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

From Voter-Fraud Myths to Bogus Election Audits: The Evolution of the Big Lie

September 13, 2021
On Monday, American Oversight published an in-depth look at the "Big Lie" and the decades-long campaign by conservative activists and lawmakers to hype up the threat of voter fraud.

News Roundup: The Resurgent Pandemic and Partisan Election Reviews

July 29, 2021
The Delta variant's spread across the U.S. has created a pandemic of the unvaccinated and, like many aspects of the past year and a half, one that each state is experiencing differently.

News Roundup: Undermining Democracy, One ‘Audit’ at a Time

June 3, 2021
After visiting the sham audit of votes cast in Maricopa County, Ariz., this week, Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers have called for their state to conduct a similar partisan review.

Arizona Attorney General Calendar Released to American Oversight Excludes Jan. 6

March 26, 2021
Documents obtained in response to an open records request include calendar entries from October 2020 to March 2021, but skips over Jan. 6 — the day of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. (This article has been updated with Arizona's response.)

Investigations Update: Covid-19 in Immigration Detention, MPD’s Kettling of Protesters, and Covid-19 Liability Shields

March 16, 2021
See the latest in our investigations into the spread of Covid-19 in immigration detention centers, D.C. police response to last summer’s racial justice protests, and state and local officials’ involvement in the “Stop the Steal” rally.

American Oversight Sues for Top Officials’ Communications from Day of Capitol Riot

March 9, 2021
We’re seeking records from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security that could shed light on how Trump administration officials responded to the Jan. 6 riot, including the delay in National Guard deployment.

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.

News Roundup: New Voting-Restriction Bills and the Upcoming Round of Redistricting

February 5, 2021
The anti-democratic forces that fed Trump’s stolen-election lie are at work across the country.

Investigations Update: The Efforts by Trump — and Top Officials — to Overturn the Election

February 2, 2021
See the latest in our investigations into Trump’s efforts to overturn the presidential election and multiple state lawmakers’ ties to the Capitol attack.

News Roundup: Accountability, Not Complicity

January 29, 2021
Despite a range of executive actions meant to undo some of the worst damage, it’s clear that the previous president’s brand of destructive politics is an ongoing threat to the country.

Investigations Update: State and Local Officials Involved in Capitol Attack

January 26, 2021
See the latest in our investigations into the events leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, including the involvement of state attorneys general and local government officials.

Investigations Update: West Virginia Lawmaker’s Involvement in Capitol Attack and Trump’s Attempts to Overturn Georgia Election Results

January 19, 2021
See the latest in our investigations of the security at the U.S. Capitol, DOJ’s opioid settlement with Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family, and the “burrowing in” of Trump political appointees.
Show all updates

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