed crowds in D.C. the day before. Maddock had been vocal in his attempts to thwart his state’s certification of election results from his own state, and his wife, Meshawn Maddock, is a top Michigan Republican who reportedly helped organize buses to the rally. We filed a request for Maddock’s travel expenses related to the event.

In Pennsylvania, we requested campaign expense records from State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who reportedly helped organize a bus of supporters to the Jan. 6 rally and faced calls for his resignation. And Ohio Board of Education member Kirsten Hill participated in the rally and promoted a bus trip for the event through a local “TEA Party” event page she runs. We sent a request to the Ohio Department of Education for Hill email’s communications about the events.

Local officials in California are also facing calls to resign after attending the Jan. 6 rally — including Whittier City Council member Jessica Martinez and Leandra Blades, a member of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified Board of Education in Orange County. We’re seeking records of both of their related communications.

In Arizona, we’re seeking email communications of State Rep. Mark Finchem, who participated in the demonstration and has since spread conspiracy theories about antifascist agitators being behind the violence. We’re also seeking communications about the events from Maryland State Del. Daniel Cox and Missouri State Rep. Justin Hill, who both reportedly attended the rally before the attack — the latter skipping his own swearing-in to do so.

The attack was incited by Trump and his dangerous lies about widespread voter fraud. But his incendiary rhetoric had the support of multiple members of state and local governments, and the public deserves answers about their participation in or support for what amounted to a seditious attempt to overthrow the U.S. government.

Updates

Investigations Update: Covid-19 Outbreaks in Meatpacking Facilities, New Arizona Voting-Restriction Bills

March 2, 2021
See the latest in our investigations into worker safety and health in meatpacking facilities during the coronavirus pandemic, voting restrictions in the states, and Stephen Miller’s influence over immigration policy.

News Roundup: Capitol Attack Intelligence Failures and the National Voter-Suppression Frenzy

February 25, 2021
Senators held a hearing about the Jan. 6 attack, and state legislatures continue to push new voting-restriction bills.

Questions About Jan. 6 Capitol Attack Remain as Senate Investigates

February 23, 2021
American Oversight submitted dozens of records requests at the local and federal levels to help the public learn more about the deadly security failures and disturbing violence of Jan. 6, the subject of a Wednesday Senate hearing.

News Roundup: Power Failures and Power Plays

February 18, 2021
Severe winter weather swept across the nation this week, wiping out power for millions. And several states unleashed a new wave of voting-restriction measures.

Investigations Update: State Pandemic Responses, Space Command Headquarters Location, and Trump’s Refusal to Concede

February 16, 2021
See the latest in our investigations into the federal pandemic response, Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results, and the decision to put U.S. Space Command headquarters in Alabama.
Show all updates

Related Documents

February 18, 2021

Arizona Legislature Communications for Rep. Mark Finchem Concerning Capitol Riot

Arizona House of Representatives
Agency Record
February 16, 2021

Records Request to Arizona Legislature for Communications Sent by Former Rep. Anthony Kern

Arizona House of Representatives
FOIA Request
February 16, 2021

Records Request to Arizona Legislature for Photos or Recordings Taken by Former Rep. Anthony Kern or Current Rep. Mark Finchem

Arizona House of Representatives
FOIA Request
February 4, 2021

Records Request to Rhode Island General Assembly for Records of State Rep. Justin Price’s Communications

Rhode Island House of Representatives
FOIA Request
February 3, 2021

Ohio Department of Education Records of Board Member Kirsten Hill’s Emails Regarding U.S. Capitol Riot

Ohio Department of Education
Agency Record
January 29, 2021

Records Request to Maryland Department of Legislative Services for Del. Dan Cox Communications Related to Attack on U.S. Capitol

Maryland Department of Legislative Services
FOIA Request
January 29, 2021

Records Request to Missouri Legislature for Rep. Justin Hill Communications Related to Attack on U.S. Capitol

Missouri House of Representatives
FOIA Request
January 26, 2021

Records Request to Arizona Legislature for Rep. Mark Finchem’s Communications Concerning Capitol Riot

Arizona House of Representatives
FOIA Request
January 22, 2021

Records Request to Michigan House of Representatives for Expenditures by State Rep. Matt Maddock

Michigan House of Representatives
FOIA Request
January 21, 2021

Records Request to Orange County, Calif., for Communications by Board Member Leandra Blades About U.S. Capitol Riot

California - Orange County
FOIA Request
January 21, 2021

Records Request to Whittier, Calif., for Communications by Councilwoman Jessica Martinez Around Invasion of U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021

California - City of Whittier
FOIA Request
January 21, 2021

Records Request to Ohio Department of Education for Board Member Kirsten Hill’s Communications About U.S. Capitol Riot

Ohio Department of Education
FOIA Request
January 15, 2021

Records Request to West Virginia Legislature for Communications by Former State Delegate Derrick Evans

West Virginia House of Delegates
FOIA Request
March 1, 0202

Records Request to Canadian County, Okla., Regarding Sheriff Chris West

Oklahoma - Canadian County
FOIA Request
March 1, 0202

Records Request to New Mexico Otero Board of County Commissioners for Couy Griffin’s Communications

New Mexico - Otero County
FOIA Request