The former president’s chief of staff Mark Meadows may have reneged on his promise to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee, but Ali Alexander, the leader of the so-called Stop the Steal movement, has followed through, spending eight hours in a closed-door hearing Thursday. In a draft of his opening statement, which was leaked to the New York Times, he denied having anything to “do with any violence or lawbreaking that happened on January 6”—a statement that flies in the face of his own comments and declarations ahead of the insurrection calling for rebellion, including leading chants of “Victory or death!” at a rally on the eve of the violence.
The findings of the closed-door hearing have not been made public, but based on his planned opening and public statements, it appears the far-right organizer is attempting to simply deny wrongdoing and pass the buck. Alexander claims he did not foment violence and that on the day of the rally, he attempted to deescalate the violence with calls of “peace,” while other organizers were nowhere to be found. Such claims ask the House select committee to suspend reality and ignore Alexander’s real-time approval of Trump loyalists descending on and breaching the Capitol as well as the role of violent rhetoric that was a staple of his Stop the Steal rallies.