Four days after “Stop the Steal” protests at the US Capitol devolved into crowds of people storming the building as Congress attempted to ratify the results of the Electoral College, a new report seemingly confirmed what video footage appeared to show — that the effort was fueled by embattled supporters of President Donald Trump.
That determination was made by the Associated Press, which investigated posts on social media, court files, voter registrations and other public records for over 120 participants who are either facing criminal charges for their roles in the unrest or were later identified in photographs or video footage of the January 6 riot.
The ultimate conclusion of the AP investigation stands in direct opposition to statements made by some elected GOP officials, who have instead focused on the possibility that many who participated in the siege weren’t actually supporters of the president. One of those officials, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, expressed his belief in the hours after the attack that those who broke into the Capitol Building were “antifa” agents in disguise.
“If the reports are true, some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters,” Gaetz said. “They were masquerading as Trump supporters and, in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa.”
In spite of those assertions, Steven D’Antuono, who is the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, later told members of the media that federal investigators had as of yet found “no indication” that antifa activists participated in the riot while posing as Trump supporters.
To date, more than 90 people have been arrested on a variety of charges ranging from misdemeanor curfew violations to assaulting law enforcement officers and even making threats on the life of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Among those facing federal charges is Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr. of Georgia. As noted by the AP, court filings indicated that Meredith had texted friends and family on the day of the riot that he was headed to Washington, D.C. with a significant amount of 5.56 armor-piercing ammo. He also texted that he was considering “putting a bullet” in Pelosi’s head.
Meredith was later found by authorities at a Holiday Inn a short distance from the Capitol. He was in possession of a compact Tavor X95 assault rifle, a 9mm Glock 19 handgun and approximately 100 rounds of ammo.
As relayed by The Inquisitr, Trump currently faces bipartisan calls to resign due to his role in inciting the violence. Among those calling for his resignation or removal are a number of his longtime allies and Republicans like Senator Pat Toomey and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.