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Former Calif. GOP Congressman Admits to Participation in Capitol Riots: 'I Marched to Protest'

People logo People 6/16/2021 People Staff
Dana Rohrabacher wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Tom Williams/getty Dana Rohrabacher © Provided by People Tom Williams/getty Dana Rohrabacher

Former California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has admitted he marched during the deadly Jan. 6 rioting at the U.S. Capitol.

The GOP member - who has since moved to Maine - was the subject of scandal after an anonymous social media account shared photos of the former congressman, 73, protesting the November election results in Washington, D.C.

Rohrabacher, 73, addressed his involvement on Monday.

"I marched to protest, and I thought the election was fraudulent and it should be investigated, and I wanted to express that and be supportive of that demand," he told the Portland Press Herald of Maine of President Joe Biden's win. "But I was not there to make a scene and do things that were unacceptable for anyone to do."

Dana Rohrabacher wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera © Tom Williams/getty Dana Rohrabacher

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The former congressman, however, denied storming into the U.S. Capitol and condemned those who did.

"By going into the building, they 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," Rohrabacher told the outlet. 

He also insisted, falsely, that "leftist provocateurs" were responsible for urging the crowd to breach the building.

a man wearing a hat: David McNew/Getty Dana Rohrabacher © Provided by People David McNew/Getty Dana Rohrabacher

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Rohrabacher has a controversial past due to his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials of Russia, the New York Times reported in 2017. He was also involved in various investigations stemming from probes into Russia's involvement in the 2016 U.S. election," according to the New York Times in 2018.

That year, Rohrabacher lost his seat representing California in Congress to Democrat Harley Rouda. 

Rohrabacher's admission of his involvement in the Jan. 6 comes weeks after Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan investigation into the rioting.

The commission, which had already passed the House of Representatives, failed to win the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster. It drew only 54 votes, including six Republicans, against 35 vetoes - all from other Republicans.

The results of the vote drew criticism from Democrats, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer questioning if Republicans were scared of "the truth."

"What are you afraid of? The truth?" Schumer, 70, asked Republicans in a speech on the floor on May 28. "Are you afraid Donald Trump's big lie will be dispelled?"

Schumer added that the blocked investigation would have been run by a "down-the-middle commission."

a group of people on a boat in front of a crowd: Samuel Corum/Getty Rioters at the U.S. Capitol following Presidential election results © Provided by People Samuel Corum/Getty Rioters at the U.S. Capitol following Presidential election results

RELATED: Shocking Photos of the Violent Riots Occurring at the U.S. Capitol

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, echoing the criticism of others in his party, had said in his own speech on May 27 that he didn't believe the commission report "would uncover crucial new facts or promote healing." 

The Capitol insurrection resulted in five deaths after Trump, 75, urged his supporters to march where Congress had assembled to certify the November election results.

Days later, Trump was impeached for an unprecedented second time for "inciting" the Jan. 6 riot. The former president was acquitted by the Senate, though seven Republicans voted to convict.

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"The investigations will happen with or without Republicans," Sen. Bill Cassidy, one of the six Republicans who voted in favor of the commission of a bipartisan investigation, said in a statement. "To ensure the investigations are fair, impartial, and focused on the facts, Republicans need to be involved."

The Federal Bureau of Investigations has been looking into the riots, revealing that tips have led to "multiple" arrests. The organization published several photos of "wanted" suspects.  


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