The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

We looked for antifa at the Capitol — we couldn’t find any

Some Trump allies have speculated that antifa was responsible for inciting violence and storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. No evidence supports this claim. (Video: Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)
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“I don’t know if the reports are true, but the Washington Times has just reported some pretty compelling evidence from a facial recognition company showing that some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters. They were masquerading as Trump supporters and in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa.”

—Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), on the floor of the House after pro-Trump rioters interrupted the electoral college vote certification on Jan. 6, 2021

Supporters and allies of President Trump have speculated that antifa — a decentralized network of activists who oppose anything that they think is racist or fascist — was responsible for inciting violence and storming the Capitol on Wednesday.

The story referenced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has since been retracted by the Washington Times. The company in question — XRVision — confirmed to The Post that no anitifa members were identified through its software at the Capitol.

Internet detectives are identifying scores of pro-Trump rioters at the Capitol. Some have already been fired.

The Facts

To date, no evidence supports the claim that individuals with antifa connections formed part of the riots that took place on Capitol grounds. The FBI has said it does not believe antifa or any of its associates are responsible for the violence unleashed.

Video shows fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt in the Capitol

Wednesday’s events were widely documented, via videos, tweets and live-streams from reporters already covering the day’s events. Video and photos confirm that many of the rioters were supporters, and individuals with right-wing and extremist beliefs. The usual antifa tactics such as wearing masks and face coverings to avoid detection were uncommon among rioters, making identification process an easier task.

In the video above, we identify four such individuals:

  • QAnon supporter Jake Angeli, known for his viking costume.
  • Newly elected West Virginia Del. Derrick Evans (R), who live-streamed himself outside the Capitol.
  • Richard “Bigo” Barnett, who was among the group to break into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and has since been arrested in Little Rock, Ark.
  • Tim Gionet, also known as “Baked Alaska,” who has hosted interviews with neo-Nazi Richard Spencer.

To top it off, Trump acknowledged that the people who stormed the Capitol were his supporters. “We love you,” he said in a vlog. “You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.”

The Bottom Line

We found many Trump supporters, but there is virtually no evidence that people associated with antifa were part of the mob that occupied the Capitol. This article will be updated as we continue our search. We welcome any information from our readers.

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