Behind-the-scenes argument before the Jan. 6  riot now an area of interest for the investigating committee: report

Behind-the-scenes argument before the Jan. 6  riot now an area of interest for the investigating committee: report
Teargas outside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, Tyler Merbler
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An argument that took place in the hours leading up to the "Stop the Steal" rally on the White House Ellipse has become a point of interest for the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.

According to Washington Post reporters Jacqueline Alemany, Josh Dawsey, and Beth Reinhard, the backstage dispute was reportedly so heated it threatened to interrupt the event.

Their report —which was based on text messages, law enforcement radio recordings, and interviews of individuals with knowledge of the incident— has revealed the heated argument was "between rally organizers, including longtime Trump adviser Katrina Pierson and Republican fundraiser Caroline Wren, over who should speak that day was boiling over."

The argument escalated so much that it led to the U.S. Park Police being called. Per The Post, the officers could be heard describing the incident as a “falling out.”

“Hey, can you break one or two bodies free to respond backstage? Possible disorderly,” an unidentified person said on a U.S. Park Police radio the morning of Jan. 6.

In the days leading up to the rally, there were also concerns about the list of speakers as some were described as "too extreme" even though former President Donald Trump had a habit of pushing the envelope with his own outrageous conspiracy theories suggesting widespread voter fraud.

"The Post’s reporting also shows that the White Housewas made aware of concerns among Trump allies that some people coming to Washington on Jan. 6 to potentially speak at the rally were too extreme, even for a president who had frequently pushed or crossed the boundaries of traditional political norms. [Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadow] Meadows was repeatedly briefed on the event and even made a request for the programming, according to people familiar with the discussions."

Meadows opted not to release a response to the report. Trump was also questioned about the dispute but instead of answering questions, one of his spokespeople released a brief statement saying, "President Trump was asked to speak at the Ellipse rally on January 6 and returned to the White House immediately following his remarks.”

The latest development comes months after ProPublica initially reported on the argument about the keynote speaker lineup. However, at the time, the text message records and police radio recordings had not been reported. Those elements shed light on an argument far more intense than previously reported.

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