Newly launched footage from the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol exhibits former Orange County Congressman Dana Rohrabacher joined a crowd that crossed police barricades, making him the best profile politician recognized to be on the bottom that day.
Rohrabacher isn’t among the many 500-plus individuals who’ve been charged with crimes linked to Jan. 6, and there’s no proof he entered the Capitol constructing or participated in any of the violence that unfolded.
He didn’t reply to requests to talk for this story, although he instructed the Press Herald in Maine that he marched peacefully Jan. 6 and “was not there to make a scene and do things that were unacceptable for anyone to do.”
But on-line critics are also pointing to a speech Rohrabacher gave throughout a “Stop the Steal” rally in Huntington Beach a number of weeks earlier than the revolt, the place he referenced the Revolutionary War and instructed the cheering crowd that “Communists” have been making an attempt to “take control of our government.”
‘This is your crisis, patriots,” he said in video posted to his Facebook page. “…It’s all as much as us.”
The Dec. 12 rally was organized by former La Habra police chief Alan Hostetter of San Clemente, whose nonprofit, American Phoenix Project, advocates for overhauling the U.S. authorities and information media. Rohrabacher stood by and grinned as Hostetter made claims a few rigged presidential election and mentioned “execution is the just punishment for the ringleaders of this coup.”
Hostetter was charged June 10 for his suspected function within the Jan. 6 revolt. He pleaded not responsible Monday to fees of conspiracy to hinder an official continuing and aiding and abetting his alleged co-conspirators, which carry a complete attainable sentence of 30 years jail.
Hostetter’s legal professional, Bilal A. Essayli, mentioned Rohrabacher and Hostetter weren’t collectively on the Capitol.
“My client did not see Congressman Rohrabacher in Washington, DC. We believe anyone peacefully protesting outside the capitol is protected by the First Amendment and should not be facing felony charges.”
Former Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer, who was Rohrabacher’s marketing campaign chairman, mentioned his former boss was at all times a “bit of a rebel” however not the sort to “go against Capitol police.”
“I could see Dana being at a rally,” Righeimer mentioned. “I could never see Dana breaking the law.”
But for greater than an hour on Jan. 6, Rohrabacher stood on the West garden of the U.S. Capitol far inside breached barricades and watched as rioters battled with police, in line with Capitol Hunters, which describes itself because the “Wikipedia of sedition.”
Over the weekend, the collective made up of volunteer open-source researchers posted three video clips on Twitter @capitolhunters that purport to point out Rohrabacher, who’s sporting an overcoat and grey ski cap.
In one video clip, gleaned from the now defunct Parler social media web site, Rohrabacher might be seen holding up a mobile phone whereas standing amongst a crush of protesters, lots of whom are waving Trump flags and chanting “We the People” whereas others are perched on a close-by media tower.
— capitolhunters (@capitolhunters) June 14, 2021
In one other video clip from a distinct angle, Rohrabacher might be seen wanting on as protesters assist each other over police barricades.
In a 3rd clip, he’s standing in a crowd whereas one particular person might be heard shouting, “Climb over the wall, move forward” and one other particular person provides, “We’ve gotta fight.”
On Monday, Capitol Hunters added Rohrabacher to its Capitol Suspects Database.
“We do not include perps in the Capitol Suspects Database unless they are seen on restricted Capitol grounds, past the barricades that marked the limits of public access,” the collective mentioned on Twitter.
The FBI on Monday declined to remark on whether or not they have been investigating Rohrabacher’s involvement within the Jan. 6 assault.
Rohrabacher served 15 phrases in Congress. But in 2018 issues about his ties to Russia that led to him being derided by critics as “Putin’s favorite Congress member” broken him politically. With that controversy brewing, Harley Rouda ousted Rohrabacher from Orange County’s coastal forty eighth District throughout that 12 months’s Democratic blue wave.
In April of this 12 months Rohrabacher terminated a “Rohrabacher for Congress” committee that federal information present he’d had open since 1987. He’s nonetheless paying off an Orange County advisor who helped him win prior elections.
After his loss in 2018, Rohrabacher bought his Costa Mesa dwelling and moved to Maine.
He shortly took management roles with a number of hashish corporations, having been an outspoken advocate for medical marijuana throughout his time in Congress and utilizing hashish to deal with his personal arthritis.
Rohrabacher additionally launched a lobbying agency known as R&B Strategies together with his former high aide Paul Behrend, who was workers director with the House Foreign Affairs Committee till Rep. Ed Royce fired him in 2017 over rising issues about Behrends’ ties to Russia.
Rohrabacher’s major lobbying shopper in 2020 was Linear Therapies, which mentioned it was creating therapies to treatment Covid-19. Rohrabacher canceled that lobbying contract in November.
Rohrabacher additionally isn’t completed with politics. Local media studies that, of their new hometown of York, Maine, he and his spouse have turn out to be concerned in supporting local conservative politicians.