Another individual involved in the rioting at the U.S. Capitol in January has been arrested, adding to the hundreds of federal criminal cases against Trump fans who stormed the building on that day as part of an effort to forcibly stop the formal certification by Congress of Joe Biden’s election victory. The newly arrested individual was 55-year-old Central Florida resident John Maron Nassif, who openly bragged on social media that he had been at the Capitol during the violence. Nassif was also caught on surveillance footage inside the premises.
In a January 8 social media post, Nassif said that he’d been at the Capitol building and tried to dismiss the “narrative” that the rioting had constituted a violent affront against democracy (which it did, obviously). As he put it:
‘You know I was there, right? You don’t find it odd that police officer is welcoming everybody in? Considering the narrative that’s being pushed?’
The idea that the events of that day constituted a violent attack against the U.S. government obviously isn’t a “narrative” — it’s the basic reality of what took place. A mob of Trump supporters murderously hunted top government leaders, putting the lives of figures across public service in danger. Many of those involved in the events did not at all hide their violent intentions — they physically assaulted police officers, chanted their desire to see the literal death of then-Vice President Mike Pence, and even put up a functioning gallows outside of the Capitol building.
On January 20 — Inauguration Day — Nassif yet again posted on social media to say that he had been at the Capitol during the rioting, laying out the case for investigators to use against him. He once more falsely claimed that accurate descriptions of the seriousness of what unfolded constitute some kind of propaganda effort, writing as follows:
‘I found myself inside the building. The Rotunda was nearly filled with people. No one was fighting or being violent. More pushing and I decided to leave. It wasn’t until I was walking back that I heard a rumor someone had been shot. It wasn’t till I got back to my hotel room I learned the specifics. Anyone telling you this was some type of coup etc is telling you lies.’
According to any reasonable accounting of events, the idea that nobody “was fighting or being violent” is obviously a brazen lie. Now, Nassif is facing charges including “entering a restricted building or grounds and violent entry or disorderly conduct,” as summarized by the Orlando Sentinel, and he could face up to a year in prison if convicted. Authorities released him from custody on Monday ahead of further proceedings.