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Editor’s Thought Bubble: Of course Arizonans helped plan the Jan. 6 coup attempt

By: - January 13, 2021 9:00 am

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After a year in which it seemed like we saw everything imaginable, the mantra so far of 2021 seems to be, “Hey 2020, hold my beer!” The president is set to be impeached for a second time (a first in American history), the joint chiefs of the military have concerns of a coup and so sent a pointed memo reminding the armed forces that Biden won and their duty is to the Constitution not to Trump, and there are two new mutations of COVID-19 that are even more contagious than the variety that is already rampaging through our communities.

And that’s to say nothing of last week’s lie-fueled deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. What we’ve learned this week is troubling, to say the least: Two Arizona GOP congressmen, Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, reportedly helped plan the whole Jan. 6 event that (predictably) turned violent. Their involvement was a point of pride for the conservative activist who was one of the lead organizers, Ali Alexander, who claimed in three separate live-streams in December that he was working with the two Arizona Republicans. The Intercept reported on Alexander’s claims:

“I’m the guy who came up with the idea of January 6 when I was talking with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Andy Biggs, and Congressman Mo Brooks. So we’re the four guys who came up with a January 6 event — #DoNotCertify — and it was to build momentum and pressure, and then on the day change hearts and minds of congresspeoples who weren’t yet decided, or saw everyone outside and said, ‘I can’t be on the other side of that mob,’” Alexander said a week before the event he predicted would bring more than a million people to Washington, D.C.

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications. He has also served as the editor and executive director of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.