One of the biggest unanswered questions about Jan. 6 involves just how much the investigation into it might ensnare Republican members of Congress.

Several of them, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), spoke to President Donald Trump during the Capitol riot, amid indications that Trump was reluctant to call off his supporters. (But those members have been less than forthcoming about their talks with Trump.) Others have been tied to the organizing of the rally that preceded the Capitol riot — links cited by the organizers themselves, including in a new Rolling Stone report over the weekend based on anonymous sources.

While that report and others did not link the lawmakers to planning the actual storming of the Capitol, the Rolling Stone article has drawn new responses from many of them. And those responses are worth parsing.

First, the basics. Shortly after Jan. 6, one of the organizers of the Stop the Steal rally that day, Ali Alexander, stated publicly that he coordinated the rally with three Trump loyalists in Congress: Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.). Spokesmen for Biggs and Brooks denied Alexander’s account. They said the members not only did not help plan the rally but that they also didn’t even recall personal interactions with Alexander — a gadfly activist who has a, let’s say, colorful past. (Gosar did not comment at the time.)

Around the same time, there were unproven suggestions from Democratic lawmakers that some Republicans, included freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), might have given would-be rioters a tour of the Capitol in the days before. Boebert denied this and said she had given a tour only to family members. The allegations remain unsubstantiated to this day.

Fast forward about nine months, and we’ve learned relatively little about how much lawmakers might have participated in the events of Jan. 6. But the Rolling Stone article Sunday reported that two anonymous organizers of the rally that preceded the Capitol riot said many of these members’ offices — and even the members themselves — indeed helped plan the rally. Among those named were Biggs, Gosar, Brooks and Boebert, along with Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). The organizers are reportedly cooperating with the House Jan. 6 committee.

As Philip Bump wrote Monday, there is an important distinction to draw here between involvement in the rally and involvement in planning what amounted to an insurrection. But even as GOP lawmakers have, in the months since the Capitol riot, increasingly sought to downplay the events of that day, these lawmakers are very notably distancing themselves from not just the riot but also the rally itself.

Gohmert told the Washington Examiner: “No one in my office, including me, participated in the planning of the rally or in any criminal activity on Jan. 6. We did not attend or participate at all.”

Greene’s spokesman told Rolling Stone in the piece that she and her staff “had nothing to do with [the] planning of any protest.”

Boebert released a statement both reiterating her denial of the tours allegation and denying personal involvement in planning the rally or anything else that day.

“Let me be clear,” Boebert added. “I had no role in the planning or execution of any event that took place at the Capitol or anywhere in Washington, DC, on January 6th. With the help of my staff, I accepted an invitation to speak at one event but ultimately I did not speak at any events on January 6th.”

Both Cawthorn and Brooks actually did speak at the Stop the Steal rally, but they say they didn’t organize anything.

Cawthorn’s spokesman also denied any involvement by Cawthorn or his aides. “Neither the congressman nor his staff had advance knowledge of what transpired at the Capitol on January 6th or participated in any alleged ‘planning process,’ ” Luke Ball, the spokesman, told the Raleigh News & Observer.

Brooks, in comments to CNN, also said he personally had “no involvement” but, unlike the others, allowed for the idea that his staff might have, even saying he would be “proud of them” if they did, because it was an event protected by the First Amendment. But Brooks separately told the Montgomery Advertiser, “If you’re talking about someone participating in meetings, setting the agenda, raising the money, I don’t know of anything that suggests my staff as doing that stuff.”

Given that Boebert, Cawthorn and Brooks either spoke or accepted an invitation to speak, it’s difficult to say firmly that they had no role in the planning of these events. That’s certainly some form of participation in the planning process. And the idea that they or their staffs signed off on this without coordinating at least some details is a little difficult to swallow.

Brooks has also indicated that plenty of thought went into his preparations before his Jan. 6 speech, including his decision to wear body armor beneath his windbreaker. He said he did so because of the threat of violence not by Trump supporters, but by Black Lives Matter and antifa.

Biggs’s previous denial of ties to Alexander in January were also called into question by the available evidence. Biggs had recorded a video promising to fight on the floor of Congress, which Alexander played at a rally in the weeks before Jan. 6. Biggs’s office said he recorded it at the behest of Gosar, not while working with Alexander.

In the days and months to come, we’ll surely learn more about the extent to which these members and/or their staffs actually participated in planning the Jan. 6 rally. For now, though, it’s worth noting that almost all of them (with perhaps the notable exception of Gosar) are seeking to distance themselves from a rally whose purpose they argued was legitimate, and whose results — the Capitol riot — they suggested have been overblown.

It’s also worth emphasizing that some are saying definitively that their staff didn’t participate — Cawthorn, Gohmert and Greene — while the others don’t necessarily take that off the table, instead focusing on their own personal role.

Similar to McCarthy’s and Jordan’s sheepishness about disclosing what Trump said to them during the Capitol riot, it suggests there is at least some concern about what might come from all of this — not just the riot itself, but also the events that preceded it and that irrefutably and baselessly fueled the righteous fervor of the rioters. They recorded a video for Stop the Steal and agreed to speak at such events, but they would like to draw a line between that and actually being tied to the event’s organization and organizers.

Some skepticism of the allegations appears warranted, given the lack of proof offered by the Democratic lawmakers about the “reconnaissance tours,” given who Alexander is, and given the anonymous nature of the newest allegations. But at least we’re getting people on the record on some of these things now.