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Far-right activist cooperating with Justice Department’s broadening Jan. 6 investigation

Ali Alexander has said Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, helped him plan the scheme to put pressure on Congress during the Electoral College vote.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama., speaks Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, at a rally in support of President Donald Trump called the "Save America Rally." (AP PHOTO/JACQUELYN MARTIN)

The far-right activist behind the Stop the Steal rally, planned for outside the U.S Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the failed insurrection, agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Justice Department’s inquiry, The New York Times reported last week. 

Ali Alexander, who has said that Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, helped him plan the scheme to put pressure on Congress during the Electoral College vote, through his attorney told the newspaper he had received a subpoena from a federal grand jury investigating several broad categories of those connected to pro-Trump rallies that took place in Washington after the election, The New York Times reported. The attorney said Alexander was taking a “cooperative posture.” 

Days prior to the riot, Alexander posted a video in which he named Brooks and Arizona U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs in helping him plan the Jan. 6 rally, aimed at pressuring Congress as members counted electoral votes. 

“So I want to let you guys know how we’re responding, because I was the person who came up with the January 6th idea, with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then-Congressman Andy Biggs,” Alexander said in the live stream video, which was archived by Jason Paladino, an investigator with the Project on Government Oversight. 

Speaking at a pro-Trump rally on Dec. 19 in Arizona along with Gosar, Alexander said “we will not go quietly. We’ll shut down this country if we have to.” Later in his speech, Alexander led the crowd in a chant of “1776,” referencing the American Revolution. 

Brooks’s spokesman told APR in January that Brooks did not plan the Jan. 6 rally with Alexander. A Rolling Stone article cited two people who helped organize the rally and other demonstrations who said Brooks or his staff helped organize the Jan. 6 rally and a series of demonstrations in several states that occurred between the election and the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the capitol.

In response to the Rolling Stone article, Brooks told AL.com on Oct. 25 that he could not say whether his staff interacted with two Rolling Stone sources because he had not spoken to them about it.

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“Quite frankly, I’d be proud of them if they did help organize a First Amendment rally to protest voter fraud and election theft,” Brooks said of his staff, AL.com reported. 

Brooks gave a speech at that Jan. 6 rally near the Capitol in which he told the crowd it was time to start “taking down names and kicking ass.” Brooks was wearing body armor when he gave that speech. 

Brooks on Dec. 16 got a text message from far-right activist Ali Alexander, the man behind the Stop the Steal rally at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, but Brooks’s spokesman 27 days later told APR the congressman had  “no recollection of ever communicating in any way with whoever Ali Alexander is.” 

But after Alexander supplied text messages, documents and testimony to the Jan. 6 Committee about his communications with Republican lawmakers ahead of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Brooks admitted to the communication, releasing the text he got from Alexander, in addition to lengthy comments appearing to attempt to downplay the significance of that communication, calling the text “100% benign.” 

“Congressman, this is Ali Alexander. I am the founder of Stop the Steal, the protests happening in all 50 states,” Alexander wrote in the text, shared by Brooks. “We met years ago back in 2010, during the tea party when you were first elected. I texted the wrong number. I had intended to invite you to our giant Saturday prayer rally in DC, this past weekend. Also Gen. (Michael) Flynn should be giving you a ring. We stand ready to help. Jan 6th is a big moment in our republic.”

Asked by APR to clarify the January statement that Brooks had “no recollection of ever communicating in any way with whoever Ali Alexander is” Clay Mills, Brooks’s spokesman, in a message to APR on Sunday explained that Brooks simply  forgot about the text from Alexander, sent 27 days prior to APR’s inquiry.

“The text exchange between Congressman Brooks and the 202 number claiming to be Ali Alexander was so innocuous and forgettable that Congressman Brooks did not recall it,” Mills said.

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Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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