Jan 6 panel staffer claims White House switchboard connected a call to a rioter while Capitol was under siege. So?

A former Republican House member who was driven out of his seat in the 2020 election has claimed that someone in the Trump White House had been on the phone live with a rioter during the Jan. 6th riot.

Denver Riggleman, a former Virginia Republican Representative who was censured twice for “abandoning party principles,” made the bombshell accusation in an upcoming “60 Minutes” interview.

Set to air on Friday, the relevant portion of the interview can be seen below:

The clip begins with interviewer Bill Whitaker asking Riggleman about his perceptions of the Jan. 6th riot.

“Did it hit you at one point that this is way bigger than it appeared at the beginning?” Whitaker asks.

“Absolutely. You get a real ah-hah moment when you see that the White House switchboard had connected to a rioter’s phone while it was happening. That’s a pretty big ah-hah moment,” Riggleman replies.

“Wait a minute. Someone in the White House was calling one of the rioters while the riot was going on?” Whitaker responds in shock.

“On Jan. 6th. Absolutely,” the former congressman says.

“And you know who both ends of that call [were]?” Whitaker then asks.

“I only know one end of that call. I don’t know the White House end, which I believe is more important. But the thing is the American people need to know there are link connections that need to be explored more,” Riggleman responds.

How does Riggleman know this? He was hired in August of 2021 to serve as a “senior adviser for the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6th, 2021, attack on the Capitol,” according to CBS News.

“Riggleman was in charge of analyzing the call records, texts and online activities of hundreds of people suspected of playing a role in the attack on the Capitol,” the establishment outlet reported Wednesday.

He resigned from the post in April.

“Former GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman of Virginia, who has served as a staff member to the January 6 select committee, will leave that position in the coming weeks to begin work with a nonprofit organization in Ukraine,” CNN reported at the time.

“Two sources familiar with the move told CNN that Riggleman’s upcoming exit was ‘amicable.’ Riggleman sent the chairman and vice chairwoman a letter informing them of his decision. In the letter, obtained by CNN, he writes that his ‘initial work has been completed’ for the committee.”

He’s since tried to capitalize on the alleged knowledge he gleaned from working on the committee by writing a book about the Jan. 6th riot.

Much like outgoing Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, Riggleman appears to have been a Republican in name only.

Back in 2019, he officiated a gay wedding, prompting two censures, a more wide-ranging one from the Rappahannock County Republican Party, and a more targeted one from the Appomattox County Republican Committee.

The first censure, filed in 2019 by the Rappahannock County Republican Party, accused Riggleman of voting “for continuing resolutions for out-of-control spending that increase inflation and jeopardizes the economic stability,” questioned his “commitment to traditional Republican Party values,” and questioned his “support for traditional family values, and other conservative principles,” as reported by The Hill.

The second censure, filed by the Appomattox County Republican Committee in late 2020, zeroed in on his officiation of a gay wedding.

“[I]n July 2019, Denver Riggleman officiated a same sex wedding which in turn goes against the values and principles of the Republican Party betraying and disregarding the concerns for the many Conservative and Christian voters in the 5th district who elected Denver Riggleman to the United States House of Representatives,” the committee said.

At yesterday afternoon’s business meeting, the Appomattox County Republican Committee unanimously passed this Resolution…

Posted by Appomattox County Republican Committee on Sunday, December 13, 2020

Ever since Riggleman lost his bid for reelection in 2020, he’s been trash-talking the Republican Party and now claims he identifies as an Independent.

“You were a Republican congressman. Do you still consider yourself a Republican?” he was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper back in June.

“I think the party left me some time ago. I don’t. What I’ve seen behind the scenes has even pushed me further away, that the party has moved away from conservative principles to this cult of personality that Liz Cheney is talking about. She’s absolutely correct,” he replied.

“And when you see it behind the door, when you see the data, when you see the investigation, when you see those smart people and what they come up with Jake, it’s absolutely stunning that cult of personality, but also the belief systems that I don’t any real conservative could follow at any point.”

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Vivek Saxena

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