A handful of Republican state legislators were reported to have joined protesters at rally events outside the U.S. Capitol before the building was sieged on Wednesday, including one who joined the rioters to storm the building.
Newly-elected West Virginia lawmaker Derrick Evans shared a livestream video in which he charged through a door in the interior of the Capitol building.
In the video, which was later deleted, he was heard shouting: “We’re in, we’re in. Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
Evans, who assumed office on December 1 as a member of West Virginia’s House of Delegates, was among the rioters holding flags in the Capitol Rotunda where he was heard to shout: “No vandalizing.”
Pennsylvania Senator Doug Mastriano, who was photographed outside the Capitol, was at the scene when the mob of rioters stormed the building but did join the violent clashes.
“At no point did we enter the Capitol building, at no point did we tread upon the Capitol steps, and at no point did we tread upon police lines,” Mastriano said in a Facebook Live broadcast on Thursday.
“Obviously, we’re there together and we don’t want to get caught in any violence, so we left out of there,” he added.
Mastriano reportedly organized busloads of protesters to travel from Pennsylvania to Washington on Wednesday but did not ride in any of the buses himself, NBC10 Philadelphia reported.
In a statement on his official Facebook page on Wednesday, Mastriano said: “My wife and I went to Washington, DC, today to support President Trump which should not surprise anyone familiar with my views on this election and my concerns about its integrity.
“As a military veteran and retired colonel, I do not – nor would I ever – condone the violence we saw today. I join with all patriotic Americans in condemning what occurred in the Capitol. There never is justification for this sort of behavior,” he said.
Missouri State Representative Justin Hill chose to forgo his own inauguration ceremony at the Missouri Capitol and instead attended the rally in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
The former police officer marched with protesters but did not enter the Capitol, he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Hill condemned those who stormed the Capitol as “anarchists” and “agitators.”
Tennessee State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver told The Tennessean that she was “in the thick of it,” at the rally, adding “there wasn’t any violence going on here.”
In a tweet sharing an image of the crowd outside the Capitol, Weaver wrote: “Epic and historic day gathering with fellow Patriots from all over the nation DC. #wearearepublic.”
Michigan State Representative Matt Maddock and his wife Meshawn Maddock addressed a crowd of protesters outside the Capitol on Tuesday, according to a video from the Right Side Broadcasting Network posted on Facebook.
His wife, who is a national advisory board member of Women for Trump, was reported to have helped organize buses traveling from Michigan to Washington, D.C. for the rally.
In a tweet Wednesday, she wrote: “The most incredible crowd and sea of people I’ve ever walked with,” sharing a link to a video of the rally posted by a reporter.
She also shared a video from the rally on Instagram in a post that read: “Thousands North South West East! Never ending sea of Patriots.”
In the video, someone is heard shouting: “We need to march on the Capitol and drag these people out of power.”
On Thursday, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of Washington, D.C. released dozens of images of some of the rioters who stormed the Capitol to protest the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
“MPD seeks assistance in identifying persons of interest responsible for Unlawful Entry offenses that occurred yesterday on US Capitol Grounds, 100 block of 1st Street, NW,” the department said Thursday in a tweet sharing a selection of the photos.
MPD seeks assistance in identifying persons of interest responsible for Unlawful Entry offenses that occurred yesterday on US Capitol Grounds, 100 block of 1st Street, NW.
More photos: https://t.co/i2Hbv1bkPh
Have info? Call (202) 727-9099/text 50411 pic.twitter.com/yWIPEaxxFW
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) January 7, 2021
The full set of images showing the “persons of interest in unrest-related offenses” committed on Capitol grounds on Wednesday was published on the department’s website.
In a statement Thursday, Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen said: “The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that those responsible for this attack on our Government and the rule of law face the full consequences of their actions under the law.
“Some participants in yesterday’s violence will be charged today, and we will continue to methodically assess evidence, charge crimes and make arrests in the coming days and weeks to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law,” Rosen added.
MPD confirmed 69 arrests were made from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning.
The department also noted 56 officers have been injured, including two who have been hospitalized, while six firearms and two pipe bombs were recovered.
Every Republican State Legislator Spotted At Rally Before Capitol Riot The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Newsweek.