He Came To See Trump Speech, Ended Up In Senator’s Office, Smoking Joint

But inside hours of looking Trump’s speech, Fellows had his ft propped up on a desk withinside the workplace of a U.S. Senator, smoking a joint. He roamed the halls of the Capitol, heckled cops and published motion pictures alongside the manner on Snapchat.

Brandon Fellows stated he got here to D.C. in element due to the fact he believes that the election became rigged.

Brandon Fellows had in no way attended a Trump rally earlier than ultimate week. He stated he became inspired to power to Washington after seeing a tweet from the president. “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” President Donald Trump wrote on Dec. 19. “Be there, may be wild!”

Fellows did not understand approximately a deliberate march that might sooner or later overtake the U.S. Capitol. He stated he had clearly come to peer Trump deliver a speech.

But inside hours of looking Trump’s speech, Fellows had his ft propped up on a desk withinside the workplace of a U.S. Senator, smoking a joint. He roamed the halls of the Capitol, heckled cops and published motion pictures alongside the manner on Snapchat.

“I don’t have any regrets,” stated Fellows, a 26-year-antique former grocery save employee from upstate New York who now makes cash slicing bushes and repairing chimneys. “I did not harm anyone, I did not destroy anything. I did trespass though, I guess.”

Indeed, withinside the days for the reason that upheaval, Fellows stated his profile at the relationship app Bumble is “blowing up” after he published images of himself on the Capitol.

Fellows became amongst loads of Trump supporters who broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6, forcing Vice President Michael Pence, individuals of Congress and their staffs into hiding. Five human beings died withinside the melee, consisting of a rioter who became shot through police and a Capitol Police officer from unspecified accidents suffered at some stage in an altercation with the intruders.

 

Fellows’s tale gives an in depth account of ways one Trump supporter ended up collaborating withinside the Capitol rebellion, an occasion that has spawned mass condemnation and precipitated House Democrats to pursue impeachment for a 2d time in much less than  years.

His tale additionally gives a real-global instance of a Trump supporter who absorbed fake facts on social media and heeded the president’s name to take action. It’s an instance of why such a lot of generation agencies have taken steps for the reason that Capitol rebellion to crack down on conspiracies which have proliferated on its platforms, consisting of Twitter’s ban on Trump’s account.

Fellows, who lives in a transformed faculty bus, stated he stopped operating ultimate spring due to fears of Covid-19. But he stated he have become disenchanted whilst New York kingdom denied him unemployment benefits. “For a while, in early March and April, I became wonderful poor,” he stated.

Fellows stated he receives tons of his information from conservative commentators on YouTube, consisting of Ben Shapiro and Steven Crowder. He stated he has additionally began out looking Newsmax and One America News, that have each promoted fake claims of a rigged election.

He stated his affairs of state have created friction together along with his family, a lot in order that on Christmas Day best his grandparents invited him to dinner. They requested him to devour on his bus due to the fact he did not take Covid-19 severely enough, he stated.

At the Capitol, he stated, despite the fact that among the rioters had been human beings he would not typically get alongside with, it “felt like family.”

“We had been there for one not unusualplace cause, that’s creating a announcement that the authorities is crushing down on us,” he stated.

His stepfather of 14 years, Timothy Monroe, stated he wasn’t amazed whilst he discovered that Fellows became withinside the Capitol. “He is aware of what he believes,” Monroe stated. “You cannot actually extrade it with any form of reality.”

Fellows stated he got here to D.C. in element due to the fact he believes that the election became rigged. But his number one motivation became his anger at authorities measures to save you Covid-19, which include lockdowns of eating places and gyms.

 

On Jan. 6, Fellows stated he arrived out of doors of the Ellipse, a park adjoining to the White House, simply after 1 a.m. He became one of the first human beings in line to get into Trump’s rally and sat simply 5 rows farfar from in which the president spoke, video suggests. Fellows got here organized for the bloodless weather, carrying snow pants, a leather-based jacket with an American flag emblazoned at the lower back and a knit hat that resembles a knight’s helmet and beard.

“This is the ultimate stand,” Fellows stated, in an interview with a Bloomberg News reporter previous to Trump’s speech. “I experience like I’ve visible a number of the election fraud evidence, and I do not apprehend why not anything is being done.” Trump’s claims of election fraud withinside the Nov. three election were rejected through kingdom and federal courts, in addition to a few individuals of his very own party.

Following the belief of Trump’s speech, Fellows joined in at the march on Pennsylvania Avenue, headed closer to the Capitol. “I became like ‘Oh cool, there may be gonna be a march,'” he stated. “I’ve in no way been in a march.”

By the time he arrived, he stated the boundaries shielding the fringe had already been overrun. As he became scaling a wall to attain the Senate aspect of the Capitol, he stated he became thinking, “I’m now no longer lacking this, that is history.” Fellows helped others climb over the wall, motion pictures show.

Fellows stated he watched a fellow Trump supporter bashing in a door on the Capitol with a cane and sooner or later destroy via the door. A crowd of rioters driven via best to be driven lower back out of doors through cops. Once the constructing became overrun, he stated he to start with hesitated earlier than getting into however did so after listening to that human beings internal were not being arrested. He were given in via a damaged window.

In the half-hour or so he became withinside the Capitol, he filmed dozens of motion pictures and published them on Snapchat.

In one in all them, which became reviewed through Bloomberg News, he heckled Capitol Police officials who were not carrying helmets.

“Where’s your helmet, bro?” Fellows requested an officer. “I wasn’t issued one, due to the fact they ran out,” the officer replied.

“They do not care approximately you? Are you men rookies, is that why?” Fellows shot lower back. “I’ve been right here 8 years,” the officer stated. “Pretty cool what occurred right here today,” Fellows replied.

Another video suggests his muddy boots propped on a desk in Senator Jeff Merkley’s workplace, in which Fellows stated he took  puffs from a joint a person passed to him. “This one goes to get me incriminated,” Fellows stated of the video in Merkley’s workplace.

In a video published to Twitter, Merkley surveyed the harm in his workplace wherein a door became smashed “off its hinges” and art work became torn from the wall. “It became unlocked, they may have clearly opened the door,” Merkley stated. “So rely this workplace trashed.”

After leaving Merkley’s workplace, Fellows stated he wandered the Capitol and requested a police officer for instructions to the National Statuary Hall. The police officer defined that the statues constitute every kingdom and furnished instructions on a way to get there, consistent with Fellows’s video of the encounter. “Dude, you are wonderful cool,” Fellows stated.

Fellows’s interactions with cops withinside the Capitol led him to trust there would not be results for going internal. “Did I assume I became going to get in trouble?” Fellows stated. “Uh, no.”

After leaving the Capitol, Fellows posed for images subsequent to a line of cops in rebellion equipment and on an deserted police motorcycle.

He stated he’s making plans to go back to Washington for extra protests surrounding President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, and he expected there could be extra violence. The FBI issued a caution that there are plans for armed protests in D.C. and in any respect 50 kingdom capitals withinside the days main as much as the inauguration.

“Obviously Trump began out a motion in a manner, however I assume we began out some thing even larger through doing this,” Fellows stated. But now the regulation enforcement is rounding up others who participated withinside the Capitol intrusion, he believes he too can be arrested.

“Do you believe you studied I’m going to visit federal jail?” Fellows requested. “I became instructed federal jail isn’t fun.”

Heidi Phillips

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