Trump activist Brandon Straka was charged over the Capitol riot after the FBI noticed him posting video of himself there, prosecutors say

Mia Jankowicz
·4 min read
Brandon Straka thumb large
A composite image showing Brandon Straka in 2018 (inset) and a screenshot sent to the FBI, allegedly showing him at the Capitol riot. FBI / Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP
  • Right-wing activist Brandon Straka is among those charged over the January 6 Capitol riot.

  • The FBI received multiple tip-offs of footage he had posted to social media at the event.

  • In the footage, he is said to have shouted "Go! Go!" at those entering the building.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Trump supporter and activist Brandon Straka was charged with joining the January 6 riot at the US Capitol after the FBI was alerted to videos he had posted showing himself there, according to legal documents.

The FBI got several tip-offs identifying him in footage from the riot, including one person who said described themselves as a relative, according to an affidavit.

Straka's footage - some of which has since been deleted - shows him jostling to enter the Capitol, shouting "Go! Go!" and whipping up the crowd to steal a police officer's shield, the FBI complaint said.

The footage found by the FBI shows a man wearing a hat, sunglasses and a face mask, making it difficult to recognize him.

Straka - a self-proclaimed former liberal - is the founder of the WalkAway campaign, which encourages people to leave the Democratic Party.

He has been charged with disorderly conduct, impeding a law enforcement officer, and entering a restricted area without being authorized, the complaint said.

Straka did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Calling for revolution

On January 5, the day before the riot, Straka spoke at a "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington DC contesting the election results.

At the rally, Straka bounded on-stage and shouted: "Welcome to the revolution!" adding: "That's right, ladies and gentlemen, we have before us a revolution."

Prosecutors said he also encouraged the crowd to "fight back."

Brandon Straka capitol riots
Brandon Straka speaking on January 5 at the "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington, DC, shouting "welcome to the revolution!" YouTube/Global TV Online

"We're going in"

The complaint also details footage from the day of the Capitol riot itself, sent to the FBI by the witness who said they were a relative of Straka.

The complaint alleges that the video shows Straka at the crowded Capitol steps, dressed in the same outfit as the previous day.

Prosecutors said he is seen jostling up the Capitol steps and saying: "we're going in, the people are going in," and yelling "Go! Go!". He also was reported as saying "I wanna try."

There is no record of him actually entering the building, the complaint notes.

Later, he is seen instructing the crowd to take a police officer's riot shield away, prosecutors said. "Take it! Take it!" he is alleged to have yelled.

On January 7, the complaint alleged, Straka posted an almost hour-long video to Twitter describing how he went up the Capitol steps after learning that "patriots" had entered the building.

He said he had been booked as a guest speaker at a planned rally that day at the Capitol, which did not ultimately take place, according to prosecutors.

In the video, he denied seeing any violence or vandalism, they wrote.

Disappearing tweets

Straka also appears to have deleted several tweets from January 6, screenshots of which were sent to the FBI and recorded in the complaint. They included:

  • "Patriots at the Capitol - HOLD. THE. LINE!!!!"

  • "I arrived at the Capitol a few hours ago as Patriots were storming from all sides. I was quite close to entering myself."

  • "I'm completely confused. For 6-8 weeks everybody on the right has been saying '1776!' & that if congress moves forward it will mean a revolution! So congress moves forward. Patriots storm the Capitol - now everybody is virtual signaling their embarrassment that this happened."

  • "Also- be embarrassed & hide if you need to- but I was there. It was not Antifa at the Capitol. It was freedom loving Patriots who were DESPERATE to fight for the final hope of our Republic because literally nobody cares about them. Everyone else can denounce them. I will not."

  • "Perhaps I missed the part where it was agreed this would be a revolution of ice cream cones & hair-braiding parties to take our government back from lying, cheating globally interested swamp parasites. My bad."

Straka has made several appearances on right-wing media networks, such as One America News, the Daily Caller and former President Trump's YouTube channel. His Twitter profile states he is "on a mission to #RedPill humanity."

In June last year, he was banned from American Airlines for refusing to wear a face covering on a flight.

Brandon Straka American airlines masks
A composite image showing Brandon Straka and a file image of an American Airlines plane. Brandon Straka/Periscope / Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Read the original article on Business Insider