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Dana Rohrabacher, former O.C. congressman, says he was part of Jan. 6 Capitol march

Former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
Former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher says he participated in the Jan. 6 march outside the Capitol, but insists he did not storm the building with others.
(Los Angeles Times)

Former Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who lost his congressional seat after 30 years in 2018, has acknowledged that he participated in the march to the Capitol on Jan. 6 but insists he did not storm the building along with other Trump supporters.

Rohrabacher, who now resides in Maine, confirmed to the Portland Press Herald on Monday that he took part in the march after images appeared on social media over the weekend that showed him standing among the crowd.

“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,” Rohrabacher, 73, said in an interview with the newspaper. “But I was not there to make a scene and do things that were unacceptable for anyone to do.”

Rohrabacher could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. His presence was first identified by the Twitter account @capitolhunters, the Press Herald revealed. The account has identified a number of individuals allegedly involved in the insurrection.

Dozens of those who entered the Capitol or illegally stood on areas of the Capitol balconies during violent confrontations have been charged in connection with the incident that saw about 140 police officers injured. One Capitol Police officer collapsed and died after the siege. Four of the rioters also died during the insurrection.

A former police chief and yoga instructor is indicted along with five other Southern California men for their alleged roles in the Capitol riot.

The videos of the scene outside the Capitol showed Rohrabacher in a knit hat and overcoat standing in the crowd at the edge of the Lower West Plaza from about 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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In one video, the former congressman is seen about 500 feet from the Capitol, outside of the restricted zone. Rohrabacher, long a President Trump supporter and ally of Russia, promoted a false narrative that “leftist provocateurs” led the charge into the Capitol. None of those charged are left-leaning and many have associations with right-wing extremist groups such as the Oathkeepers and the Three Percenters.

During his 2018 election defeat, Rohrabacher, a speechwriter for President Reagan, doubled down on his advocacy for Trump and his hard-line immigration policies — neither of which are popular in some of the suburbs he represented. And his vocal support for President Vladimir Putin became a liability after Russia’s suspected meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Few members of Congress have been as enigmatic as Rohrabacher: a Hawaiian-shirt-wearing Orange County surfer who has crusaded with equal quixotic passion for the Kremlin and federal marijuana legalization — and once took up arms with the mujahedin in Afghanistan.


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