Major media black out Rolling Stone report on role of Trump aides, Republican lawmakers in January 6 coup

On Sunday night, Rolling Stone magazine published an exclusive report outlining the direct and extensive role of Trump aides, including then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and at least a dozen Republican members of the House of Representatives in the planning and organization of the effort to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.

Trump supporters scaling the wall of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. (Flickr.com/Blink O'fanaye)

The article (“Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff”) is based on interviews with two right-wing activists who were involved in the effort and are now cooperating with the House Select Committee investigation of the January 6 assault on Congress. In the article, Rolling Stone provides insider accounts that demolish all attempts to insulate Trump and the Republican Party from responsibility for the violent attempt to establish Trump as president-dictator.

The World Socialist Web Site published an article summing up the major revelations in the Rolling Stone article, which noted:

The “stunning series of allegations,” as Rolling Stone described it, has been met by a wall of silence in the corporate media, and a similar blackout from leading Democrats, including President Biden—whose election victory was the target of the January 6 attack—as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose offices were ransacked and staff terrorized by the fascist attackers.

More than 24 hours later, the “wall of silence” on the part of the major media outlets and top Democratic leaders remains intact.

The information from the two participants in the plot to overthrow the election implicates fascistic Republican members of Congress and their staffs, including Paul Gosar (Arizona), Andy Biggs (Arizona), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia), Madison Cawthorn (North Carolina), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Mo Brooks (Alabama) and Lauren Boebert (Colorado).

The two insiders explain that the various “Stop the Steal” rallies at state capitals and in Washington D.C. that were held between Trump’s election defeat in November 2020 and the violent attempt to block congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory on January 6, 2021 were planned and coordinated with House Republicans and the White House.

The “Save America” rally addressed by Trump at the Ellipse on the morning of January 6 was coordinated with the moves of the Republicans in both the House and Senate to object to the official tabulation and certification of the Electoral College vote and disrupt the process.

However, the last-minute refusal of Vice President Mike Pence to illegally use his ceremonial role in presiding over the joint session of Congress to reject the vote results in six swing states left only violence as the means for stopping the certification of Biden’s victory.

In this connection, the statements of the activists quoted by Rolling Stone on the role of Meadows make clear that the decision to incite elements in the crowd gathered at the Ellipse to attack the US Capitol and seize Pence, Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers and use them as hostages was made in the White House.

The activists, who are not named in the article, claim they believed that all protest activity on January 6 would be on the Ellipse, and a “Wild Protest” at the Capitol building that had been called by “Stop the Steal” leader Ali Alexander would not go ahead. Alexander is an open fascist who has publicly associated with far-right paramilitary groups such as the Oath Keepers and the 1st Amendment Praetorian.

The article states:

Among other things, they both say concerns were raised to Meadows about Alexander’s protest at the Capitol and the potential that it could spark violence. ... “Meadows was 100 percent made aware of what was going on,” says the organizer. “He’s also like a regular figure in these really tiny groups of national organizers.”

The article continues:

When Alexander seemed to be ignoring that arrangement, both claim worries were brought to Meadows. “Despite making a deal … they plowed forward with their own thing at the Capitol on January 6 anyway,” the organizer says of Alexander and his allies. “We ended up escalating that to everybody we could, including Meadows.”

Of course, it was Trump who concluded his fascistic speech before 10,000 supporters at the Ellipse by urging one and all to walk to the Capitol building and “fight like hell.” One of the activists interviewed by Rolling Stone called that “the breaking point for me.”

The only national evening news program that reported the Rolling Stone article was “PBS NewsHour,” which broadcast a brief interview Monday night with the author of the article, Hunter Walker. The Rolling Stone article was not mentioned on the evening news broadcasts of NBC, ABC or CBS, which led with a rash of storms across the US.

Nor was it mentioned in the Tuesday morning news programs of the major networks: NBC’s “Today,” ABC’s “Good Morning America” and CBS’ “CBS Mornings.”

There were no news reports on the article in any of the major newspapers, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Nor was it reported in the Guardian or the Financial Times, two British publications that frequently report on US political developments.

The only reference to the article in the New York Times was buried in an op-ed piece by columnist Jamelle Bouie supporting the calls by a number of Democrats (Cori Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Eric Swalwell, David Cicilline, Bonnie Watson Coleman) for the House members involved in planning the January 6 events to be expelled. Neither they nor Bouie have called for action to hold Trump accountable.

The Hill and Yahoo News have published articles on the blanket denials issued by House Republicans named in the Rolling Stone exposé and the scattered calls by House Democrats for their expulsion.

Beyond that, the corporate media—along with Biden, Pelosi and other top Democrats—have maintained a wall of silence.

This is not the exception, but rather the rule when it comes to telling the public the truth about the attempted fascist coup on January 6, and the ongoing conspiracy against democratic rights. Had the insurrectionists succeeded in seizing one or more lawmakers and using them as bargaining chips to block certification of Biden’s victory—and they came within seconds of doing so—the Democrats would have capitulated, as they did in the stolen election of 2000 that put George W. Bush in power.

And the New York Times would have reprised its role of 21 years ago, demanding acceptance of the theft of the White House and nullification of both the popular vote and the true electoral vote.

Just last week, the New York Times reported that in March of 2020—as the COVID-19 pandemic was taking hold, workers were wildcat striking against being forced to work in unsafe factories and the stock market was plunging—Trump and his fascist political adviser Stephen Miller were trying to push through a plan to deploy 250,000 US troops along the entire US-Mexico border. This would have meant de facto martial law throughout the US. It was blocked by the top military brass on grounds of national security and the requirements of US international military operations.

The corporate media and the Democrats, who had to have been aware of these internal discussions, refused to alert the population, thereby facilitating Trump’s escalating dictatorial conspiracies. The Times itself immediately removed its October 19 report from the front page of its website, and the rest of the media ignored it.

As the WSWS stated in its Perspective column of October 3, 2021 (“The New York Times and the January 6 cover-up”):

There are two conspiracies surrounding the events of January 6. The first was Trump’s plot to overthrow the Constitution and install himself as dictator. The second is the ongoing effort to downplay and cover up the significance of the coup plot and shield the conspirators from prosecution.