Meet Your Local Republican Insurrectionist
At least 21 state and local Republican officials attended the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., that turned into a violent riot, according to a new HuffPost tally, many of whom are now under pressure to resign.
They traveled from 16 different states, arriving for the “Stop the Steal” demonstration on the White House Ellipse, where they watched President Donald Trump tell incendiary lies about having been robbed of reelection. He then told the crowd of thousands to march on the Capitol.
In the crowd that day were 13 members of state Houses or Assemblies; three state senators; a county commissioner; a city council member; a GOP congressional district chair; a district director; and a co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party. The group also includes a QAnon conspiracy theorist; a self-described member of a fascist militia; and a man who once declared that “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
Only two of those GOP officials appear to have breached the Capitol property itself that day, and have since been arrested, but the prevalence of Republican legislators and party functionaries at the demonstration underscores the party’s rank complicity in fomenting a historic insurrection.
These GOP officials, after all, were taking part in, and lending credence to, the finale of a monthslong campaign to falsely discredit the results of a fair election. All were eager participants in a nakedly anti-democratic ploy to keep their preferred president in power, and helped whip a fascist mob into a frenzy.
All are now facing calls to resign, but only one has done so. And although most have since condemned the violence, vandalism, and looting at the Capitol — which led to the deaths of five people — many have sought to deflect blame. Of the 21 GOP officials in HuffPost’s tally, at least 13 have made statements attempting to blame the violence on “antifa” or “paid provocateurs.”
The FBI says there is no evidence “antifa” orchestrated that day’s chaos. There is a mountain of evidence, however, showing the violence was committed by a Make America Great Again mob.
Here are the names of the state and local GOP officials that were part of that mob. (This list does not include the federal lawmakers in attendance.)
The following list is not comprehensive, and HuffPost will be reporting further on officials who participated in the Jan. 6 rally. Know an elected official or party functionary who should be on this list but isn’t? Email [email protected].
Derrick Evans, 35, a newly elected Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, livestreamed himself breaking into the Capitol, leading the charging crowd in a chant of “Trump!”
Once inside the building, Evans immediately confessed to his crime on the livestream, yelling “We’re in! We’re in! We’re in! We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
He was arrested by federal authorities two days later. He faces charges of “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority,” according to the Justice Department, and “one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds.”
Although initially fighting back against claims that he should resign, saying he did “nothing wrong,” Evans eventually apologized for taking part in the insurrection, announcing that he would step down and take “full responsibility” for his actions.
(After his resignation, a report in The Washington Post detailed Evans’ history of harassing women outside abortion clinics while wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.)
Couy Griffin — a Republican county commissioner in Otero County, New Mexico, who founded a group called Cowboys for Trump — filmed himself on the steps of the Capitol building during the insurrection.
Federal agents arrested Griffin this past weekend as he returned to Washington, D.C., to protest the inauguration. He’s charged with “one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry.”
“We’re not going anywhere,” Griffin says in the Jan. 6 video from the Capitol steps. “We’re not gonna take no for an answer. We’re not gonna get our election stolen by us from China.” (China did not steal the U.S. election.)
In a video posted after the Capitol riots, Griffin claimed there may need to be another MAGA rally at the Capitol soon, and if it happens there “could be blood running out of that building.”
And at a recent Otero County Commission meeting, Griffin stated that he was going to go back to D.C. for the inauguration — armed.
“I’m gonna be there on Jan. 20 … and I’m gonna take a stand for our country and for our freedoms,” Griffin said. “ … I’ve got a .357 Henry Big Boy rifle lever action that I’ve got in the trunk of my car and I’ve got a .357 single action revolver, the Colt Ruger Vaquero that I’ll have underneath the front seat on my right side and I will embrace my Second Amendment.”
Griffin — who previously made headlines for stating that “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat” in a video retweeted by Trump — is now facing multiple calls to resign, including from the New Mexico state attorney general.
Pennsylvania Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano’s campaign spent thousands of dollars to charter buses for people to travel to D.C. for the Capitol rally, WHYY reported.
Mastriano, a Trump fanatic who has been at the forefront of GOP efforts to falsely portray Pennsylvania’s election results as fraudulent, attended the Capitol rally too.
“When it was apparent that this was no longer a peaceful protest, my wife and I left the area and made our way out of the area,” he said in a statement after the riot. “At no point did we enter the Capitol building, walk on the Capitol steps or go beyond police lines.”
Mastriano previously gained national attention when he organized a “hearing” about the 2020 election in Gettysburg with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani at which both promoted lies and conspiracy theories about the vote-counting process.
Since the Capitol riot, many of Mastriano’s colleagues in state government have called on him to step down. Democratic state Sen. Vincent Hughes said Mastriano “needs to be expelled.”
“This was not a bus trip to the casino,” Hughes said. “This was a trip organized to overthrow the government.”
West Virginia Republican state Sen. Mike Azinger told a talk radio show that he attended the Capitol rally but did not breach the building. He also pushed the false claim that “antifa” was responsible for the violence there.
Azinger said the events at the Capitol were “so awe-inspiring and patriotic and peaceful that it would almost bring you to tears.”
“These Marxists and leftists,” he continued, “are trying to make it look like it was something we should be put in jail for.”
Azinger has called his fellow Republicans “cowardly” for condemning the violence on Jan. 6, and said he hoped Trump would “call us back” to Washington for another demonstration.
Nearly 7,000 people have signed a petition calling for the resignation of Jessica Martinez, a city council member in Whittier, California, who posted a video from the Jan. 6 rally to Twitter.
Martinez says she did not enter the Capitol itself and that she was already on her way to the airport when the building was breached. She has since claimed, falsely, that “antifa” was responsible for the storming of the Capitol.
When she returned to Whittier, some of her fellow city council members attempted to censure Martinez. “She violated the Los Angeles County ‘stay at home’ order by flying to Washington D.C, for what was a superspreading event,” the censure resolution stated. “She also supported the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally to discredit the election.”
The resolution was voted down.
Sandy and Melvin Adams
Sandy Adams, district director for Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), attended the Capitol rally with her husband, Melvin, chair of Virginia’s 5th District GOP Committee.
Melvin, in a long statement emailed to people in his district, explained that he and Sandy went to the rally “to join with many, many thousands of wonderful red-blooded American patriots in Washington DC.”
Melvin wrote that he and Sandy watched the crowd become agitated as people heard reports that neither Vice President Mike Pence or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would intervene on Trump’s behalf to stop the certification of the 2020 election results.
“Some say that Antifa members were embedded in the crowd and were citing [sic] the crowd to violence,” Melvin wrote. “That could be. I honestly don’t know.”
After attending the Jan. 6 rally, Republican Virginia Del. Dave LaRock said he condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the violence at the Capitol but added, falsely, that it was “highly likely” that those who forcefully entered the building were “paid provocateurs sent in to taint an otherwise orderly protest.”
LaRock has led the GOP charge in Virginia to discredit the results of the 2020 election, resulting in recent calls for his resignation.
“When you repeatedly lie to people and tell them that the election was rigged, that their vote didn’t count, that is an incredibly irresponsible and dangerous thing for an elected official to do,” Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) said of LaRock.
In response, LaRock said Randall — who is Black — should focus more on the needs of ”the colored community.” He later said he regretted the remark and “had been educated that it is not appropriate” to refer to Black people as “colored.”
Incoming Colorado state Rep. Ron Hanks said he marched to the Capitol after watching Trump speak near the White House on Jan. 6, but did not enter the building.
The next day, he wrote a bizarre letter to his constituents about the day’s events, arguing that the violence at the Capitol was likely committed by people who “intended to blend in to the group, then create mayhem and blame it on Trump supporters.” (There is no evidence for this.)
Hanks seemed unable to imagine MAGA extremists attacking police. “There seems a dichotomy here: Pro-Trump citizens are generally law abiding, pro-police types, not antagonistic, Defund the Police agitators,” he wrote.
And he maintained, falsely, that the 2020 election results were fraudulent, writing that there was “collusion of foreign and domestic entities to swing the election to Biden.”
The Virginia state Senate voted 37 to 1 on Tuesday to strip Republican state Sen. Amanda Chase — a self-christened “Trump in heels” — of her only committee assignment as punishment for her participation in the Jan. 6 rally.
Senate Democrats also advanced a resolution to censure Chase, calling on her to resign before the censure — a rare and formal condemnation of a sitting lawmaker — comes to a vote on the Senate floor.
Virginia Senate’s Democratic Caucus, in a statement supporting the censure, wrote that Chase “unequivocally committed insurrection.”
“She galvanized domestic terrorists who violated the United States Capitol on Wednesday afternoon through riots, destruction, and desecration, joining them on their march to Capitol Hill,” the statement said.
Chase, who’s seeking the Republican nomination for governor in Virginia, not only spoke to the crowd of Trump supporters before they stormed the Capitol, but defended their actions afterwards.
“These were not rioters and looters,” Chase wrote in a Facebook post. “These were patriots who love their country and do not want to see our great republic turn into a socialist country.”
She also falsely claimed in Facebook posts that “antifa or BLM agents of destruction” were actually to blame for the violence on Jan. 6.
Facebook suspended her account after those posts.
Over 40 Democratic Arizona state senators and representatives sent a letter to the FBI and the Dept. of Justice last week calling on the two agencies to investigate Republican Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem for his role in the Capitol riots.
Finchem, the letter claimed, “actively encouraged the mob, both before and during the attack on the Capitol.”
At 3:14 p.m. on Jan. 6, well after the insurrection was underway, Finchem tweeted a photo from the middle of the mob on the steps of the Capitol building. “What happens when the People feel they have been ignored and Congress refuses to acknowledge rampant fraud,” he wrote.
In a statement after the Capitol riots, Finchem claimed he left the rally a short time after his tweet and did not have knowledge of the breach until hours later.
He also predictably blamed “ANTIFA infiltrators” for the initial breach of the Capitol, citing a since-debunked conspiracy theory that facial recognition technology had identified antifa.
Finchem has a long history of extremism, and has even called himself a member of the far-right militia group the Oathkeepers, an anti-democratic organization heavily implicated in the Capitol insurrection.
Terri Lynn Weaver
Republican Tennessee state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver attended the Jan. 6 rally and later that evening — when the horror of the attack on the Capitol had been well-documented — tweeted that it had been an “epic and historic day” in D.C.
Weaver did not respond to an Associated Press question about whether she had entered the Capitol Building. In an interview with the Tennessean, she claimed to have been “in the thick of it” but insisted the MAGA mob was largely peaceful.
“Just a whole heck of a lot of patriots here,” Weaver said. “We never experienced any violence.”
She also told The Tennessean, without evidence, that “antifa” may have been to blame for whatever violence had occurred.
Missouri state Rep. Justin Hill skipped his own swearing-in ceremony to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington on Jan. 6, but claims to have never entered the Capitol building.
“I wasn’t close enough to see anything,” Hill said after the riot. “I didn’t see any vandalism.”
A former cop, Hill did not condone the riots, which left many officers hurt, one of whom died from his injuries. “It’s such a sad day,” he said
Hill is among a large group of Republican state legislators in Missouri who passed a resolution stating they had “have no faith in the validity” of the 2020 presidential election results.
Matt and Meshawn Maddock
Democratic state lawmakers in Michigan have called for the censure, investigation and ultimate expulsion of Republican Michigan state Rep. Matt Maddock for his “continued attempts at undermining democracy by fomenting election conspiracy theories and assisting with the heinous attack on the U.S. Capitol.”
Maddock and his wife, Meshawn Maddock, who was recently named co-chair of the state GOP, have led the patry’s effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory in Michigan.
Meshawn Maddock claimed to have organized nearly 20 buses of Trump supporters to go to the Jan. 6 rally. Both she and Matt Maddock also traveled to Washington, D.C., but claimed to have not been able to get into the area where Trump was speaking ahead of the storming of the Capitol.
This contradicts posts from Meshawn Maddock’s social media accounts. She quote-tweeted a video of Trump supporters marching on the Capitol on Jan. 6, writing “The most incredible crowd and sea of people I’ve ever walked with <3.”
She also posted a video to her Instagram account from the White House Ellipse — where Trump delivered his speech — in which a man in the crowd could be heard screaming, “We need to march on the Capitol and drag these people out of power!” The video is no longer available on her Instagram account.
The Maddocks — both of whom recently joined a Facebook group in which members openly discussed a possible civil war — have both condemned the storming of the Capitol.
Newly elected Nevada Assemblywoman Annie Black, a vocal Trump supporter, said she did not storm the Capitol building in D.C. on Jan. 6, but observed the chaos from a distance. In an email to her supporters after the day’s events, she suggested “antifa” infiltrators may have incited the violence, citing anonymously sourced reports in the New York Post and Fox News.
She also expressed frustration over Trump being blamed for the insurrection, saying the president only told people to march to the Capitol — neglecting to mention Trump’s monthslong campaign of lies about the 2020 election results.
“Regardless, I don’t care if they were Antifa, rogue Trump supporters, white nationalists (or) whatever,” she wrote. “Those who rioted inside the Capitol should be identified, arrested, charged, prosecuted and severely punished.”
Responding to Democratic calls that she resign, Black wrote: “I’m not going anywhere.”
“Pence is a traitor,” tweeted Maryland Del. Daniel L. Cox as Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol.
Cox’s tweet echoed insurrectionist rhetoric inside the Capitol, where Trump loyalists — upset over the vice president’s refusal to heed Trump’s request that he reject the certification of the 2020 Electoral College votes — chanted “Hang Pence!”
Cox, who had chartered buses for supporters to attend the rally, later claimed he wrote the tweet while leaving the event. “I had no realization of the gravity of the situation at the moment and with my very small twitter following had no intent to stir up anything,” he said in a statement.
Cox also made a series of tweets falsely blaming the violence on anti-fascists.
The assemblyman last made headlines in October after tweeting hashtags supportive of the QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy movement.
Outgoing Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones, a rare Trump-supporting Democrat, was a featured speaker at the Jan. 6 rally, warming up the crowd before Trump took the stage.
“I’m officially joining the Republican party!” he shouted as the MAGA crowd cheered.
Later, after the violence at the Capitol, Jones tweeted: “To the peaceful Patriots who came to our nation’s Capitol today, we can not drown out our message with violence. We are not ANTIFA or a lawless a mob. We are Americans who believe in the rule law and follow the principles of our constitution.”
Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller posted a video of himself to social media showing himself near the Capitol shortly before the riot, warning his supporters that “we’re in a great cultural war” with “dangerous Democrat terrorists.”
It’s unclear how close Miller got to the capitol building. His office didn’t immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment.
Miller is the husband of Rep. Mary Miller, a newly elected U.S. congresswoman facing a torrent of calls to resign after she cited Adolf Hitler in a speech she gave at the Capitol rally.
Alaska state Rep. David Eastman flew all the Washington, D.C., for the rally but claims not to have participated in the storming of the Capitol.
In a series of Facebook posts, Eastman condemned the violence, but also denied that it was Trump who incited the riot. He also promoted conspiracy theories that “antifa” started the chaos.
Alaska Democratic activists are demanding that he resign.
Rhode Island state Rep. Justin Price admitted on Twitter that he “marched to the Capitol” with “peaceful patriots” but never entered the building. He blamed “antifa” for instigating the violence in another tweet, arguing that the anti-fascist activists had “infiltrated” the rally.
Price, whose Twitter account appears to have been deleted or suspended, is facing calls from his fellow Rhode Island lawmakers to resign.
A day before going to D.C. for the rally — when the coronavirus death count in America reached 400,000 — Price refused to wear a mask during his swearing-in ceremony at the state Capitol building.
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