Who Stormed Capitol Building?
Hundreds of protesters broke into buildings on Capitol Hill after attending a rally in support of President Donald Trump.
Some were carrying symbols and flags strongly associated with particular ideas and factions, but in practice many of the members and their causes overlap.
Jake Angeli – QAnon supporter
According to images, there were individuals associated with a range of extreme and far-right groups and supporters of fringe online conspiracy theories, many of whom have long been active online and at pro-Trump rallies.
One of the most startling images, quickly shared across social media, shows a man dressed with a painted face, fur hat and horns, holding an American flag.
The man has been identified as Jake Angeli, a well-known supporter of QAnon. Jake Angeli calls himself the QAnon Shaman.
According to Jake Angeli’s social media presence, he’s attending multiple QAnon events and posting YouTube videos about deep state conspiracies.
Angeli was pictured in November making a speech in Phoenix, Arizona, about unproven claims the election was fraudulent.
His personal Facebook page is filled with images and memes relating to all sorts of extreme ideas and conspiracy theories.
Proud Boys members
Another group spotted at the storming of the Capitol were members of the Proud Boys.
The far-right organization was founded in 2016 and is anti-immigrant and all male. In the first presidential debate President Trump in response to a question about white supremacists and militias said: “Proud Boys – stand back and stand by.”
One of their members, Nick Ochs, tweeted a selfie inside the Capitol building saying: “Hello from the Capital lol.”
Nick Ochs also filmed a live stream inside.
His profile on the messaging app Telegram describes himself as a “Proud Boy Elder from Hawaii.”
Pro-Trump Protesters Storm Capitol Building
Richard Barnett – the man who entered Nancy Pelosi’s office
A photo that went viral of a man who had entered the office of Nancy Pelosi has been named as Richard Barnett from Arkansas.
Outside Capitol Hill buildings, Richard Barnett told the New York Times that he took an envelope from the speaker’s office and says left a note calling her an expletive.
Local media reports say Richard Barnett is involved in a group that supports gun rights, and that he was interviewed at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally following the presidential election – a movement that refused to accept Joe Biden’s victory and supports the president’s unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud.
In the interview at the rally organized by ‘Engaged Patriots’ Richard Barnett said: “If you don’t like it, send somebody out to get me ’cause I ain’t going down easy.”
According to the Westside Eagle Observer, the group associated with Richard Barnett held a fundraiser in October with proceeds going towards body cameras for the local police department.
Individuals with large followings online were also spotted at the protests.
Among them was Tim Gionet, who goes under the pseudonym “Baked Alaska”.
Gionet’s livestream from inside the Capitol posted on a niche streaming service was watched by thousands of people and showed him talking to other protesters.
A Trump supporter, Tim Gionet has made a name for himself as an internet troll.
He has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, a nonprofit legal advocacy group, as a “white nationalist”, a label he disputed in a comment to The Insider.
YouTube banned Gionet’s channel in October after he posted videos of himself harassing shop workers and refusing to wear a face-mask during the coronavirus pandemic.
Other platforms that have previously shut down Gionet’s accounts include Twitter and PayPal.