Rep. Paul Gosar allegedly promised Jan. 6 protest organizers ‘blanket pardon’ while planning rallies

report from Variety’s sister publication Rolling Stone alleges that organizers of the Jan. 6 protests, which escalated to violence when Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, met numerous times with White House staff and members of Congress to strategize in the days prior.

At least three organizers of the Stop the Steal rally are speaking with the House panel investigating the riot, with one saying that Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) even promised them a “blanket pardon” in advance.

“Our impression was that it was a done deal,” the organizer said. “That he’d spoken to the president about it in the Oval … in a meeting about pardons and that our names came up. They were working on submitting the paperwork and getting members of the House Freedom Caucus to sign on as a show of support.”

The organisers also claim to have taken part in ‘dozens’ of briefings with members of Congress and their staff leading up to January 6 riot. “I remember talking to probably close to a dozen other members at one point or another or their staffs,’ one person said, adding that pro-Trump freshman Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia played a key role. I remember Marjorie Taylor Greene specifically.”

Also named in the report were Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Louie Gohmert of Texas. They claimed it was only Gosar who tried to strongarm them into planning pro-Trump events, by offering to intervene in a separate law enforcement investigation, but the bargain never materialized. The organisers have also said they still support Trump but feel betrayed by him.

They accused Democrats of using ‘tactics to disrupt their political opposition in ways that frankly were completely unacceptable’ including social media censorship and changes to voting requirements in light of the COVID pandemic. Of the ex-president, they said they felt “abandoned” by Trump. “I’m actually pretty pissed about it and I’m pissed at him,” one of the sources said.

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