BEVERLY HILLS, CA — A Beverly Hills skincare salon owner and a prominent anti-vaxxer physician and her spokesman appeared at the U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday to face charges of participating in the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol.
Gina Bisignano, 52, was arrested Tuesday morning, and Simone Gold, 55, and John Strand, 37, were taken into custody Monday, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
The defendants, all of whom reside in Beverly Hills, appeared Tuesday afternoon before a Los Angeles magistrate judge, who granted each of them bond on charges filed in the District of Columbia.
Bisignano, owner of Gina's Eyelashes and Skincare in Beverly Hills, was ordered released on a $170,000 bond and is subject to home detention. A preliminary hearing was set in her case on Feb. 4 in Los Angeles. She was charged Tuesday with civil disorder, destruction of government property; aiding and abetting; obstruction of an official proceeding; restricted building or grounds; violent entry or disorderly conduct, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Gold, a physician and attorney who has criticized the coronavirus vaccination as ineffective and touted hydroxychloroquine as treatment for COVID-19, was released on a $15,000 bond and is also subject to home detention. Her next court appearance is a virtual hearing with the District of Columbia on Thursday. She was charged Tuesday with restricted building or grounds; violent entry and disorderly conduct.
A $20,000 bond was set for Strand, but he will remain in custody until a surety is approved. Once released, Strand also will be subject to home detention. He did not agree to removal to the District of Columbia, and future court hearings have yet to be scheduled. Strand, who is the communications director for Gold's organization America's Frontline Doctors, was also charged Tuesday with restricted building or grounds; violent entry and disorderly conduct.
Two sworn affidavits from the the FBI Washington Field Office's Joint Terrorism Task Force were released Tuesday cites videos that show Bisignano taking an active role in the riots. She is at the front of a crowd of rioters physically pushing police in an attempt to enter the Capitol, and is later shown yelling into a bullhorn: "Everybody, we need gas masks, we need weapons. We need strong, angry patriots to help our boys, they don't want to leave. We need protection." According to the affidavit, rioters approximately 10 feet to Bisignano's left are physically assaulting police officers.
Other tape shows Bisignano shouting, "We the people are not gonna take it anymore ... You are not going to take away our Trumpy-bear, you are not gonna take away our votes and our freedom that I thank God for. This is 1776 and we the people will never give up. We will never let our country go to the globalists. George Soros, you can go to hell." As Bisignano speaks, rioters nearby spray police with fire extinguishers and throw objects at them.
Another video shows Bisignano entering the Capitol through a small square opening, and addresses other rioters, stating, "We need Americans. Come on guys. We need patriots! You guys, it's the way in. We need some people, we need some people."
Meanwhile, the FBI alleges that Gold and Strand entered the building, which Gold has confirmed, but did not instigate violence. Gold told The Washington Post in a Jan. 12 interview that she entered the Capitol building not knowing that it was illegal, but says that she "regret[s] being there."
The FBI's joint affidavit concerning Strand and Gold said they were identified when their driver's license photos matched several videos of the riot posted to Twitter, CNN and Getty Images. Strand posted on his personal Twitter account @The JohnStrand, "I am incredibly proud to be a patriot today, to stand up tall in defense of liberty & the Constitution, to support Trump & #MAGAforever, & to send the message: WE ARE NEVER CONCEDING A STOLEN ELECTION."
According to the affidavit, CNN videos have shown two people identified as Strand and Gold walking inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, and found social media photos of Gold speaking into a microphone.
Gold confirmed that she was at the riot and entered the Capitol Building in a Jan. 12 interview with the Washington Post that she attended the rally, but claimed she did not witness any violence. "I can certainly speak to the place that I was, and it most emphatically was not a riot," Gold told The Post. "Where I was was incredibly peaceful."
Gold said she traveled to Washington to speak at a "Rally for Health Freedom" on the east side of the Capitol on Jan. 6. She was supposed to speak after Trump addressed supporters, but said she was told at 1 p.m. that all speeches were canceled.
Gold told The Post that she followed the crowd into the Capitol, where she seems to have given a speech on the rotunda. Most words are inaudible, except "I'm a mom" and "massive medical establishment."
The FBI continues to search for and arrest attendees of the Jan. 6 riots. The FBI Los Angeles Twitter page asks viewers if they can identify 41 images of riot participants.
Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray told Politico that over 100 arrests have been made.
Last week, a Glendora man was arrested and charged in the District of Columbia with one federal count each of damaging or destroying government property, obstruction of an official proceeding, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Hunter Allen Ehmke, 20, made his initial court appearance Thursday before a Los Angeles magistrate judge, who granted the defendant's release on a $40,000 bond and ordered him to appear in federal court in the District of Columbia on Jan. 21.
Ehmke is accused of attempting to smash a window at the Capitol during the takeover by Trumps supporters.
— Patch Staffer Michael Wittner and City News Service contributed to this report.