state senator who was at the United States
Capitol on Jan. 6 appears in videos and images that contradict his claims that he never crossed police
lines and left the area before violence erupted.
state Sen. Doug Mastriano
, whose campaign spent thousands of dollars on buses to ferry supporters to D.C. for the rally that sparked the riot, said after the riot that he did not enter the Capitol, walk on its steps, or go beyond police lines; and that he left the area with his wife “when it was obvious that this was no longer a peaceful protest.”
Mastriano and his wife, however, appeared to be in a crowd as it breached a police line in videos analyzed by members of the online “Sedition Hunters” community and posted on social media
over the weekend, Mastriano was wearing one of his campaign hats and a dark-green scarf on the day.
The video shows people moving
forward as a man picks up and throws away police barricades, and another image shows a couple on the northwest lawn.
Why wouldn't you? Especially with #ZZTopPB opening the gates for you. #Mastriano #SenMastriano #SeditionHunters #SeditionHasConsequences https://t.co/rFuoJ1ohnA
pic.twitter.com/glpME7ejpR — K2theSky (@K2theSky) May 22, 2021
#SeditionHunters - today's #SeditionVIP & outright liar is PA State Sen #IamDougMastriano: "When it became clear that this was no longer a peaceful protest, my wife and I left...at no point did we...go beyond police lines." But here he is, AND involved in the NE barrier breach 1/ https://t.co/btnHhil7hN
Mastriano and his wife appear to be walking just feet from the Capitol's main steps in another clip, timed at 1:59 p.m. in ProPublica's database of Jan. 6 Parler videos.
According to a New York
Times timeline, the mob arrived at the west side of the building's doors at 2:10 p.m., despite the fact that violent clashes with police had been going on for more than an hour at that point, and broke into the building at 2:11.
A request for comment from Mastriano's office was not immediately returned.
While downplaying his involvement, Mastriano gave a play-by-play of his movements around the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 and openly admitted to seeing multiple attempts by agitators to rattle police.
Later, he was pictured in a Facebook
post by former Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone, who wrote in another post that was later deleted, “We are storming the capitol. Our vanguard has broken thru the barricades. We will save this nation. Are u with me?”
@SenMastriano is at the Capitol in DC right now with Rick Saccone encouraging people to storm the building and “run out all the evil people” and RINOs who oppose Trump. https://t.co/[email protected],
are you okay with this? pic.twitter.com/AKQUY8u4VM — Lindsey Williams (@SenWilliamsPA) January 6
In the interview
, Mastriano distanced himself from Saccone, claiming he saw him on his way out and saying, "I don't know him very well."
Mastriano was photographed this month at a political event with Samuel Lazar, a militant supporter of former President Donald Trump
whose photo is on the FBI
's Capitol riot
wanted list, as first reported by Stardia.
Mastriano repeatedly fueled the false stolen-election narrative
and spread disinformation
about the 2020 election
in the months leading up to the attack
, boasting of numerous conversations with Trump about efforts to overturn the results, and even visited the White House
for one such discussion in November, despite testing positive for COVID-19
and being forced to leave.
In addition, last year, the senator led a series of protests in his state against COVID-19 mitigation strategies.