The House select committee investigating the violent breach of the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021, has reportedly uncovered evidence that shows that there was coordination between two white supremacist militias during that event — and that those militias may have also coordinated with organizers of the “Stop the Steal” rally that proceeded the attack on Congress.
That connection could have implications for former President Donald Trump, whose inner circle was also in regular contact with event organizers, using untraceable burner phones to have conversations in the days leading up to the January 6 rally.
Hugo Lowell, a congressional reporter for The Guardian, announced the development on Friday morning.
“Jan. 6 committee believes the Capitol attack included a coordinated assault by the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys planned with some rally organizers,” he wrote in a tweet describing his reporting.
The potential coordination between these groups has not previously been reported on, and is based on testimony and video evidence provided to the January 6 committee that has not yet been made public, two sources speaking to Lowell said.
The possible coordination between the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and the organizers of the rally at the White House will likely influence how investigative teams for the January 6 committee will move forward in the weeks to come.
The communications between the militia groups and rally organizers — what would essentially amount to a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results in order to keep Trump in office — could also implicate the former president and his advisers, as Trump’s team was in constant contact with organizers that day. It’s unclear yet whether communications between Trump, the event organizers and the militias were shared with one another, but the January 6 committee will likely delve into the matter.
“The information, which could play a large role in establishing whether Trump oversaw a conspiracy as part of his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, is being viewed internally as a significant breakthrough,” Lowell said.
Notably, Trump has indicated support for the Proud Boys in the past. During a presidential debate with now-President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate asked Trump to condemn the violent white supremacist organization. Trump refused to explicitly condemn the group and instead instructed its members to “stand back and stand by.”
Members of the Proud Boys celebrated Trump’s words as an affirmation that he supported their violent efforts, The New York Times reported at the time.