Antifa? Infiltrators? Eyewitness account of what happened at the US Capitol on Jan. 6

What a veteran of many other Trump rallies saw and heard that day – very disturbing. It was clearly a setup.

 January 20, 2021
ALT TEXT The crowd of truthfully peaceful Trump supporters outside of the US Capitol on Jan. 6, supporting America and protesting the massive election fraud. [All photos by MassResistance.]

Richard Howell, a resident of Massachusetts and a long-time friend of MassResistance, traveled to Washington, DC on Jan. 6 to hear President Trump’s speech near the White House and then attend the scheduled pro-Trump rally outside the US Capitol building.

What he saw was quite different than what most Americans have heard from the media (much of which are outright lies) – and certainly different from any other conservative rally. Since then, many reports have appeared in conservative media of intense infiltration by Antifa there that day (see here and here and here) to create the trouble.

Here’s what Richard told us a few days after he returned:


President Trump’s speech at the Ellipse

We’re all hearing that Trump’s speech that day riled the people to attack the Capitol. That’s a complete lie. If anything, his speech was so subdued people were walking away early because they weren’t hearing enough fire from him. I’ve never seen that happen at a Trump speech ever before. And I remember looking at the guys I was standing with and saying to them, “I don’t know what he’s doing, but there has to be a reason he is doing this the way he’s doing it.” I left just when his speech was concluding..

Walking to the Capitol

I’m walking up Pennsylvania Ave. from the President’s speech at the Ellipse. It’s about a 40-minute walk, but I was in a rush to get there and made it in 25 minutes. I’m hungry. I’m thirsty. And I’m wondering where our people are – that’s what’s on my mind. The White House grounds are completely blocked off, which is normal. So I’m walking up and behind me I see a throng of hundreds of thousands of people packed together. They were our supporters coming up, and I’m glad I’m here. They’re probably five or ten minutes behind me.

ALT TEXT Not far behind Richard walking down Pennsylvania Avenue was this crowd of Trump supporters.

As I’m walking, I notice a policeman in an SUV, and he’s taking pictures of the crowd like everybody else.  I went up to him and I said, “Yeah, you too huh?” I’m joking with him and he started to laugh. And he was the last policeman I saw.

Arriving at the Capitol

I get over to the end of Pennsylvania Ave., right where the Capitol circular drive starts. And I see nothing but our people there, large numbers of them. And I didn’t see one police officer of any stripe – Capitol police, Capitol building police (which is under the control of Speaker Pelosi), or any others. The people were just standing where they were. You had to work your way through that crowd. A lot of people were doing that, but many were standing still.

As I’m working my way through the crowd – it’s not quite one o’clock – and as I’m approaching the building, I’m hearing people saying, “Wow, I can’t believe this, we have a good spot here.” And I thought, “You know, they’re letting people be very close to the building.” Now, I haven’t seen that in a couple of decades. The Capitol building is usually a fortress, and those grounds are cordoned off with barriers and policemen all over the place. If you’ve been there, you’ve certainly seen that.

In fact, the last few times I was down there, they were even kicking people off the Supreme Court grounds next to the Capitol, which was ridiculous. People weren’t anywhere close to the Capitol building but the police were kicking them out.

ALT TEXT Police allowed people to stand anywhere they wanted.

So this time we’re wide open to the Capitol building, and we’ll be able to get a good spot there. But it was a little hard to get there, because there were some people standing still and not moving, and other people were trying to work their way through, like me!

ALT TEXT People could stand on the stairs and on the balconies.

Things began to happen

Then in the background, somewhere, I don’t know where, I hear whiz bang, thud, whiz bang, thud, whiz bang, thud.  I’m like, what was that? Who’s shooting? It sounded as if there were some kind of canisters. I don’t know who was shooting them or what. I presumed it was the police, but I didn’t know. At first I thought it was maybe some kind of troublemaker, maybe an Antifa guy or BLM guy, doing that. I thought, “This is odd.”

And then I get closer to where there’s a brick plaza, the last long stretch of territory before you get to the columns in the south portico. I only get to the edge of that, as there was no need to go further. As I’m looking around, nothing big is happening. There are people that are trying to move forward.

Suddenly I’m hearing some people in back of me shout, “Oh, go forward, go forward fellow patriots!” I’m saying to myself, “I don’t know these idiots, I know where I need to go, I don’t have to listen to these imbiciles.” I just thought these guys were trying to be hotshots.

Tear gas

I’m at that area for probably five or ten minutes and I smell smoke and I see people streaming back. There are a lot of people in front of me and they’re coming back and their eyes are watering and they’re covering their faces. I said, “My God, that’s tear gas.” So I back off. I retreat back to just before that area. And I said, “Something’s happening. This is trouble. And I can’t believe these are our people. Our people just don’t get into that.”

People are streaming back and they’re holding their eyes. And then, when it cleared up – it might have been another five or ten minutes – I go back again.

The lie about wanting to go after Pence

As I’m going – this is probably about 1:15 pm – I’m hearing a guy not far away making an announcement, “Pence just certified, Pence just certified.” People are saying, “What! My God, that can’t be true!”

I pulled him aside and said, “Where did you get that information?” And I think he said, “Oh, I got it off of NewsMax or One America.” Whatever he told me, it seemed credible and I wasn’t shocked. Then there was a guy with a bullhorn standing on one of the concrete retaining walls nearby, and he’s saying, “Yes, it looks like the Vice President has betrayed us, it looks like he has certified. But that’s preliminary information. Does anyone have any information to the contrary?” 

Nobody really knew what Pence had done. So lie number two was that people were there to hang Pence. Nobody had a clue what was going on; people weren’t thinking about that.

ALT TEXT People were just enjoying the event. Despite what the media keeps saying, nobody was thinking about rioting at all.

Guys up on the scaffolding

Then I see more tear gas and more people coming by. I tried to phone my buddies who were somewhere in the crowd, but our cell phones were not able to communicate. I wouldn’t be surprised that they were jamming the phone signals. But I finally was able to I hear one of them say, “There are guys on the staircases now,” but the signal was lost again.

Then I looked up and saw some guys were on the scaffolding (that’s there presumably for the inauguration ceremonies). So, I’m thinking, “What are these guys in the scaffolding for? This is crazy. You’re going to be surrounded and apprehended by security.”

But I don’t see any policeman anywhere. Normally (pun intended) it’s a capital offense if you get to the building and you’re not supposed to be there. They’ll rush you down, they’ll shoot you. They’ll bind you up and take you away. But the Capitol police were nowhere to be found.

The guys in the scaffolding, who looked like they were trying to breach the building, were just standing there with goofy smiles on their faces. It was just very tacky, which is another thing that really looked weird. They certainly didn’t seem like our people at all.

The guys on the scaffolding began waving American flags, and the people in the crowd didn’t know who they were – some were cheering and some were just looking at them, and some people were saying, “Why are they doing that?”

But tear gas was still going off – you could see the smoke – and blowing back to the crowd from the front, which by now disturbed a lot of people. It seemed as if police somewhere were doing this, and the people were getting upset. They’re saying, “We’re here, exercising our rights, and they’re firing on us. Why are they doing this?”

I said to someone, “If we were Antifa or BLM, they wouldn’t be doing this.” and the guy said, “Yeah they certainly wouldn’t be.” That was the sentiment. So people really were dismayed that they were being treated this way. It’s also likely that Antifa was doing the tear-gassing – which I’ll get to.

ALT TEXT People up on the scaffolding.

A few police show up

Finally, for the first time all day, I see six Capitol policemen, scurrying down a metal staircase right near that scaffolding. They are pointing at one of the guys up there – there may have been 3 or 4 there, I couldn’t see them all because there was a tarp in the way. One of them was pointing back at the police officer. Now the voices can carry, and I was close enough to hear some of what was said. The police were saying, “Get out of there now!” And the guy was saying, “No! We’re not getting out of here!” 

And, I don’t know where it came from, but all of a sudden a canister of tear gas came out from the scaffolding into the crowd of policemen. One of them got hit in the face. And the other five police had to carry him away.

No police came back! Normally when you assault a policeman like that or you’re in the middle of that, even if you’re defending yourself, you’re going to have a platoon come down and take you out. If six guys couldn’t take those guys out they’re going to send 21 down to stop them, right?  But nothing, zero.

Man shot by rubber bullets

And at this time I see this man who was shot, by rubber bullets. His jacket was shredded, he was being helped by three people, two men and a woman. And he’s sitting in a corner.

Meanwhile, my friends texted me and said they were on the other side of the building near where the Supreme Court faces.  So I said, “OK, I’ll see you in a minute.”

But first I wanted to see if this other man was going to be OK.  And he went into shock, the medics came and got him, and I don’t know what happened with him after that. He didn’t look like he was particularly quarrelsome. The only thing I remember is that he had cowboy boots on. Other than that he seemed like a clean cut, middle-aged fellow. His temple was grazed by a bullet. He looked like he was also shot in the chest. He was bleeding from the hands and was bandaged there. Maybe also shot in the arm and leg, I don’t know. Once he was out of there I figured, OK, I’m leaving now, because I want to find my friends on the other side of the building.

Shouts of “Go into the building!”

But then I saw a group of guys directing the other people there to go into the Capitol building. They were shouting, “Come on patriots, go in! This is our house! Yeah! The second American Revolution!”  I was shaking my head saying, ”This is a trap, this is crazy.”

But there were guys going in! Now, some of them looked to be guys that would have been our guys. They were dressed the right way, they were acting the right way. In other words, they were people that I was convinced were actually Trump constitutionalist supporters that were just getting carried away.

But the guys leading them in there were different. I thought, “Something’s wrong. This is insane.”

So I backed off.  I wanted to go to where my friends were. So I walked around the building to the west portico. And I could see some officers around the corner, but not many.

At the other side of the Capitol building

The west portico faces the Supreme Court building. And the two wings – the House and the Senate, and also the middle wing – all had our people on the staircases, all the way to the top. On the landing of each wing there was a police corps in there, of I don’t know how many policeman altogether, but 30 at least. (It’s not a continuous building, it’s sectioned off. You have a portico in each one of the entrance ways.)

In each one of those cases, I could see that the police and our guys were probably a meter apart. Nobody was in anybody’s space. It was pretty calm. You know, some of the guys were talking with each other, some guys were chanting a little bit, but not too much. And that was the case in each one of those three staircases there. And I am thinking to myself, “Why didn’t they do this at the south portico?” Well of course the answer is obvious, there were activists looking to stage something on the south portico. There is no doubt in my mind.

Nancy Pelosi controls the Capitol security and the Capitol police in the building. Mayor Muriel Bowser also controls the Capitol police. And there was no doubt in my mind they were setting things up. There is no other explanation for it and that’s what turned out to happen.

After that point, we left to go to our metro stations to get to our rides back.

A few more observations

When I was at the front side, the south portico, I could see activity right up front, but I couldn’t see what was happening up in the wings. I didn’t see any windows being broken.

One interesting story after the scaffolding incident: Some of the guys crawled all the way up to the top balcony in the portico. And I’m thinking, “What are they doing? They’re really asking for trouble now.”

Once we're up there, I could hear people saying, “The doors are open! The doors are open!” Not like they broke them in or somebody else broke them in, they were surprised the doors were open. 

I thought, “That can’t be, these people are delusional. There’s no way the doors can be open.” Somebody asked me if I thought they got in. I said, “There’s no way. I just can’t see them getting in the building.” But I was wrong. Clearly, they did get in!


There was no doubt that there was something very strange going on. But I didn’t think much about it till afterwards. Once incident in particular now stands out.

As I mentioned, earlier there were people streaming by me that had tear gas in their eyes. And there were two fellows in particular I remember, a white man and a black man. They were stocky men, lightly dressed even though it was freezing out. And I said to them, “Are you all right?” because their eyes were watery and they looked different than the other people walking by. They just looked very different. And they ignored me. And I said to them again, because they were walking slowly by me, they couldn’t run by me. I said, “Hey, are you all right?” And they ignored me again. I said, “I asked you if you’re all right.” They blurted out, “Yeah, yeah.” And they looked at me in a hostile fashion. I believe those men were probably the Antifa/BLM infiltrators or deep-state/FBI operatives and ran into their own tear gas.

Final thoughts

Another thing that went through my mind afterwards: I definitely think this was some kind of planned operation to orchestrate this whole mess, with the authorities in collusion. My friend on the west side of the portico told me that they saw helmeted men coming by, and they definitely looked to them like the Antifa crowd who we used to face off against back home in Boston. And when the crowd was trying to interact with them, they were very hostile and standoffish to them, and made it very clear they didn’t want any part of them. Those aren’t our people.

ALT TEXT Nobody on our side wears military-style helmuts. But it's standard with Antifa or deep-state intelligence people..

Just the way it went off, not to mention the damage that was done, this was definitely not what our people would do. That’s all a BLM/Antifa/deep-state move. It looked like they were doing to us what they had been doing to Trump. They were setting us up and trying to make us look bad and creating an incident that we didn’t create but they created, and were blaming us for it. That’s what it came down to.

No sooner did I leave the Capitol grounds on was on my way to the Metro that I was messaged about ten times. There was an edict by Mayor Bowser that she would be shutting down the city at 6:00 pm. All our people would be out at 4:00 or 4:30 anyway, so that was not a big deal. But it was still strange.

Then the Capitol police started showing up in force! There were suddenly all of the cars that you’d normally see there. The Secret Service had their baton and shield crowd out, and some of them looked like overweight females. It was weird. But they were well armed and weaponized.

In fact, the vast majority of people that were there – 99% of them – didn’t get very close to the Capitol building. And most of the people, I could see their faces, most of them did not move from where they were, they wanted to stay put.

As I said, there were only 6 police officers that I remember seeing the entire time there was trouble at the south portico, the main entrance. There were zero there for the first half hour I was there. Zero. There was nothing to stop people.

I have to hand it to the other side’s organizers. There’s no question that they pulled off a masterful stoke. Nobody on our side could see it coming. Nobody was thinking about this. Our guys weren’t talking about doing anything inappropriate. You know, how long have we been doing these kinds of rallies, and nothing bad has ever happened? Personally, I’ve been at hundreds of Republican or conservative events over the past decades without incident.

And the funny thing is, if you look at the video, which I saw after the fact, you could see that our guys that went in were on the rotunda taking pictures like tourists. And they were walking properly through the purple ropes, where you’re not supposed to go to your right or your left. That’s quite an insurrection, isn’t it? And, the police were in there were taking selfies with these guys, they’re interacting with them. They were standing around letting these guys walk all over, no problem.

So much for the riot and insurrection narrative. Those people – Pelosi, Bowser, and the other DC authorities – are complicit as hell.

MassResistance needs to get the word out about what really happened.

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