Former Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building
Former GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said in an interview on Monday that he took part in a march to the Capitol on Jan. 6 in support of what he called a “fraudulent” presidential election that should have been investigated but that he did not enter the building when it was later overrun by rioters.
Rohrabacher, a former California Republican who now lives in Maine, confirmed to the Portland Press Herald that he took part in a march to the Capitol on Jan. 6 after online observers identified him in footage over the weekend.
“I marched to protest, and I thought the election was fraudulent and it should be investigated, and I wanted to express that and be supportive of that demand,” Rohrabacher told the newspaper. “But I was not there to make a scene and do things that were unacceptable for anyone to do.”
Rohrabacher’s presence was first noted on Saturday by an anonymous online group who uses the Twitter account @capitolhunters, the Press Herald reported.
In 2016, House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA 23) famously said “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” On Jan 6, Rohrabacher roamed the Capitol all day with a guy in a giant ushanka hat. Is this epic trolling by Russia? 2/https://t.co/2zRLmLk40P pic.twitter.com/n4fl9f8HKi
— capitolhunters (@capitolhunters) June 12, 2021
The former congressman can be seen in videos standing in the crowd near the edge of the Lower West Plaza from from roughly 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., nearly 500 feet away from police barriers. The newspaper noted there was no indication Rohrabacher was trying to climb the west steps or get into the Capitol.
“By going into the building, they gave the left the ability to direct the discussion of what was going on in a way that was harmful to the things we believe in,” Rohrabacher told the Press Herald, saying he believed “leftist provocateurs” encouraged the rioters to break into the building. He offered no evidence to back up that claim.
A pro-Trump mob overwhelmed law enforcement and sent lawmakers scrambling for safety on Jan. 6 after the former president encouraged crowds of his supporters to march to the Capitol in protest the official Electoral College count by Congress that would affirm Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
During his time in office, Rohrabacher, a Trump ally, was known as “Putin’s favorite congressman” due to his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He advocated for several pro-Putin causes such as opposing sanctions on the country and countering criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
He lost reelection in 2018 to Democratic Rep. Harley Rouda.
Since leaving office, Rohrabacher has moved to Maine and begun working in the cannabis industry, having been a proponent for cannabis legalization during his time as a U.S. congressman.
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