In an interview with CBS on Friday, House Majority Whip James Clyburn threw cold water on the idea that the attack on the Capitol Building last week was simply a protest gone wrong, highlighting the fact that certain people involved in the riot knew exactly where to go inside the maze-like halls of Congress.
Clyburn, like many other members of the House and Senate, has been trying to piece together information about what happened last Wednesday, when President Donald Trump sent hundreds of his armed supporters to Capitol Hill to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 election.
Stocked with poles, guns, pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails and stun guns, the attackers desecrated the building, destroyed multiple offices and fatally injured a Capitol Police officer, as Blavity previously reported.
While many videos showed the crowds simply overrunning Capitol Police officers and breaking down doors or windows to get in, other videos show some of the rioters being let in through side doors, raising questions about who was involved in the attack.
"I do believe that something was going on. They knew where to go. I've been told…by some other Congresspeople that their staff are saying that they saw people being allowed into the building through side doors," Clyburn told CBSN anchor Lana Zak.
"Who opened those side doors for these protesters, or I call them these mobsters, to come into the building, not through the main entrance where magnetometers are but through side doors. Yes, somebody on the inside of those buildings were complicit in this," he added.
Clyburn also restated earlier comments he made to SiriusXM about the fact that the rioters did not attack the office with his name on it and instead went after the office where he usually works, which few would know about without deep knowledge of the building and his work patterns.
"The office with my name on the door was not touched. But the office where I do most of my work in, they were on that floor and outside that door," he said. "There were no security people on the steps. They were all out in a place which I thought gave low security. They were not just derelict. You could say they were complicit."
As Majority House Whip, Clyburn is one of the country's highest-ranking Black members of Congress and would be a likely target for groups seeking to attack the Democratic chain of command.
Multiple news outlets have reported information that validates Clyburn's assertion that at least some of the rioters had inside knowledge or help.
The New York Times spoke to two Trump supporters who explicitly said a Capitol Police officer tried to help them find the office of Senator Chuck Schumer, who will be the Senate Majority Leader for the next Congress.
As a mob raided the Capitol, a Capitol Police officer gave them directions to Chuck Schumer's office, per this Times report: "But they could not find Mr. Schumer’s office. He said they asked a Capitol Police officer, who tried to direct them." https://t.co/suzMuEDHU9— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) January 8, 2021
On Monday, House Rep. Tim Ryan held a hearing where he confirmed that multiple Capitol Police officers were either being investigated or suspended due to their complicity in what happened on Wednesday.
The two officers that Ryan said were already being suspended were the now-infamous officer who took a selfie with the domestic terrorists as they rampaged through the building and another unnamed officer who allegedly helped the rioters get around.
BREAKING: Two Capitol Police officers have been suspended in connection with last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Tim Ryan said.— NPR (@NPR) January 11, 2021
One of the suspended officers took a selfie with a rioter. The other donned a MAGA hat and “started directing people around,” Ryan said.