According to reports, former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
(R-Calif.) breached the Capitol police
barricades on Jan. 6 and blamed the subsequent siege on “leftist provacateurs,” but he did not breach the Capitol.
According to the San Jose
, he was the "highest-profile politician known to be on the ground that day."
The right-wing ex-lawmaker was identified in images by the anonymous Capitol hunters, who posted a photo of him among a pro-Trump mob 500 feet outside the restricted area.
We knew OC would send their finest, and here he is, the highest-profile #SeditionVIP yet: former U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA 42). 1/ pic.twitter.com/yJDdR5aR4T — capitolhunters (@capitolhunters) June 12, 2021
On Monday, Rohrabacher confirmed it was him, telling the Press Herald in Maine
, where he now resides, that the 2020 election
was rigged and should be protested, but he “was not there to make a scene and do things that were unacceptable.”
Demonstrators who did enter the building, according to Rohrabacher, “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.” The Orange County politician, who lost reelection in 2018, echoed a false Republican conspiracy theory
that “leftist provocateurs” encouraged the crowd to storm the building.
There is no evidence that Rohrabacher entered the building or committed acts of violence. Hundreds of people
have been charged in the January 6
riot, which was sparked by the widespread belief that President Joe Biden
's election was rigged.
During his 30-year tenure
in Congress, Rohrabacher gained a reputation as one of Russian President Vladimir Putin
's "most vocal defenders," according to The Washington Post
According to the Post, then-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
(R-Calif.) said in 2016: “There are two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.”