Law enforcement agencies have charged several people with Kentucky ties for their alleged role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. All face federal charges.
Law enforcement arrested Kentucky resident Robert Bauer on Jan. 15 for illegally and violently entering the Capitol and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. According to an FBI statement, Bauer told investigators he and his cousin were at the rally for President Donald Trump, when they began marching toward the Capitol “because President Trump said to do so.”
Video and photos from Bauer’s phone shows Bauer inside the Capitol with the rioters. According to the FBI statement, Bauer told investigators “he did not think he had done anything wrong and according to him, there were no signs posted stating that he could not enter the U.S. Capitol building.” He also denied knowing that Congress was in session, and said his purpose for entering the building was to “occupy the space.”
Bauer also told investigators a police officer shook his hand as he entered the Capitol
“According to [Bauer], the police officer grabbed his hand, shook it, and said, ‘It’s your house now.’ [He] believed that the policeman was acting out of fear,” the statement reads.
His cousin however, who was with Bauer, said he saw “Do Not Enter” signs, and told investigators he knew entering the Capitol was wrong.
Rioter spoke to media before arrest
The FBI says Damon Michael Beckley in Cub Run, Ky. was arrested for unlawful entry of a restricted building and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Videos show Beckley inside the Capitol. The man also identified himself to cameras outside the building after rioter Ashli Babbitt had been shot in the neck by Capitol Police; Beckley blamed Vice President Mike Pence for her death.
“You! Her blood is on your hands, Mike Pence!” Beckely told the camera.
“If we’ve got to come back here and start a revolution, and take all of these traitors out, which is what should be done, then we will,” he went on.
Later, Beckley told WDRB he meant retribution should happen at the ballot box, and expressed remorse for the events of Jan. 6. He also told WDRB he removed his SIM card from his phone to try to avoid being arrested by the FBI.
Man arrested for role in deadly attempt to enter Speaker’s Lobby
Chad Jones of Mount Washington, Ky. was involved in the melee just outside the House Speaker’s Lobby in which rioter Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed by law enforcement, according to an FBI affidavit.
Federal officials say Jones can be seen on video using the pole of a Trump flag to break the left-side window of the entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby. This was minutes before video shows Babbit attempting to enter through the right-side window before being shot in the neck by police.
The statement says two witnesses identified Jones in the video circulating on social media. One witness was a family member of Jones who first reported him to the FBI after seeing him in videos on social media.
Jones was arrested on multiple charges including, assault on a federal officer, obstruction of justice, and destruction of government property.
‘Idk what treason is’
A student at the University of Kentucky, Gracyn Courtright, faces charges of unlawfully entering the Capitol and stealing a “members only” sign based on video evidence, including photos and videos Courtright posted to her own Instagram account.
FBI documents show Courtright, a West Virginia resident and UK student, messaged with a witness on Instagram and admitted to entering the Senate chambers.
“What you did was treason!” the witness messaged Courtright.
“Idk what treason is,” Courtright replied.
According to the FBI statement and photos, Courtright can also be seen carrying a “members only” sign to the second floor, where it is taken away from her by officers.
Courtright’s father agreed to be interviewed by the FBI and assist with the investigation.
The Kentucky Kernel originally reported Courtright’s involvement in the mob on Jan. 7. According to the Kernel, some students are calling for Courtright, a senior mathematical economics major, to be expelled from the university.