Longtime Trump Supporters Fuelled US Capitol Riots, Records Show
Trump fans from all over the United States turned up in droves for the riots that ensued at the Capitol building in Washington DC on Wednesday, January 6.
Protests quickly turned to violence, and a total of five people lost their lives as result of the events which took place, including an officer on the frontline.
Just before Christmas, Trump himself advertised the demonstrations, tweeting: ‘Big protests in DC on January 6. Be there, will be wild!’
Thousands landed in DC, as encouraged by Trump, in a bid to try and block the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win, following two months of false allegations that the election was rigged.
And yet, a number of bizarre claims have been made in the days since the riots; far-right commentators have attempted to suggest the violence that took place was caused by left-wing, anti-fascist organisation Antifa, rather than the thousands of Trump supporters present.
‘If the reports are true some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters. They were masquerading as Trump supporters and, in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa,’ representative Matt Gaetz tweeted.
However, Steven D’Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, has confirmed there is no evidence to suggest Antifa activists were among those rioting.
In fact, according to Associated Press, many of the people present were showing their support for the Republican on their social media channels long before the riots, peddling unfounded voter fraud claims in the last couple of months.
Lots of rioters had written or shared claims about the election being stolen, and several even threatened violence against both Democrats and Republicans who they deemed to be disloyal to the president.
Many of the rioters were easily identifiable, as they shared pictures, videos and even livestreams of themselves and others taking part in the affray.
At least 90 people have been arrested so far, on a number of charges relating to curfew violations, assaults on police officers, possessing illegal weapons and making violent threats against House speaker Nancy Pelosi.
One those arrested was Lonnie Leroy Coffman, a 70-year-old grandfather from Alabama, who drove his red truck, which contained an M4 assault rifle, three handguns, 11 Mason jars filled with homemade napalm and several loaded magazines, according to court filings, via AP.
His grandson said he had long expressed his admiration for Trump at family gatherings.
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