Two Capitol rioters boasted about ‘crashing the White House’... they didn’t

Harriet Brewis
Monday 15 March 2021 12:10
news

If you’re going to boast about storming a building, you should probably make sure you’ve got the right one.

Two US Capitol rioters have been ridiculed for bragging about “crashing the White House”. Except that they didn’t.

The friends, Jeffrey Shane Witcher and Richard Franklin Barnard, both from Texas, took selfies from within the Rotunda during the violent invasion on 6th January.

“I am in the White House! We crashed this! Our house! We did it! We did it, family, we did it!” Witcher announced triumphantly in a video recorded on his phone, according to an FBI affidavit released last month.

“We did it! We’re in the White House!” he continued. “I’m out here with my brother Richard Barnard. ... It’s our house, it’s our house! Our house! Hey family, we did it. We came, and we did it. We’re inside the White House. Our house.”

The presidential residence is, in fact, around two miles from the Capitol Building.

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Eventually realising his mistake, Witcher later told investigators that he was “so emotional and invested in the moment” it made him confused, FBI agent Mark Winters said.

Witcher then shot a second video to clarify things.

“We’re in the Rotunda,” he announced, adding: “Our house, our house, our house.

“Man, I’m so proud of us.”

He and Barnard have been charged with a number of offences following the insurrection which left five people dead. These include trespass and disorderly conduct.

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