Who is Ali Alexander? Everything we know about the ‘Stop the Steal’ organizer cooperating with the Capitol riot investigation

‘I don’t believe I have information that will be useful to them but I’m cooperating as best I can,’ Mr Alexander said through his lawyer

Nathan Place
New York
Sunday 10 April 2022 00:36 BST
Comments
Trump labelled ‘fourth branch of government’ by January 6 committee member

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Ali Alexander, a right-wing activist and rally organizer, is cooperating with the US Justice Department’s investigation of the Capitol riot.

Mr Alexander organized many of the “Stop the Steal” protests that followed the 2020 presidential election, denying the outcome and promoting conspiracy theories that it was somehow rigged.

On Saturday, Mr Alexander announced his intent to cooperate through his lawyer.

“I don’t believe I have information that will be useful to them but I’m cooperating as best I can further reiterating that I’m not a target because I did nothing wrong,” the activist said through an attorney.

Who is Ali Alexander? Why is the Capitol riot committee interested in hearing from him?

Mr Alexander, formerly Ali Akbar, has been involved in right-wing politics since the late 2010s, when his live-streamed political rantings began to gain attention on social media.

“Alexander is one of the many New Right media celebrities orbiting Trumpland who built a brand through live-streaming musings on political warfare,” the Observer reported in 2018. “Like many New Right figures, he also has a history of dog whistling to the nationalist wing of the MAGA movement.”

After Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, Mr Alexander quickly embraced the outgoing president’s quest to overturn the result. A few weeks before Congress was scheduled to certify the results, the pro-Trump activist said he had a plan: he and others would organize a protest to put “pressure” on Congress to reject the outcome.

In a now-deleted Periscope video, Mr Alexander said he worked up the “scheme” with three Republican congressmen (who later denied they ever met with him).

“We four schemed up of [sic] putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting,” Mr Alexander said, as reported by The Washington Post, to “change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside.”

On 6 January, 2021, Mr Alexander organized one of several rallies protesting the certification near the US Capitol. After a fiery speech by Mr Trump himself at the Ellipse, thousands of the former president’s supporters stormed the building, leaving five people dead.

Since then, Mr Alexander has condemned the violence and said he had nothing to do with it.

“I denounce anyone who planned to subvert my permitted event and the other permitted events of that day on Capitol grounds to stage any counterproductive activities,” he said through his lawyer.

But on January 6, Mr Alexander said the opposite.

“I do not denounce this,” he said in a Twitter video during the insurrection.

Since then, Mr Alexander has cooperated with multiple investigations of what happened that day. Last year, he handed over hundreds of his text messages to the House January 6 Committee. In December 2021, he sat for several hours of testimony.

“I’m going to go in there and cooperate where I can,” Mr Alexander told CNN as he headed into his deposition. “Where I can’t, I’ll invoke my constitutional rights. We’ve got tons of evidence for them.”

The Independent has reached out to Mr Alexander’s lawyer for comment.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in