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Among the supporters of President Donald Trump who mobbed their way into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, one – unmistakable in his fur, horned hat and painted face – was Jake Angeli, a QAnon supporter who has been a fixture at Arizona right-wing political rallies over the past year.
Angeli was seen in photographs from Washington, D.C., amid rioters who turned violent and stormed the building, causing both chambers to suspend their intended action of the day: certifying the results of the presidential election for former vice president Joe Biden.
At one point, Angeli was seen on the dais of the U.S. Senate. He posed for a photo flexing his right arm; his left was holding a spear from which hung a U.S. flag.
Since at least 2019, Angeli has held court outside the Arizona State Capitol shouting about various conspiracy theories, most related to the wide-ranging beliefs espoused by QAnon.
Angeli, in a 2020 interview with the Arizona Republic, part of the USA TODAY Network, said that he wears the fur bonnet, paints his face and walks around shirtless with ragged pants as a way to attract attention.
Then, he said, he is able to speak to people about his beliefs about QAnon and other truths he says remain hidden.
Video: Trump supporters riot as they flock to US Capitol and storm building
The QAnon conspiracy theory supposes that a high-level government agent with Q-level security clearance has been unspooling cryptic clues about secret investigations inside Washington, D.C. Some of those investigations involve politicians running a child sex trafficking ring.
In February 2020, Angeli worked the crowd outside a rally in Phoenix for Trump.
He held up a tattered sign that read, “Q sent me,” and asked the crowd if they knew of the conspiracy. Several met him with affirmative nods.
“The snowball has been rolling and it’s only getting bigger,” Angeli said at the time. “We’re the mainstream now.”
Angeli did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Angeli was a fixture at rallies to reopen Arizona businesses shuttered by the government as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He has also been at rallies contesting the Arizona election results.
Besides the government corruption espoused by QAnon, Angeli believes that leaders have conspired to keep blockbuster scientific discoveries from the public in order to maintain the system as it is.
Angeli said that he discovered much of what he found through his own research on the Internet. That research – which included “Behold a Pale Horse” by Arizona author William Copper – involved shadowy groups, including the Illuminati, Trilateral Commission and Bilderberg group, that control the world.
“At a certain point, it all clicked in a way,” he said. “Oh, my God. I see now the reality of what’s going on.”
The Q movement, he said, validated beliefs he had held as far back as 2016.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona QAnon supporter Jake Angeli joins storming of US Capitol