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Capitol rioters posted video claiming they 'crashed the White House'

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 3/14/2021 Ariel Zilber For Dailymail.com
a man wearing a hat: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Two US Marine Corps veterans who have been arrested and charged with storming the US Capitol during the MAGA riot on January 6 posted photos of themselves in the Rotuna while mistakenly bragging that they ‘crashed the White House.’

Jeffrey Shane Witcher and his close friend, Richard Franklin Barnard, were among hundreds of Trump supporters who breached the US Capitol building in Washington, DC while Congress was meeting to ratify Joe Biden’s victory.

According to court documents, Witcher and Barnard traveled to the capital from their home state of Texas with one other friend.

‘I am in the White House! We crashed this. Our house! We did it!’ Witcher is alleged to have said in a video retrieved from his iCloud account by federal investigators.

‘We did it, family, we did it! We did it! We’re in the White House!' 

Witcher, a combat veteran, arrived in Washington because he ‘believed free speech across the country was being censored and most people were tone deaf to discussion and have become disenfranchised with the political process.’

‘He stated his purpose was to take part in civil disobedience, which he felt was necessary to facilitate a dialogue, only he had expected it to be nonviolent and peaceful,’ according to a court affidavit.

a man wearing a hat: Jeffrey Shane Witcher (bottom right) and his close friend, Richard Franklin Barnard (left), were among hundreds of Trump supporters who breached the US Capitol building in Washington, DC while Congress was meeting to rafiy Joe Biden’s victory on January 6 © Provided by Daily Mail Jeffrey Shane Witcher (bottom right) and his close friend, Richard Franklin Barnard (left), were among hundreds of Trump supporters who breached the US Capitol building in Washington, DC while Congress was meeting to rafiy Joe Biden’s victory on January 6

Witcher told federal investigators that on January 6 he stopped to take photos of the Trump Hotel at around 1:02pm - not long after the then-president’s supporters initially stormed the barricades surrounding the Capitol.

Witcher said that he was standing near the Washington Monument some 300 yards away from the Capitol when he noticed a large group of people making their way inside the congressional building.

As there appeared to be no signs of police or law enforcement officials, Witcher and his friend, Barnard, entered the Capitol building, according to federal investigators.

Witcher allegedly documented his entry into the Capitol with his cell phone.

Witcher is alleged to have deleted incriminating videos and photos of himself and Barnard inside the Capitol.

According to court papers, Witcher agreed to have his phone searched by FBI agents. They are said to have received permission from Witcher to access his Apple iCloud account.

FBI agents were able to retrieve photos and video clips that Witcher had previously thought he had deleted, according to court papers.

One of the videos that was retrieved from Witcher’s mobile device shows the former combat veteran walking towards the Capitol Rotunda moments after police officers were overrun by the crowd of rioters.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Federal court documents included this image which is alleged to show Witcher and Barnard in the Capitol Rotunda on January 6 © Provided by Daily Mail Federal court documents included this image which is alleged to show Witcher and Barnard in the Capitol Rotunda on January 6

‘I’m out here with my brother Richard Barnard - no, no, no, let’s go!' he is alleged to have said in the video.

‘It’s our house, it’s our house! Our house! Our house!

‘Hey family, we did it. We came, and we did it.

‘We’re inside the White House. Our house.’

When asked by FBI agents about his comments, Witcher allegedly told them that he was ‘so emotional and invested in the moment’ that he misspoke and claimed that he was in the White House rather than the Capitol.

In a second video clip retrieved from Witcher’s iCloud account, he is alleged to have said: ‘We’re in the rotunda. We’re in the rotunda. Our house! Our house! Our house! Our house! Our house! Our house! Our house! Our house! Our house! Our house! Our house! Our house!’

In another segment of the same clip, Witcher is alleged to have directed some comments at law enforcement officials nearby.

He allegedly said: ‘Our house! Our house! Our house! Don’t be a traitor!

‘Fulfill your Constitutional duties, man. Do or die! Do or die! Do or die!

‘Be with us! Be with us! Be with us!’

Witcher is alleged to have continued to yell at law enforcement officers nearby.

a young boy wearing a hat: Barnard (left) allegedly told federal agents that he deleted cell phone pictures and videos of himself as he entered the Capitol after his wife texted him that people died during the riot © Provided by Daily Mail Barnard (left) allegedly told federal agents that he deleted cell phone pictures and videos of himself as he entered the Capitol after his wife texted him that people died during the riot Witcher, a combat veteran, arrived in Washington because he ‘believed free speech across the country was being censored and most people were tone deaf to discussion and have become disenfranchised with the political process.' The image above shows Barnard on the left © Provided by Daily Mail Witcher, a combat veteran, arrived in Washington because he ‘believed free speech across the country was being censored and most people were tone deaf to discussion and have become disenfranchised with the political process.' The image above shows Barnard on the left

‘You are us! You are us! You are us! You are us!’ he is alleged to have said.

‘Hey man, you grew up in the same place I grew up, you’re us.

‘Hey man, you are us, you are us, you’re us, guy.

‘Hey man, don’t forget your Constitutional duties.

‘Don’t forget your oath, brother. Don’t forget your oath! Do not forget your oath!

‘You are us! You are us! You are us!’

Seconds later, a ‘heavy thud’ is heard in the video, according to court papers.

Witcher is alleged to have said that the noise was caused by someone hurling a fire extinguisher at a police officer.

‘Don’t do that! No, no! No! These are not our enemies. No, don’t do it,’ Witcher is alleged to have said.

According to court papers, Witcher is then seen joining a chant that broke out among the rioters.

‘Our house! Our house! Man, I’m so proud of us,’ he is alleged to have said.

FBI agents in Austin, Texas interviewed Barnard after Witcher provided them with his contact information.

text, letter

© Provided by Daily Mail

According to court papers, Barnard told the FBI after the storming of the Capitol, his wife texted him and informed him that people died during the riot.

After receiving his wife’s text, ‘Barnard stated he then decided to delete the videos and photographs from his phone,’ according to court papers.

During his interview with the FBI, no videos or photos were retrieved from his device, though Barnard is said to have offered to send investigators whatever material surfaces.

The FBI affidavit recommends charging both Barnard and Witcher with federal crimes, including trespassing and disrupting the orderly conduct of government business. 

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