WASHINGTON — Two years ago, a mob of rioters who believed former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election brutalized police, vandalized widows, stormed an office, overturned a giant conference table and barricaded themselves on Capitol Hill. of the US for a fight with the police inside a set of «hidden» offices for US senators.
One of the offices, federal prosecutors recently revealed, belonged to Republican Jim Risch, the 79-year-old senator from Idaho, where Trump is tremendously popular.
Video shows a rioter, who pleaded guilty to tasering a police officer’s neck, nearly killing him, breaking Risch’s window overlooking the Washington Monument and National Mall in an attempt to allow more rioters to enter enter the building. Additional video released this week shows Risch’s vandalized desk, including what appears to be a framed campaign image with his last name on it.
A review of Risch’s public statements about the riots on January 6, 2021 shows no indication that he ever mentioned what happened to his office that day. Asked by NBC News this week about the destruction of his office and new footage of rioters at his hideout, Risch demurred.
“I don’t do interviews on January 6, but thanks,” Risch said.
Asked again if he had a response to the newly released images, the senator only said: «Thanks for asking.»
His office did not respond to follow-up emails seeking comment about his hidden office being raided by pro-Trump rioters.
On the night of January 6, after the rioters were evicted from the Capitol, Risch voted to certify President Joe Biden’s victory, condemning the attack as «extremely unpatriotic and un-American.»
He added in a statement that evening: “We are grateful to the law enforcement officers who put themselves in harm’s way and kept those who work on Capitol Hill safe today. I was proud to join my colleagues in reconvening on Capitol Hill tonight to show that mob rule never prevails.»
Earlier in the day, video shows a remarkable and disturbing scene unfolding within three rooms: ST2M, ST4M and ST6M, which is part of a split-level office suite overlooking the west terrace. The rioters entered the mezzanine through a window after fighting their way onto the stage that had been set for Biden’s inauguration. an fbi sworn declaration in a recent case he revealed that the office, ST4M, «was assigned to Senator James Risch on January 6, 2021.»
Daniel «DJ» Rodriguez, seen in other footage from Jan. 6 shoving a stun gun into the neck of Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone, is seen in the new video inside the office suite as first responders Fanone was being taken to the hospital after losing consciousness.
Realizing that the rioters were inside the building, officers who had been fighting in the adjacent tunnel where some of the most violent scenes on January 6 took place rushed to the door leading to the office and piled as many items as they could. find to block the way. rioters create a new point of entry to the Capitol, recently released body camera footage shows.
In his admitted offense statement, Rodriguez said he had used various objects to try to break Risch’s window before telling other rioters that he had used a stun gun on Fanone’s neck.
«OMG I did so much f—ing s—rn and ran away, I’ll tell you later,» Rodriguez. wrote in a Patriots 45 MAGA Gang Telegram group after leaving Risch’s office. «Tazed the f— out of the blue.»
The new video showing Risch’s office was introduced as evidence in the case against one of Rodriguez’s co-defendants, Ed Badalian, whose case was heard in a bench trial before a U.S. District Court judge. Amy Berman Jackson.
Gina Bisignano, another Capitol riot defendant who testified in the case as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors, said under oath that the rioters had defecated in one of the offices adjacent to Risch’s on Jan. 6.
Many in the Republican Party have been hesitant to speak out plainly about what happened on Capitol Hill on January 6. After Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired deceptively edited footage that made the attack on the Capitol seem less severe, some Senate Republicans condemned the misrepresentation. .
“I believe breaking windows and glass doors to enter the United States Capitol against police boundaries is a crime,” said Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota. “I think particularly when you walk into the chambers, when you start opening the members’ desks, when you stand on their balcony, to sort of put that in the same category as, you know, allowed peaceful protest is just a lie.”