A staff member employed by Virginia’s newest member of Congress, 5th District Rep. Bob Good, R-Campbell, was outside the U.S. Capitol when a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building on Jan. 6, according to an email written by the staff member’s husband that is now circulating on social media.
Good’s district director Sandy Adams and her husband, Virginia GOP 5th District Chair Melvin Adams, were present for the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally and witnessed the ensuing riot, but they did not enter the Capitol building, according to the email.
Melvin Adams confirmed to the Washington Post that he wrote the email. He did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Fauquier Times.
Adams said the couple “chose to join the many, many thousands of red-blooded American patriots” in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 “to express their concern over perceived failed election integrity.”
Adams detailed the scene in the email, saying that many people “remained calm and peaceful.” But he said “the atmosphere and attitude in the crowd began to change” after people in the crowd learned that Vice President Mike Pence would not seek to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
After the riot erupted, Adams wrote that law enforcement was “completely overwhelmed” by the thousands of Trump supporters that breached the Capitol, even as some in the crowd tried to talk the rioters down.
While publicly condemning the violence at the U.S. Capitol, Virginia Republican Party Chair Rich Anderson claimed on social media Thursday there is anecdotal evidence that “antifa” helped storm the Capitol building, despite law-enforcement’s assertions there is no evidence they played a role in the attack.
“Some of us actively expressed our support to and for the law enforcement and tried repeatedly (sometimes successfully) to talk people down who, out of anger and in the moment, were speaking with disrespect to law enforcement and were threatening acts of aggression,” Adams wrote.
Adams said that, by mid-afternoon, “the capitol building had been breached by perhaps a few hundred people.” He said didn’t know what was going on inside, but that he witnessed “the use of flash bombs and tear gas at the entrances in efforts to control the crowd.”
Adams also said the couple saw paramedics taking a woman to an ambulance. The woman was later identified as Ashli Babbitt, who had been shot inside the Capitol. Adams wrote that they were close enough to the paramedics that they could have “reached out and touched her.”
The storming of the Capitol building ultimately resulted in the deaths of five people, including Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick who died from injuries sustained while “physically engaging with” rioters, according to a Capitol Police press release. Babbit was seen being shot at close range while climbing through a window inside the building in several videos made on Jan. 6.
Three others reportedly died of medical emergencies during the incident, according to a press conference held by Washington, D.C. police Chief Robert Contee III on Jan. 7.
Good, a freshman Republican lawmaker who took office on Jan. 3, appointed Sandy Adams as district director shortly before taking office. Good said in a statement Friday that he “unequivocally condemn[s] the violence that took place at the Capitol last week,” but did not answer specific questions about his district director’s attendance.
As the riot was unfolding on Jan. 6 at 4:40 p.m., Good put out a statement on social media urging people to peacefully assemble and respect law enforcement. By that time, rioters had been clashing with police officers outside and inside the Capitol building for several hours, and the House and Senate chambers had been evacuated.
After the attack, Good joined dozens of Congressional Republicans in objecting to the certification of the electoral votes from Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin in an effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college win.
Good also voted against impeaching Trump on Jan. 13. House Democrats introduced and approved articles of impeachment against the president for “inciting insurrection.” He is the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. All House Democrats voted in favor of the impeachment, along with 10 Republicans.
It remains unclear whether Trump will be tried by the U.S. Senate before Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.