Brandon Straka, arrested for alleged involvement at Capitol putsch, appeared days afterward on Fox News

Brendan Straka told a completely different story about his presence at the Capitol on OAN

On January 20, Brandon Straka, founder of the so-called #WalkAway movement, was charged with three felonies related to the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol. In the days after the insurrection, Straka had appeared for interviews on three major conservative cable news channels, Fox, Newsmax, and One America News.

The criminal complaint against Straka lays out evidence of his alleged crimes from his social media posts as well as a video posted to YouTube showing him attempting to enter the Capitol. In addition to showing that Straka got within feet of the Capitol, the video also shows Straka telling the crowd to take a police officer’s protective shield away from him. The complaint states, “As several people in the crowd grabbed the officer’s shield, Straka yelled, ‘Take it! Take it!’ The crowd successfully pulled the shield away from the officer.”

Straka started the #WalkAway movement in 2018, encouraging voters to “walk away” from the Democratic Party. Since then, he has been a frequent guest on Fox News and other conservative media outlets. His media career has included high-profile stunts, such as in June 2020 when he refused to wear a protective face mask on a flight during the coronavirus pandemic and was banned from American Airlines.

Two days after his alleged criminal activity on January 6, Straka was on Laura Ingraham’s prime-time Fox News show, discussing the removal of his Facebook page and the larger so-called censorship of conservative speech.

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Citation From the January 8, 2021, edition of Fox News' The Ingraham Angle

So days after he personally stormed the Capitol, Straka appeared on Fox to talk about “free speech” with a host who had blamed anti-fascists for the violence.

It doesn't stop at implicit hypocrisy. On January 8 and 11, Straka appeared on One America News. During the interview on January 8, Straka stated that he did not “witness” anyone being violent at the Capitol, which is the opposite of what the complaint and the video that was allegedly filmed by Straka shows -- him calling on the crowd to take a police officer’s shield.

He also briefly discussed deleting a video from his Twitter account, saying that he removed it because he had said that he didn't see antifa at the Capitol and only when he returned home did he see right-wing claims that antifa were involved.

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Citation From OAN programming on January 8, 2021

DAN BALL (HOST): There's no doubt that there were supporters of our president taking part in bursting into the Capitol, many have already admitted it is such. But were there others influencing the crowd and doing most of the damage? Joining me now, the man behind the walk away movement, we've had him on the show multiple times, Brandon Straka. He was actually there at the Capitol. He had, I believe, given speeches throughout the week. You were there for a couple of days. And Brandon, I know something happened to you today that's very, very upsetting to you. We're going to get to that in just a moment. But I first want to ask you about what went down on the Hill. First, tell me, where were you at when the president was giving his speech, and then where did you move or where did you stay when the movement moved towards the Capitol building? Fill us in.

BRANDON STRAKA: Sure. So I was I was there actually front and center when the president was speaking. And, you know, he gave a lengthy speech talking about the election irregularities and his hopefulness that Mike Pence would call for the ten-day basically reprieve in order to call for an investigation or to send the certification back to the state legislatures. And then President Trump numerous times told everybody and by the way, it was the plan all along for everyone to march to the Capitol where there were going to be more speeches. I was one of the people slated to give one of those speeches. And President Trump said numerous times, you know, this is a peaceful assembly. This no violence, nothing like that. We're just going over to the Capitol. So since the crowd was so large, I mean, we're talking about hundreds of thousands of people, my security personal security detail told me, you know, you're not going to be marching with the crowd. We -- you're going to go to the Capitol using the city's Metro system because all the roads were shut down. There were no Ubers, anything like that. I got onto the Metro with my security, and that's when we started getting messages saying that Pence was likely not going -- that he was going to move forward with certification, not call for the ten-day reprieve. And then by the time we actually arrived at the Metro station to get to the Capitol, messages were -- alerts were coming in saying that the Capitol had been breached.

It took me approximately 18 minutes to walk from the stop to the Capitol. And by the time I got there, I saw thousands of patriots outside very calmly singing, chanting, holding signs. No indication, really, that anything untoward was happening, but it wasn't -- and I started asking people, is something going on? And some people said, well, know people are going inside. So I walked up the steps and as I walked up the steps, I saw a large group of people I couldn't even estimate how many -- maybe a couple of hundred, perhaps.

But I want to make something very, very, very clear here. I did not see any acts of violence happening. I didn't see any broken windows. I didn't see any acts of vandalism happening. What I saw were two large metal doors. One door was open, one door was closed and people were walking through the door. So I want to be really clear. This was I was not watching people break windows. I wasn't watching people crawl through. I was watching people walk through an open door. And then the next thing I saw was that the second of the two doors opened so now there was more space and a few more people started to walk in. Now, around that time, some bursts of tear gas came out of the door. And very shortly after that, a man walked out and he said, "Congress has been cleared. Everyone went home. Everybody turn around." And at that point, everybody turned around. People started coming out of the Capitol. And that's what I saw. So I wasn't seeing people bashing windows, breaking things. None of that was in my -- I didn't witness any of that.

BALL: Yeah, it appears and we've got some video that was rolling right there, guys, if you want to throw it back up while I talk with Brandon here. There's two main truthful narratives that I think when I look at all the videos. We've interviewed multiple people now like yourself that were there. Some are right on the front lines, some were in the middle, some were in the back, kind of taking it all in. You had, from what we heard from eyewitnesses yesterday and day of and now today, you had maybe 50-to-100 really aggressive agitators that were at the front lines. They were the ones trying to break the windows that you see in the videos, breaking the windows, fighting with police, and whatnot. Then once the doors opened and the police retreated back in because they were overwhelmed, then you had several hundred that decided to peacefully just kind of walk and stroll around, take their selfies and do things like that. But they weren't the destructive ones.

STRAKA: Mm-hmm.

BALL: They weren't the mob that were fighting the police. They were just like the doors are open. Everybody kind of went in. They followed them in. That's what I see on all the video I've combed through now for the past two days.

STRAKA: Right.

BALL: What do you think about that narrative? That's what I truly believe happened. But I wasn't there. That's just combing over hours and hours of video.

STRAKA: Right. Well, I can tell you, by the time I had gotten home that night from the Capitol, I stuck around for probably another twenty minutes after what I just told you -- people then said, turn around, walk. You know, it's time to leave. I stuck around and I interviewed people there just to ask, "Why are you here? What's going on?" You know, there were people were saying that someone had been shot. So I was asking about that.

But when I got home, I posted something on my Twitter account, which I later. deleted and I want to kind of explain why I said because I saw people saying, "It was antifa, it was antifa." Now, I only knew of my own experience, which, again, it was just people walking through an open door. So I was saying to people, "No, you guys, it wasn't antifa. It was it was our people walking through the door that was going out and stop saying it was antifa."

Well, I hadn't seen the images of -- people are talking about witnessing people getting off of busses that they thought were with antifa, you know, and all of this, you know, the violence and the smashing the windows and things like that. What I saw with my own eyes were people that I believe were probably mostly with the MAGA movement who were peacefully walking through an open door. And that's what I was describing. I didn't know who opened the door. I didn't know if the doors were open for people to go through. That was my experience. That is what I saw. I didn't see anybody calling for violence, behaving violently or creating --

BALL: I gotcha.

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Citation From OAN programming on January 11, 2021

On January 12, Straka was on Greg Kelly’s prime-time Newsmax show.

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Citation From the January 12, 2021, edition of Newsmax's Greg Kelly Reports