Advance Notice: Briefs

Former GOP congressman to advise Jan. 6 investigation

By: - August 12, 2021 6:41 am

Thousands of President Donald Trump’s supporters storm the U.S. Capitol building following a “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. The protesters stormed the historic building, breaking windows and clashing with police. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation’s capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over Trump in the 2020 election. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Former Virginia Republican U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman will serve as a nonpartisan senior staff member on a panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.

“Doing this might be one of the biggest things I’ve ever done in my life,” Riggleman said in a video he posted to Twitter. “We can’t worry about the colors of the jerseys anymore or whether we have an R or a D next to our name.”

Riggleman has been a vocal critic of the GOP’s involvement with conspiracy groups such as QAnon. Many in the pro-Trump mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 were followers of QAnon.

He’s a former intelligence officer for the U.S. Air Force and is the CEO of Riggleman Information and Intelligence Group, which supports technology development in the domestic counter-terrorism space.

“It’s time for us to look in a fact based way on what happened on January 6th, but to see if we can prevent this from ever happening again in the future,” he said.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, made the announcement Friday.

“January 6th was an attempt to overthrow the government and our democracy,” Thompson, (D-Miss.), said in a statement.  “We need a comprehensive investigation into the attack, to find the facts and to prevent such an assault from ever again occurring.”

Riggleman, a Republican who was running for a second term in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, was pushed out by his own party after he officiated a same-sex wedding.

He lost his primary to current U.S. Rep. Bob Good, (R-Va.), who ran on a platform of opposing same-sex marriage, making English the official U.S. language and ending birthright citizenship.

Good is also a former official of Liberty University, a private, evangelical college.

Riggleman had mulled over whether to run for governor of Virginia in 2021 and if he would run as a Republican or independent.

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Ariana Figueroa
Ariana Figueroa

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance. Before joining States Newsroom, Ariana covered public health and chemical policy on Capitol Hill for E&E News. As a Florida native, she's worked for the Miami Herald and her hometown paper, the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and NPR. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.