“Are we willing to fight for our freedom and liberty. We must answer this question,” Biedermann added in the January 11 email, which watchdog group American Oversight shared with CNN. “Patriots we must rise.”
Biedermann, who hasn’t been charged with wrongdoing, told CNN he did not enter the Capitol. According to local news reports, he initially told a talk radio host that he had attended the Trump rally in Washington on January 6.
Since the videos emerged of Biedermann steps from the Capitol, he has declined to say much more about his activities in Washington.
“I’ve already said everything I have to say about the Capitol,” Biedermann told CNN. “I’m not ashamed whatsoever.”
Texas Democrats called on him to resign and called on the state House to expel him, but Biedermann has faced little blowback for his close proximity as the riot began.
“Nothing happened, nothing came from it and it’s absolutely ridiculous,” said Abhi Rahman, the former communications director for the Texas Democratic Party and a Democratic political consultant. He said defeating Biedermann will be a top priority for state Democrats in 2022.
“Anyone who perpetrates the Big Lie should play no part in our politics,” Rahman added. “They know that Joe Biden won the election, they know it wasn’t particularly close and they will still stop at nothing to rile up the far-right base.”
A scolding via Zoom
“It was a peaceful protest, that’s all it was,” Ianni told CNN this week, although she declined to comment on the specifics of her activities in Washington or the charges against her. She has not yet entered a plea, according to court records. “It was peacefully protesting a fraudulent election. There was no domestic terrorism. That was never the intention,” Ianni said.
“In short, the charter restricts the town officials from removing a Town Meeting member,” said town moderator Frank Foss. “It’s an old puritan, colloquial, New England type of thing.”
Ianni would have to resign, move, be incarcerated or be ousted by the voters in an election. Her term is up in 2022.
Ianni told CNN she has no plans to step down and slammed the resolution. “I’m innocent until proven guilty, but they’re judge, jury and prosecutor here,” Ianni said.
Still, her alleged participation in the insurrection has rankled her Town Meeting colleagues.
“It first caused headaches and, let’s say, anguish,” Foss said. “I think by passing a resolution at Town Meeting, it resolved some of that passion.”
The Town Meeting now plans to set up a study committee to examine whether there should be recall mechanisms for Meeting members, Foss said.
“Town Meeting is full of leftist people and they go after outspoken conservatives in my town very brutally,” said Ianni, who remains adamant in her belief that the election was stolen. “Shame on them. That’s what they’re doing. They’re trying to silence an outspoken conservative.”
From ‘D-Day in DC’ to the Arizona audit
The fact that Kern’s name was on that 2020 ballot didn’t stop him from taking part in the audit.
In many ways he was a perfect participant for an audit that has been widely panned by election experts as well as many Republican election officials in the state. Kern was a vocal “Stop the Steal” proponent. And on January 6, the then-Arizona state representative loudly proclaimed his presence in Washington.
“I’m not sure why he’s there or how he got there,” Fann said. “I don’t know that it’s a great thing, to be honest with you, but he is a citizen. He was a voter. He was never convicted of anything. But it is what it is.”
“It’s concerning that you had individuals who may be leading lives in very high-profile roles who participated in the insurrection and who are now back in communities,” state House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding Jr. told CNN. “I believe the voters of Arizona understand that what happened January 6th is not who we are as a country and the people who participated in January 6th will be disqualified if they even appear on the ballot.”
Local Texas official allegedly rushed the barricades
In Facebook photos posted the day before the riot, Mark and Jalise Middleton were both grinning ear-to-ear, sporting their Trump hats with a series of Washington landmarks in the background. On any other day, the couple from Forestburg, Texas, may have looked like tourists descending on DC for a day of sightseeing.
As police told rioters to get back, Mark allegedly screamed “F— you!” at the police, as he pushed against the barricades, according to charging documents. Jalise, meantime, was accused of reaching over the barricade — her manicured hand sporting a diamond-studded ring — to repeatedly strike an officer.
The charging documents describe a couple that appeared to be relishing in the fight at the Capitol.
“We are on the front lines. We helped push down the barriers. Jalise and I got pepper sprayed, clubbed, and tear gassed,” Mark said in a video posted to Facebook, according to his charging documents. “We had to retreat, but more patriots pushed forward, and they’re taking back our house.”
Mark, meantime, doubled down on the baseless belief that the election had been stolen in the hours following the riot.
“The atmosphere makes you feel proud to be an American, ask anyone that was there, I guarantee you that’s what every single person will tell you,” Mark said in a January 7 Facebook comment, according to charging documents. “You CAN’T convince me there was no voter fraud found when I stood on the street for 20mins and still couldn’t see the end of the crowd!”
CNN’s Ed Lavandera contributed to this story.