Founder of pro-Trump social media campaign pleads guilty to Jan. 6 charge
The founder of a pro-Trump social media campaign aimed at steering Democrats away from their party pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a misdemeanor in connection to his involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.
Brandon Straka pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, which has a maximum jail sentence of six months, while another charge, impeding law enforcement during civil disorder, was dropped by prosecutors, The Washington Post reported.
In return for the reduced charges, Straka will be required to sit down for an interview with federal authorities and provide any evidence that could help officials in their investigations, including social media posts, according to the plea agreement.
Earlier in January, Straka, the originator of the “Walk Away” campaign, faced several charges in connection to the violent Jan. 6 riot, in which supporters of former President Trump ransacked the Capitol and lawmakers’ offices in an effort to stop Congress from certifying President Biden’s 2020 election win.
According to court documents, an FBI agent received a link from a witness that showed a video of Straka “within several feet of the entrance to the U.S. Capitol” and apparently later encouraged protesters to take a shield away from a police officer.
“The crowd successfully pulled the shield away from the officer as the officer appeared to be trying to move back toward the entrance of the building. The officer then went back into the crowd to get his shield back. Several people pulled on the shield as the officer grabbed it, thus pulling the officer deeper into the crowd,” according to the court documents.
The court documents also indicated that Straka was active on Twitter during the Jan. 6 riot and that the FBI received public tips that provided screenshots of his posts during that day, which included him tweeting, “I arrived at the Capitol a few hours ago as Patriots were storming from all sides. I was quite close to entering myself as police began tear gassing us from the door. I inhaled tear gas & got it in my eyes. Patriots began exiting shortly after saying Congress had been cleared.”
The Hill has reached out to Straka for comment.
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