Florida’s ties to the extremist groups who attacked the Capitol on January 6th were a key part of the focus of Tuesday’s hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection.
The committee showed that Roger Stone, an outside advisor to Former President Trump, was in contact with leaders of the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys in the days and weeks leading up to the attack.
In one video shown during the committee 7th meeting, Stone is shown next to Enrique Tarrio, the national leader of the Proud Boys, who is from Miami.
The committee also showed messages in a group chat known as F.O.S., or Friends of Stone, which included several people, including Tarrio.
Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) was one of the key speakers during the hearing.
He said phone records obtained by the select committee showed Florida Oath Keepers leader, Kelly Meggs, “called Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and they spoke for several minutes. The very next day, the Proud Boys got to work.”
Raskin said the Proud Boys started an encrypted chat network where members planned the attack and shared images of the capital and locations where police would be.
The committee members allege former Trump National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Roger Stone were both in contact with members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.
Both groups, according to the committee, had no history of working together before the attack on the capitol.
Meggs and Tarrio are both facing charges of seditious conspiracy, the most serious charges among Jan. 6thdefendants.
The goal of Tuesday’s committee hearing was to show the alleged ties between the extremist groups and members of the former President’s inner circle.
The committee also heard from the former spokesperson for the Oath Keepers, who said the violence that day could have been much worse.
“I think we’ve gotten exceedingly lucky that more bloodshed did not happen. Because the potential has been there from the start. The loss of life, as tragic as it is, as we saw on January 6th the potential was so much more,” said Jason Van Tatenhove, who said he left the group after seeing ties to white supremacy.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the select committee, said at the end of the hearing that former President Trump called a witness, “a witness you’ve not yet seen.”
The committee has supplied that information to the Justice Department.
“We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously,” Cheney said.