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Learning more about Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs' not-so-little role in the attempted coup

Arizona Republic logo Arizona Republic 4/30/2022 EJ Montini, Arizona Republic
Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs © Joshua Roberts/Reuters pool via AP Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs

It was an attempted coup and Rep. Andy Biggs was one of those offering aid, comfort and advice to those he hoped could pull it off.

He wasn’t alone, of course. Plenty of other Republican members of Congress were involved, as well as any number of private operatives, conspiracy kooks, white nationalists and others.

But in discussing the Jan. 6 insurrection and what led up to it, we tend to make it seem complicated.

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It was not.

It was fairly simple.

A group of Republicans were angry that their guy lost the presidential race, so they spent the months between the election and the inauguration spouting completely unproven claims of election fraud in order to justify plans they were concocting to overthrow a duly elected president.

Period.

Biggs' plan to use phony electors

Almost from the beginning we heard from the planner of the so-called “Stop the Steal” rally, Ali Alexander, that Biggs and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar were among those with whom he’d hatched his plan for the big Jan. 6 rally.

Biggs denies this, but he did provide a videotape to be played at an event run by Alexander and seems to have had some relationship with him.

The House select committee looking into the events of Jan. 6 has been concentrating on former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. The committee heard testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former executive assistant to Meadows, who said that at least 10 lawmakers, including Biggs, Gosar and Arizona Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko (who says she doesn’t recall this) met with Meadows in late December to knock around some ideas for overturning the election results.

And most recently, having dug through even more communications between Meadows and Republicans we find that Biggs didn’t exactly play a little role in the unsuccessful revolt.

Messages that Meadows turned over to the select committee show Biggs contacting his pal Meadows (whom he succeeded as the head of the House’s Freedom Caucus) and suggesting that states with Republican-controlled legislatures like Arizona should put together slates of alternate electors to replace legitimate electors – men and women who followed the law and the Constitution and honored the actual election results.

That happened, too, with Arizona sending two phony slates of electors to Washington, D.C.

The insurrection wasn't a failure

Everything about this – everything – is an affront to the principles of government we are supposed to believe in.

And yet, somehow, only the violent idiots who stormed the Capitol have been called to account.

Some of them, anyway.

Whereas none of the politicians who stoked the fire, who fed the delusions of the gullible mob, have been held accountable.

And most likely, never will be.

This explains why Republican elected officials like Biggs don’t seem particularly worried, and even sometimes celebrate their roles in trying to usurp the will of American voters.

What that means, in essence, is that the insurrection – the attempted coup – was not a failure.

It was a trial run.

Reach Montini at ed.montini@arizonarepublic.com.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Learning more about Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs' not-so-little role in the attempted coup

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