Omaha man facing charges related to U.S. Capitol riot
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The FBI Omaha Field Office said Monday that agents had arrested an Omaha man on a federal warrant relating to the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol.
According to the FBI release, Brandon Straka is in federal custody in Omaha and will face the following charges:
- Impeding law enforcement officer during civil disorder
- Knowingly entering and remaining on restricted grounds without lawful authority and/or engaging in disorderly conduct within proximity to a restricted building to impede official functions
- Engaging in disorderly conduct with intent to disturb a hearing before Congress
According to the criminal complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Straka was able to get within a few feet of the U.S. Capitol entrance Jan. 6, and yelled to the crowd to take a U.S. Capitol Police Officer’s protective shield: “Take the shield! Take it! Take it!”
Straka is being held at Douglas County Corrections and is expected to appear in federal court on Tuesday, officials said.
The report states that the Omaha office received a tip on Jan. 11 that a video had been posted to Twitter that appeared to have been taken near an entrance to the Capitol on Jan. 6, but that the video had been taken down. Investigators said Straka had referred to himself as the founder of the WalkAway Campaign set up in May 2018, the document states. Its website described the campaign as “a true grassroots movement” initiated in May 2018, the document states.
The Twitter account also had a 58-minute video post of Straka talking about the events of Jan. 6 talking about how he had just arrived home from Washington, D.C., and saying he had been slated to be a speaker at the Capitol, the complaint states. A video of a “Stop the Steal” event had been posted to his Twitter account but later deleted, but agents were able to verify Straka’s appearance via a video of the entire event that was posted to YouTube, the document states.
The report states that Straka posted to Twitter that “it was not Antifa at the Capitol. It was freedom loving Patriots who were DESPERATE to fight for the final hope of our Republic because literally nobody cares about them. Everyone else can denounce them. I will not.”
The report also includes screenshots of tweets posted to Straka’s Twitter account on Jan. 6, which state:
- “Patriots at the Capitol – HOLD. THE. LINE!!!!”
- “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.”
- “I’m completely confused. For 6-8 weeks everybody on the right has been saying ’1776!’ & that if congress moves forward it will mean a revolution! So congress moves forward. Patriots storm the Capitol – now everybody is virtual signaling their embarrassment that this happened.”
- “Also- be embarrassed & hide if you need to- but I was there. It was not Antifa at the Capitol. It was freedom loving Patriots who were DESPERATE to fight for the final hope of our Republic because literally nobody cares about them. Everyone else can denounce them. I will not.”
- “Perhaps I missed the part where it was agreed this would be a revolution of ice cream cones & hair-braiding parties to take our government back from lying, cheating globally interested swamp parasites. My bad.”
According to the complaint, the FBI received “multiple tips referencing the video of Straka at the U.S. Capitol.”
One witness told the FBI that they had viewed a YouTube video more than eight minutes long that had since been deleted. The witness said the video, which had been titled “Straka attacking the Capitol on Jan 6th” with a description that read “Fair use historical record of Brandon Straka storming the Capitol on Jan 6th,” showed Straka at the Capitol saying he was on the “cusp” of entering the building and repeating, “We’re going in.”
The video then showed Straka yelling to the crowd to take the officer’s shield, the report states.
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