A Democratic congressman faces $5,000 fine after Capitol police say he flouted the Capitol’s metal detector security protocol

Jim Clyburn
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina) speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill.

  • House Majority Whip James Clyburn faces a $5,000 fine after Capitol Police said he bypassed metal detectors.
  • If he doesn’t appeal, Clyburn would be the first Democrat to be fined for violating the security protocols.
  • Metal detectors were installed at the Capitol following the January 6 riots.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Democratic congressman was fined $5,000 for failing to complete the Capitol’s metal detector security protocol, according to a document from the Committee of Ethics released earlier this week.

A Capitol police report of the April 20 incident said House Majority James Clyburn “deliberately avoided being screened by refusing to submit to screening at the West lobby screening point.”

“Congressman Clyburn went to the restroom, came out, and continued past the officers and into the House Chamber,” according to the report.

Metal detectors were installed at the Capitol by the order of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following the January 6 riots.

A spokesperson for Clyburn’s office said in a statement to Politico that the South Carolina Democrat “respects the rules of the chamber and he disputes the characterization of this incident.” A source familiar with the incident also told Politico that Clyburn went around the metal detector to return to the House floor, but he had gone through the security less than 10 minutes earlier.

On Wednesday, acting Sergeant at Arms Timothy P. Blodgett wrote in a letter to the House Ethics Committee that Clyburn has been notified of the fine and his right to appeal within the next 30 days. Clyburn told CNN’s Manu Raju on Thursday that he plans to appeal the fine.

He would be the first Democrat to be fined for violating the Capitol’s security protocols.

Multiple GOP members have refused to comply with the security measures, including Reps. Louie Gohmert and Andrew Clyde.

In January, Pelosi said lawmakers will face a fine deducted from their salary for bypassing metal detectors – $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for the second. House Democrats voted in February to uphold the consequence for violation the new safety measures.

“It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe,” she said when announcing the fines.

Clyde said in February he planned to “fight” the $5,000 fine for evading metal detectors. He is forced to pay upwards of $15,000 in fines for avoiding being screened after a House Ethics Committee rejected his appeals in April, Forbes reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Here’s what we know about the suspect that rammed a car into a barricade outside the Capitol, killing a USCP officer

Capitol lockdown
U.S. Capitol Police officers near a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 2, 2021.

  • A driver rammed a car into a barricade outside the Capitol Friday, killing one USCP officer and injuring another.
  • The suspect, who multiple outlets have identified as Noah Green, was shot dead at the scene by an officer.
  • Here’s what we know about Green.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A car rammed into a barricade outside the US Capitol on Friday, injuring two Capitol Police officers, one of whom later died of his injuries.

The driver of the vehicle, who multiple outlets have identified as Noah Green, was shot dead by one of the officers after he “exited the car with a knife in hand” and “lunged” at the officers, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said at a press conference following the incident.

Authorities have yet to confirm a motive behind the incident, but Robert Contee, acting chief of the DC Metropolitan Police Department, said the incident “does not appear to be terrorism-related.”

The MPD will take over the investigation into the attack, Contee said.

Law enforcement sources said Green, 25, recently lived in Virginia, though NBC News and The New York Times reported that he was from Indiana. Green’s brother, Brendan Green, told The Washington Post Noah had recently lived in Botswana for a brief period but moved into his Virginia apartment two weeks ago after calling him crying and saying he needed help.

Friends and family told The Post they were worried about his mental health in recent years.

Green, who played football at Christopher Newport University, came to believe his teammates had drugged him with Xanax in 2019, which one former teammate told The Post was widely believed to be untrue.

Green’s brother told The Post his brother experienced symptoms, whether from drugs or mental illness, that included “hallucinations, heart palpitations, headaches, and suicidal thoughts,” as well as paranoia.

While living in Botswana, Green told his brother that “his mind was telling him to basically commit suicide” and that he had jumped in front of a car, The Post reported.

Green made several posts on his now-deleted Facebook page detailing his personal struggles in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Times reported.

“To be honest, these past few years have been tough, and these past few months have been tougher,” he wrote. “I have been tried with some of the biggest, unimaginable tests in my life. I am currently now unemployed, after I left my job, partly due to afflictions.”

Green made Facebook posts about the “end times” and the anti-Christ, according to The Times. In a March 17 post, he warned of the “last days of our world as we know it,” NBC News reported.

Weeks before Friday’s attack, Green said on social media that he thought the government was using “mind control” on him, CNN reported.

“The U.S. Government is the #1 enemy of Black people!” Green said on his Instagram account hours before the attack, according to CNN. He also wrote last week that he had suffered “terrible afflictions,” “presumably by the CIA and FBI.”

Green also posted on social media referencing the Nation of Islam, a Black separatist movement that has been designated a hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Green shared videos and speeches from the movement’s current leader, Louis Farrakhan, whom the SPLC described as “an antisemite who routinely accuses Jews of manipulating the US government and controlling the levers of world power.” Green’s final Facebook post was on March 21, in which he posted a YouTube video titled “the crucifixion of Michael Jackson” featuring a 150-minute speech by Farrakhan.

Social media accounts belonging to Green were suspended by Facebook following the attack because they fell under the company’s “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy,” The Hill reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Biden says he is ‘heartbroken’ and orders flags at the White House to be flown at half-staff in response to Capitol Police officer death

joe biden
President Joe Biden.

  • Biden said he was “heartbroken” after a Capitol attack left one Capitol Police officer dead.
  • A car rammed into a barricade at the Capitol, injuring two officers – one of whom is hospitalized.
  • Biden ordered the flags at the White House to be flown at half-staff to honor the officer.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden ordered flags at the White House to be flown at half-staff in response to the death of a Capitol Police officer after a car rammed into a barricade outside the Capitol on Friday afternoon.

Earlier Friday, the Capitol went on lockdown after a vehicle rammed into an outside barricade and injured two officers. One of the officers, identified by the Capitol Police as Officer William Evans, later died from his injuries.

“Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the US Capitol grounds, which killed Officer William Evans of the US Capitol Police, and left a fellow officer fighting for his life,” Biden said in a statement. “We send our heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’ family, and everyone grieving his loss. We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it.”

The suspect was shot and killed by one of the officers after exiting “the car with a knife in hand” and “lunging” at the officers, Yogananda Pittman, the acting Capitol Police chief, said at a press conference. The National Guard was deployed to the Capitol shortly after the incident to assist Capitol Police officers who were lining the perimeter of the building.

“I want to express the nation’s gratitude to the Capitol Police, the National Guard Immediate Response Force, and others who quickly responded to this attack,” the president said in the statement. “As we mourn the loss of yet another courageous Capitol Police officer, I have ordered that the White House flags be lowered to half-mast.”

Biden’s move followed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi making a similar order to lower the flags at the Capitol to half-staff.

The lockdown at the Capitol was lifted about 3 p.m. local time.

Less than three months ago, pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, resulting in the deaths of five people – including two Capitol Police officers.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nine Capitol rioters were charged with sexual assault or had restraining orders for domestic violence: report

capitol siege riot ladder
Rioters clash with police using big ladder trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors.

  • Nine Capitol rioters have a history of violence against women, according to HuffPost.
  • Some men previously had restraining orders against them due to allegations of domestic violence.
  • At least three are military veterans, and some of the men were once charged with rape and battery. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

At least nine men who participated in the Capitol riot on January 6 have a history of exhibiting violence against women, an investigation by the Huffington Post uncovered.

The Capitol riot on January 6 left at least five people, including one police officer, dead. Members of the Proud Boys, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, were reportedly present.

Organizers were emboldened by President Donald Trump’s urges to protest the results of the 2020 election with him, despite Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory. While members of Congress were meeting inside the Capitol building day to certify the results, supporters organized an attempted coup and stormed the Capitol building.

Upon news that the riot breached the Capitol building, lawmakers began to shelter in place and many evacuated.

Nine men who were part of the storm were charged with acts of violence against women, HuffPost reported. Some had restraining orders taken out against them because of allegations of domestic violence.

Three of the nine men are veterans, HuffPost’s Alanna Vagianos reported. Men with militaristic pasts can create “dire consequences for women,” Vagianos reported, citing Dr. Miranda Christou, a senior fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.

“You have forms of masculinity that depend on militarized expressions: the uniforms, the guns, the paraphernalia, the whole idea of the military structure and discipline,” Christou told HuffPost. “When the institution of the military infiltrates social life and that sense of masculinity and what makes you a man depends on that ― depends on the gun on the side of your hip ― that becomes a problem for women.”

One man, Larry Rendall Brock Jr., stormed the building carrying zip-tie handcuffs and wearing full combat gear. Brock had sent several threatening messages to his ex-wife, HuffPost reported. He was described as a “terroristic threat of family/household” during one call to the police.

larry rendall brock rioter capitol surge
Retired Air Force officer Larry Rendall Brock, Jr., wearing a combat helmet, in the Senate chamber in the US Capitol, in Washington DC on January 6, 2021.

Another man, Guy Reffitt, was spotted and photographed carrying tactical gear during the attempted coup. Reffitt in 2018 pushed his wife onto a bed and began to choke her, according to a police report obtained by HuffPost.

Guy Reffitt seen at the Capitol siege.
Guy Reffitt seen at the Capitol siege.

Mathew Capsel of Marseille, Illinois, violated a protection order after his arrest in Washington. In 2012, he had been arrested for “battery, mob action and robbery,” HuffPost reported, having allegedly struck a woman “3-4 times in the head.”

Other men who attended the riot have records marked by similar charges.

Jacob Lewis, for example, had a restraining order for domestic violence taken out against him in California, according to HuffPost. Samuel Pinho Camargo had in 2016 “intentionally caused bodily harm” to his sister.

Dominic Pezzola is a member of the Proud Boys, HuffPost reported. Police removed a shotgun from his home in 2005 after a call concerning a domestic dispute. 

Andrew Ryan Bennett also wore a Proud Boys hat entering the Capitol building, according to HuffPost. He received an 18-month prison sentence after attacking a woman at a tattoo parlor in 2003.  

Edward Hemenway served five years in prison on charges related to rape, sexual battery, and criminal confinement, according to HuffPost. He handcuffed his wife in 2004 and put duct-tape over her mouth.

And Donovan Ray Crowl had been arrested in 2005 for domestic violence charges that have since been dropped, HuffPost reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Missouri man seen in Capitol riot with broken Pelosi nameplate charged weeks after his niece’s arrest

nancy pelosi
  • William Merry Jr. has been charged for his role in the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021.
  • His niece, Emily Hernandez, was charged on January 15, 2021.
  • Both Merry and Hernandez were spotted in a viral clip of them holding Pelosi’s broken nameplate.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

A Missouri man, the uncle of a 21-year-old woman who was hit with five charges for her role in the Capitol riots, is now also facing charges for his part in the deadly insurrection.

William Merry Jr. was identified after federal authorities became aware of a video in which both he and his niece, Emily Hernandez, could be seen holding a broken piece of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nameplate, reported NBC News.

A federal complaint against Merry Jr. was unsealed on Thursday.

Merry is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, disorderly conduct, disruptive conduct in the Capitol buildings, impeding the conduct of government, and theft of government property, according to The Hill.

Read more: Biden’s inauguration was held in a sad, military-occupied DC. Never forget how Trump got us here.

In the video, part of an ITV News broadcast on the insurrection, Merry and Hernandez could be seen wearing a “Trump 2020” hat and holding a part of the nameplate.

At least three people contacted the FBI with Hernandez’s identity after watching the clip, including a childhood friend, the Daily Beast reported.

This resulted in her being charged on January 15.

A charging document for Merry, seen by AP, also states that several tipsters provided the FBI with information that resulted in his arrest.

Merry was taken into custody on Thursday after police searched his home, reported AP.

His lawyer, Ethan Corlija, told the news agency: “He’s not the type of individual who believes in any violence or any conduct that would harm anybody, so it’s a little atypical for him.”

He continued: “He believes he had a right to attend a rally and voice his political beliefs like we all do, but he does not in any way shape or form condone any type of violence or property destruction or any type of insurrection of the government.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

2 women charged in Capitol riot said they were ‘looking’ for Pelosi ‘to shoot her in the friggin’ brain’

capitol siege riot ladder
Rioters clash with police using big ladder trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors.

  • Dawn Bancroft and Diana Santos-Smith were arrested and charged in connection to the Capitol riot.
  • The FBI received a tip of a “selfie” video taken at the siege, according to an affidavit.
  • Charges include entering a restricted building, disrupting government business, and disorderly conduct.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Two women charged in connection to the Capitol siege said they were in the building “looking” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “shoot her in the friggin’ brain,” according to an affidavit.

Dawn Bancroft and Diana Santos-Smith were arrested earlier this week in Pennsylvania in relation to the deadly insurrection on January 6, according to a criminal complaint.

Rioters stormed the Capitol building earlier this month as Congress was in session to certify the win of then-President-elect Joe Biden. The breach of the building prompted lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to shelter in place.

Five people died in the insurrection.

On January 12, the Federal Bureau of Investigation received a tip of a “selfie” video purportedly taken by Bancroft during the riot at the US Capitol building. In the video, Bancroft and another woman whom the FBI later identified as Santos-Smith were shown “in the process of attempting to exit the US Capitol building in Washington, DC,” according to the affidavit.

Read more: Marjorie Taylor Greene warned before the election that Americans would have to shed blood to ‘get your freedoms back’ if Trump lost

“We broke into the Capitol…we got inside, we did our part,” Bancroft said in the video, according to the criminal complaint. “We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the friggin’ brain but we didn’t find her.”

About a week after the FBI received the tip, for which they did not identify a source, investigators interviewed Santos-Smith and Bancroft. Santos-Smith initially told investigators that she did not physically enter the Capitol building but admitted that she lied after agents presented the aforementioned video to her. Bancroft said she did enter the building.

Santos-Smith said she and Bancroft attended the protest outside the Capitol with no intention of entering the building until she heard people yelling “they’re letting us in,” and told investigators that she thought protesters were being allowed to enter the Capitol.

Read more: Law enforcement veterans say the Capitol siege was just the tip of the iceberg of the ‘cult-like’ threat far-right extremists pose to the US

Santos-Smith said she and Bancroft entered the building through a broken window after an entrance door was too crowded, according to the affidavit. As soon as she entered the Capitol, she told investigators that she knew she should not be going inside.

A screenshot of CCTV footage showed one of the women climbing in through the broken window. 

After approximately 30 seconds to one minute inside, Santos-Smith claimed that she and Bancroft exited the building from the same window through which they entered. Bancroft relayed a similar story to investigators, according to the criminal complaint.

Bancroft and Santos-Smith were charged for entering and remaining in a restricted building, disrupting government business, and disorderly conduct.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump tweeted angrily about Mike Pence while the vice president was being attacked at the Capitol Building, and then gave him the silent treatment for several days

Mike Pence Donald Trump
President Donald Trump listens as Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a coronavirus briefing in February 2020.

  • President Donald Trump did not speak with Vice President Mike Pence for several days following the siege on the Capitol.
  • Pence was in the building at the time of the insurrection and was targeted by the pro-Trump mob over his refusal to interfere with the certification of the presidential election results, a point Trump himself brought up to his followers several times.
  • Trump actually targeted Pence during the siege and tweeted: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country” as his supporters stormed the building.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On Wednesday, as a mob of Trump supporters staged a violent insurrection at the Capitol, President Donald Trump was tweeting – not in support of the hundreds of members of Congress trapped within the building, but against Vice President Mike Pence. 

While hundreds of his followers violently made their way inside the Capitol, Trump took a few moments during the siege to attack the vice president, who had for the past month made it clear he didn’t support the president’s baseless claims of election fraud and would not challenge the certification of the election

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” President Trump wrote at 2:24 p.m., as the pro-Trump mob was breaching the building. 

Earlier in the day, he had discussed the vice president during a rally with supporters at the Ellipse, putting the success or failure of his plan to dispute the election on Pence’s shoulders.

“Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us,” Trump told the crowd. “And if it doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country.”

Trump’s words had the effect of turning Pence into the enemy. Several insurrectionists shared online that they hoped to kill or wound the vice president, and chants of “hang Mike Pence” could be heard throughout the Capitol building.

Pence was safely ferreted off the Senate floor by Secret Service and was hidden in a secure location for the duration of the attack, which left five people, including one police officer, dead.

“During the moment of the evacuation, he was adamant about staying in the building and not being taken away,” Pence chief of staff Marc Short told Insider on Friday. “He didn’t want to feel like we would allow that to happen in our country.” 

Trump’s silent treatment of Pence is ‘unconscionable, even for the president’

The president and vice president had enjoyed a relatively good relationship up until recently – what Tim Phillips, the president of the libertarian group Americans for Prosperity, described to The Washington Post as “a durable, close relationship,” despite their clear stylistic differences and beliefs. 

But as Trump slipped further and further into the baseless belief that there was widespread election fraud, the rift between Pence and Trump grew. Trump erroneously believed Pence had the ability to change the election, while Pence demurred in an 11-page letter sent to the president just before Wednesday’s rally and riot. 

“It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,” Pence wrote. 

In the days following the siege, Trump, likely still fuming from what he perceived as Pence’s disloyalty, made no attempt to contact the vice president or check up on him, according to Reuters

This did not sit well with aides, one of whom told the Wall Street Journal that avoiding the vice president was “unconscionable, even for the president.”

But while Trump gave Pence the silent treatment (in part, perhaps, because his Twitter account had been permanently suspended), House Democrats made overtures toward the VP and urged him to invoke the 25th Amendment. Those close to Pence played off the move as a non-starter, telling Business Insider that Pence was doing all he could to avoid a further rupture within the Republican party. 

Joe Grogan, the former head of the Domestic Policy Council under Trump, told The Journal he believes Pence should get credit for shutting down the president’s election fraud claims. 

Read moreWe analyzed 23 memos from CEOs responding to the US Capitol riot. The most effective messages get personal.

“If he had been replaced by someone as nuts as the people who have been surrounding the president as the primary advice givers for the last few months, we could have had even more of a bloodbath,” Grogan said. “Imagine what would have happened if Pence was devious and vile and didn’t stand up for the Constitution.”

On Monday, five days after the Capitol siege, Trump and Pence finally met face to face. Despite Trump not reaching out in the days following the Capitol Building riots, Pence appeared to have taken up the mantle of loyal vice president once more. The pair had what was described as a “good conversation” by observers, who said the vice president and president looked back on their accomplishments over the course of their term. 

As Trump stares down a second possible impeachment trial, he may realize how important it will be to have Pence on his side. 

Expanded Coverage Module: capitol-siege-module

Read the original article on Business Insider

Marriott suspends political donations to GOP lawmakers who sided with Trump and objected to Biden’s certification as president

GettyImages trump supporters capitol hill
Supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol’s Rotunda on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.

  • Marriott has cut off donations to GOP lawmakers who objected to certifying Democrat Joe Biden as president. The hotel chain said the decision was the result of last week’s siege on the US Capitol by pro-Trump supporters.
  • Marriott is one of the largest US companies to announce it was halting PAC donations to the GOP members who took part in the failed attempt to overturn the election.
  • Companies including Microsoft, Google, GM, and Coca-Cola have condemned the riots as an assault on US democracy. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel chain, has cut off political donations to Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying Joe Biden as president.

The company told Insider it made the decision following last week’s deadly siege on the US Capitol by pro-Trump supporters seeking to overturn November’s election results. 

“We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election,” a spokeswoman said in an email. 

Even after the mob stormed the Capitol last Wednesday, breaking windows and looting offices, eight senators — including Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas — and 139 representatives moved ahead with a planned objection to certifying the 2020 presidential election.  Several other GOP lawmakers who had said they would join dropped out following the riots. Vice President Mike Pence had declined to go along with the plan.

Read More: The right-wing conspiracy theories that fueled the Capitol siege are going to instigate more violence

The insurrection was fueled by months of conspiracy theories and baseless allegations of election fraud pushed by Trump and his backers. The violence led to five deaths, including one Capitol police officer.

Marriott is one of the largest US companies to announce it was halting PAC donations to the GOP members who took part in the failed attempt to overturn the election. The news site Popular Information was first to report the suspensions. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s PAC, known as BLUEPAC, and Commerce Bancshares, have also cut off donations to any GOP members involved, the site reported. 

Marriott is among a growing number of corporations that have condemned the insurrection as an assault on US democracy. Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Facebook have all condemned the attack. Leaders in the auto industry, including General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Ford CEO Jim Farley, have also issued statements denouncing the rioters. Ben & Jerry’s, the popular ice cream brand, called for the impeachment of Trump. Coca-Cola called the riots “an offense to the ideals of American democracy.”  

Read More: Amazon is removing Parler from its web hosting service 

Some of Trump’s staunchest supporters also distanced themselves following the riots. Blackstone chairman, CEO, and co-founder Stephen Schwarzman – a longtime Trump ally who previously defended the president’s election lawsuits during a call with top American CEOs – said he was “shocked and horrified.” “The insurrection that followed the President’s remarks today is appalling and an affront to the democratic values we hold dear as Americans,” Schwarzman said in a statement to Insider.

Meantime, Simon & Schuster, one of the “Big Five” publishing houses, canceled the scheduled publication of Hawley’s upcoming book “The Tyranny of Big Tech.” Hawley responded that “Simon & Schuster is canceling my contract because I was representing my constituents, leading a debate on the Senate floor on voter integrity, which they have now decided to redefine as sedition.”

The publishing house said it did not come to the decision lightly.  “As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘Nothing can stop us’: Slain Trump supporter tweeted conspiracy theories and her devotion to Trump in days before her death

Capitol Hill dystopian
An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while supporters of President Donald Trump gather in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington DC on January 6, 2021.

  • Ashli Babbitt was killed after being shot storming the US Capitol alongside a violent Trump mob on Wednesday.
  • Babbitt was a veteran of the Air Force, and was active on social media. Posts made prior to her death reveal she was fully steeped in a pro-Trump and QAnon conspiracy echo chamber.
  • Previous posts called out Democratic lawmakers, including Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Representative Maxine Waters, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with Babbitt saying she was putting them “on notice.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Ashli Babbitt’s Twitter account said she loved “my dude, my dog, & above all, my country.” On Wednesday, the 14-year veteran of the Air Force and ardent Trump supporter, who dabbled in conspiracy theories over social media, died during a rampage at the Capitol Building.

Law enforcement officials told NBC News of her death and DC police confirmed the news to the Washington Post. MSNBC reported that a law enforcement officer fired the shot.

Babbitt was one of hundreds of Trump supporters who, at the president’s suggestion, stormed down to the Capitol to protest the confirmation of Joe Biden’s Electoral College win over Trump. Photos and videos of Babbitt inside the Capitol before, during, and after she was shot were shared across social media, and after her death, her husband told local San Diego media that Babbitt was an ardent Trump supporter. 

Babbitt’s social media posts prior to her death give a clearer idea of her decision to head to Washington on January 6.

Babbitt regularly expressed support for Trump on social media. While she didn’t tweet much herself, she was an ardent retweeter of conservative and right-wing figures, including Michael Flynn and Jack Posobiec, and conservative news sites like Right Side Broadcast News. 

On January 5, Babbitt responded to a tweet that read, “A lot of flights into DC are being canceled with no bad weather. The entire world is corrupt.”

“Nothing will stop us,” she responded. “They can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours….dark to light!” 


She also regularly endorsed QAnon conspiracy theories on Twitter. In a series of photos posted in early September, Babbitt attended a Trump Boat Parade in San Diego, sporting a QAnon t-shirt, and included the group’s slogan in the caption. 


In December, Babbitt posted a screenshot of a California stay-at -home order notification and tweeted, “This is that commie bullshit!”

In a follow-up tweet, Babbitt shared a photo of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s face with a stop sign pasted over it, and later retweeted posts calling for Newsom to be recalled.

Babbitt often engaged with former Trump lawyer Lin Wood, a known conspiracy theorist. 

Less than 24 hours before the violent rally, Babbitt retweeted a tweet from Wood which read, “MUST BE DONE LIST before Congress meets today: 1. Mike Pence @vp @Mike_Pence must resign & thereafter be charged with TREASON. 2. Rod Rosenstein @RodRosenstein must be arrested & charged with being accessory to murder & TREASON. 3. Chief Justice John Roberts must RESIGN.”

A series of videos posted by Babbitt to Twitter in 2018 showed her expressing anger over California’s Democratic politicians and ranting about immigration at San Diego’s southern border.

In the videos, she calls out Maxine Waters, Kamala Harris, Ted Lieu, Jerry Brown, and Gavin Newsom, and claims they’re in favor of unrestricted immigration. Babbitt was specifically angry with Kamala Harris for comparing ICE’s tactics to the KKK

“I’m putting all of you on notice. Every single one of you politicians in California, what the hell are you doing?” Babbitt shouts from her car in one video.


Babbitt seemed fond of conspiracy theories which suggested that Chief Justice Roberts and other high profile politicians in DC engaged in pedophilia, and she often retweeted far-right media personalities. 

In one post, Babbitt retweeted Jack Posobiec who, responding to a photo of DC-bound Trump supporters wearing MAGA hats, tweeted, “So many domestic terrorists!”

Her last tweets heavily referenced Trump’s January 6 rally.

In one, Babbitt liked right-wing commentator Graham Allen’s tweet, which said, “Here we go…. January 6, 2021 will be in the history books one way or the other! Buckle up America!”

In one of her last tweets on the first day of 2021, Babbitt responded to a Twitter user asking, “When do we start winning?” Babbitt quote-tweeted and responded, “Jan 6, 2021,” with an American flag and hang five emoji. 


Read the original article on Business Insider