More than a dozen suspects charged in connection to the January 6 attack on the Capitol named Donald Trump as the person who incited them to do so.
Of the nearly 200 criminal cases, a total of 13 people have said the then-president urged them to storm the Capitol or attend the violent protests in Washington D.C. that day, according to a list first compiled by Mother Jones.
Trump became the first president to be impeached twice after he was accused of inciting the insurrection which left five people, including a police officer, dead.
The violent mob stormed the building following weeks of Trump falsely claiming the election had been “stolen” from his as a result of widespread voter fraud and a speech prior to the attack in which he told the crowd “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Jake Angeli, real name Jacob Chansley aka the QAnon Shaman, has become the most recognizable figure to be charged in connection to the attack after storming the building shirtless, wearing a horned hat and with red, white and blue face paint.
The avid supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory requested a pardon from Trump for because he “accepted President Trump’s invitation to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol.” Angeli‘s lawyer previously told Newsweek that his client has “was made the fool” after being incited by Trump.
A San-Francisco based member of the Proud Boys, Goodwyn posted on Twitter that the far-right extremists should “stand back and stand by” and “await orders from our Commander in Chief” on November 7.
The tweet from Daniel Goodwyn, who was identified in a live-stream from inside the Capitol by Anthime Gionet, aka “Baked Alaska,” was cited in the FBI’s statement of facts against him.
A Maryland suspect who admitted to attacking police officers with a baseball bat while trying to storm the building also claimed he was at the Capitol because of Trump.
Emanuel Jackson is facing a number of charges including assault on a federal law enforcement officer with a dangerous weapon. His lawyer argues that Trump invited Jackson to commit the insurrection.
“The nature and circumstances of this offense must be viewed through the lens of an event inspired by the President of the United States,” Brandi Harden wrote in a January 22 court filing.
Joshua Black, of Leeds, Alabama, cited Trump’s attempting to throw former Vice President Mike Pence under the bus for not blocking the election results for his alleged role in the insurrection.
Trump repeatedly and falsely suggested Pence could still somehow overturn the election results during his purely ceremonial and constitutional role as presiding officer of the Senate as the Electoral Votes were being certified, including during his speech on January 6.
In a YouTube video explaining why he stormed the Capitol, Black said: “Once we found out Pence turned on us and that they had stolen the election, like officially, the crowd went crazy. I mean, it became a mob. We crossed the gate.”
During the attack, the mob, which included far-right extremists, could be heard chanting “hang Mike Pence” in the corridors of the Capitol building.
Robert Sanford, of Chester, Pennsylvania, is accused of throwing what appeared to be a fire extinguisher at police officers while being part of the mob who stormed the Capitol.
According to an FBI statement of facts, Sanford had traveled with a group to Washington D.C. and then “listened to President Donald J. Trump’s speech and then had followed the President’s instructions and gone to the Capitol.”
Kentucky man Robert Bauer attended the pro-Trump rally on January 6 before allegedly storming the building. According to a criminal complaint, after Trump told the crowd, “We are going down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol,” the crowd began moving towards the Capitol.
“Bauer reiterated that he marched to the U.S. Capitol because President Trump said to do so,” the complaint adds.
Bauer’s cousin Edward Hemenway is also accused of also storming the building. He made a similar statement to the FBI stating that during the rally Trump said “something about taking Pennsylvania Avenue,” so he and Bauer walked down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol.
Hemenway said that they stayed at a hotel in D.C. on January 5 because he “didn’t know what was going to happen,” but he had heard “crazy things” on social media.
Christopher Ray Grider
Christopher Ray Grider, of Eddy, Texas, was filmed being part of the mob trying to burst through Capitol doors before police fired at the rioters, killing Ashli Babbitt. Grider stormed the capitol while draped in a yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” flag.
In an interview after the attack, Grider told a local television station that he went to Washington D.C. because “the president asked people to come and show their support. I feel like it’s the least that we can do,” court filings note.
Texas-based real estate agent Jennifer Ryan, another suspect who sought a pardon from Trump, flew to Washington D.C. to attend the protest via a private jet.
“I just want people to know I’m a normal person, that I listen to my president who told me to go to the Capitol,” Ryan told a Dallas news station KTVT.
On January 6, Ryan posted a video on her Facebook stating, “We’re gonna go down and storm the capitol.”
She later posted a photo of herself in front of a broken window at the Capitol building on Twitter with the caption: “Window at the capital [sic]. And if the news doesn’t stop lying about us we’re going to come after their studios next,” according to a statement of facts.
According to a statement of facts, Gina Bisignano, of Beverly Hills, California, replied to Trump’s December 19 tweet about there being a “wild” protest on January 6 with “I’ll be there.”
Speaking to The Beverly Hills Courier, Bisignano said she went to the Capitol on January 6 as she felt called upon by Trump to travel to D.C. to change the outcome of the election, which she believes was stolen.
Another California resident also posted on social media about traveling to D.C after being urged to do so by Trump.
The FBI said Jorge Riley posted more than 150 messages, photographs, and videos on his public Facebook account, detailing his actions in Washington D.C. on January 6.
In one message, Riley said: “I’m here to see what my President called me to D.C. for. Hello from Sacramento!!!” In another status update, Riley wrote: “Today at noon, the Election is being challenged!!!”
On January 13, the FBI interviewed Valerie Ehrke, resident of Arbuckle, California, at her work. Ehrke told agents she traveled to Washington, D.C. on January 5 but originally did not intend to storm the Capitol.
She said she listened to Trump’s speech where he told the crowd “to go to the U.S. Capitol, and he would go with them.”
Ehrke said she instead went back to her hotel room, turned on the television, and saw people were going into the Capitol and decided she wanted to be part of the crowd, and walked to the building
Stephen Michael Ayers
According to an FBI affidavit, Ohio resident Stephen Michael Ayers shared one of Trump’s tweets advising his supporters not to “miss” January 6 in Washington, D.C. with the message “Where will you be on January 6th? Chilling at home? HOPING this country isn’t going to hell in a hand basket? Or are you willing to start fighting for the American Dream! Again!?!?”
In a Facebook post made on January 2, Ayers wrote “History is being made right in front of your eyes! When your grandchildren ask “Where were you when………..happened?” What’s your answer going to be?”
The post includes an image of a poster stating, “January 6th Washington, D.C, the president is calling on us to come back to Washington on January 6th for a big protest – ‘Be there, will be wild.'”
Trump’s office has been contacted for comment.