High profiles Spotted in US Capitol Attack

House and Senate

A newly-elected local politician is among several high-profile figures identified within a group of rioters who stormed the United States Capitol, as law enforcement asks the public to help locate perpetrators.

Hundreds of pro-Donald Trump supporters threw Washington DC into crisis on Wednesday local time, storming the Capitol building in a bid to halt the certification of Electoral College ballots that would clear the way for President-Elect Joe Biden to take control of the White House on 20 January.

The insurgents, which Mr Biden has since labelled “domestic terrorists”, were able to get past law enforcement and enter the government building, occupying offices and the Senate floor, forcing the nation’s federal leaders to flee. Four people died as a result of the unrest.

During the incident, Derrick Evans, a West Virginia state delegate who goes by Derrick Evans – The Activist on Facebook, live-streamed himself entering the building and wandering through its halls.

The stream was later deleted from his social media, but clips of the video are still available online.

In one clip, posted to Reddit, Mr Evans can be heard chanting “our house”, “Trump” and “let’s go” as the mob breaks through the Capitol’s doors. Once inside, he can be heard yelling “we’re in” before telling the crowd, “no vandalising, these are artefacts”. 

In a statement posted to Facebook, Mr Evans said he had travelled to Washington DC as an “independent member of the media to film history”.

“I want to assure you that I did not have any negative interactions with law enforcement,” he wrote, “nor did I participate in any destruction that may have occurred.” 

More than 40,000 people have since signed a petition calling for him to be removed from his seat for “going against the constitution and rule of law” and two of his West Virginia colleagues have called for his resignation.

Elijah Schaffer, who identifies as a national reporter for The Blaze – a conservative media publisher – tweeted on Thursday that he was “not personally involved” in the riot, despite an earlier tweet claiming he was inside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office “with thousands of revolutionaries”.

The photo accompanying the now-deleted tweet, which was screenshotted and shared on social media, appears to show Ms Pelosi’s desk and computer. 

“To put in perspective how quickly staff evacuated, emails are still on the screen alongside a federal alert warning members of the current revolution,” he wrote. He later tweeted that he holds a Congressional press pass and “police did not have a problem with me reporting on the events”. 

Another rioter photographed with his feet on Ms Pelosi’s desk gave an interview to the New York Times bragging about his actions, identifying himself as 60-year-old Richard Barnett and showing off an envelope he stole from her office.

Richard Barnett, 60, bragged to the New York Times about breaking into Nancy Pelosi’s office. 

Richard Barnett, 60, bragged to the New York Times about breaking into Nancy Pelosi’s office.

Mr Angeli is an adherent of the fringe QAnon conspiracy theory, which touts the existence of, among other things, an international paedophile ring spearheaded by the “global elite”. Since its inception in late 2017, the movement has developed to encompass a wide range of seemingly unrelated, often anti-Semitic, conspiracies.

Anthime ‘Tim’ Gione, a neo-Nazi conspiracist live-streamer known online as Baked Alaska, was also quickly identified online after he posted a live stream of his involvement in the riot.

Mr Gione was involved in the 2017 Charlottesville rally and frequently promotes white supremacist ideology online.

Source: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/these-are-some-of-the-high-profile-figures-who-were-seen-storming-the-us-capitol

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