Known white nationalists Tim Gionet, who goes by the moniker Baked Alaska, and Nick Fuentes, the leader of the so-called Groyper Army were among the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Gionet live streamed himself breaking into members’ offices and took a selfie in what appeared to be the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Gionet and Fuentes both attended the infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017.
Fuentes, who took to Twitter to insist he had not entered the building, was seen in photos on the Capitol steps. Fuentes’ Groyper Army is a group of young far-right activists who want to push mainstream conservatism towards white nationalism. He has been banned from YouTube for hate speech, where he first came to prominence, and has questioned the number of Jews who were killed in the Holocaust while arguing that Israel has a malicious influence on U.S. policy.
Fuentes made headlines earlier in the week for calling for his supporters to kill state legislators who don’t support pro-Trump efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. "Why, because we had no leverage, what are we going to do? What can you and I do to a state legislator, besides kill them?" Fuentes told his DLive audience on Monday night before mostly walking back to comment.
The Anti-Defamation League noted that other extremists seen at the Capitol included “Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes as well as Proud Boys Ethan “Rufio Panman” Nordean and Nick Ochs. Reporters spotted white supremacists Vincent James Foxx and two correspondents from the antisemitic TruNews and Jake Angeli, otherwise known as QAnon cult figure ‘Q Shaman.’”
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During Gionet’s livestream he spoke with other rioters and even caught on camera what appeared to be a police officer inside the building taking selfies with rioters.
Lawmakers vow investigation
Lawmakers are vowing an investigation into how law enforcement handled Wednesday’s violent breach at the Capitol, questioning whether a lack of preparedness allowed a mob to occupy and vandalize the building.
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U.S. Capitol Police, who are charged with protecting Congress, turned to other law enforcement for help with the mob that overwhelmed the complex and sent lawmakers into hiding. Both law enforcement and Trump supporters deployed chemical irritants during the hourslong occupation of the complex before it was cleared Wednesday evening.
Four people died, one of them a woman who was shot and killed inside the Capitol. Three other people died after suffering “medical emergencies” related to the breach, said Robert Contee, chief of the city’s Metropolitan Police Department.
Police said 52 people were arrested as of Wednesday night, including 26 on the Capitol grounds. Fourteen police officers were injured, Contee said.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, said the breach “raises grave security concerns,″ adding that her committee will work with House and Senate leaders to review the police response — and its preparedness.
Lawmakers crouched under desks and donned gas masks while police futilely tried to barricade the building when people marched to the Capitol from a rally near the White House in support of President Donald Trump. Washington’s mayor instituted an evening curfew in an attempt to contain the violence.
Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a former police chief, said it was “painfully obvious” that Capitol police “were not prepared for today. I certainly thought that we would have had a stronger show of force, that there would have been steps taken in the very beginning to make sure that there was a designated area for the protesters in a safe distance from the Capitol.″
In an interview with MSNBC Wednesday night, Demings said it appeared police were woefully understaffed, adding that “it did not seem that they had a clear operational plan to really deal with” thousands of protesters who descended on the Capitol following Trump’s complaints of a “rigged election.″
The rioters were egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to come to Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The protests interrupted those proceedings for nearly seven hours.