Using side-by-side photos of two men who bear some resemblance to each other, social media posts are spreading the false claim that a Washington, D.C., police officer who responded to the Capitol breach on Jan. 6 was really part of the rioting crowd. The photos actually show two different people.
House Republicans have sought to change the narrative on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by pro-Trump protesters, claiming that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “ultimately responsible for the breakdown of security at the Capitol.” But their arguments overstate the role of the House speaker in overseeing the security of the Capitol and rely on speculation.
Members of the Capitol Police will be among the first to testify during the House select committee investigation into the Jan. 6 riot, according to Rep. Bennie Thompson, who will lead the panel. But social media posts have made the unfounded claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “won’t let Capitol Police testify about what happened Jan. 6.”
There is no evidence that “unindicted co-conspirators” mentioned in federal indictments related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are undercover FBI agents or informants, as conservative outlets have claimed or suggested. Legal experts and federal case law say that government agents and informants cannot be labeled conspirators to a crime.
On June 8, a bipartisan group of senators released a report on the security and intelligence failures related to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The report did not “single out” former President Donald Trump “for inciting … the riots,” as a Facebook post from the advocacy group Occupy Democrats could lead social media users to believe.
More than 400 people have been charged in relation to the Jan. 6 events at the U.S. Capitol, and there is ample evidence that many protesters defied and assaulted Capitol Police officers that day. Yet viral social media posts are falsely claiming a video clip proves that “Capitol Police gave protesters OK” to enter the building. The video clip does not depict that.
Conservative social media posts misleadingly claim the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was not an “armed” insurrection, citing FBI testimony that no guns were seized from suspects that day. But 23 people have been charged with having deadly or dangerous weapons during the assault — including a loaded handgun found on a man arrested on Capitol grounds.