A pair of Trump supporters detained by the authorities in connection with their involvement in the storming of the Capitol last week told the FBI a police officer greeted them and told them “it’s your house now” as they made their way into the building, a complaint filed earlier this week says.
The men, Robert Bauer of Kentucky and his cousin Edward Hemenway from Winchester, Virginia, told agents that the officer may have greeted them in the way he did out of fear.
“Both men remembered encountering a police officer after they entered. According to Bauer, the police officer grabbed his hand, shook it, and said, ‘It’s your house now.’ Bauer believed that the policeman was acting out of fear. Hemenway similarly recalled the officer shaking [his] hand and Hemenway said, ‘Sorry,’ to which the officer replied, ‘It’s your house now, man’, and gave Hemenway a half-hug,” the FBI complaint says.
Both men also reported entering a circular room with pillars, with Bauer saying he chanted “stop the steal” and took photos and videos. Hemenway said he thought he heard people fighting with police but said he did not approach close enough to witness anything personally.
The men appeared in a federal court on Friday, pleading not guilty of trespassing and knowingly entering a restricted area.
According to the FBI, Hemenway entered the building out of “curiosity” and “stupidity,” and said he knew that being in the building was “wrong.”
Bauer admitted he entered the building to “occupy this space,” but added that he had no intention of harming anyone. According to the FBI report, Bauer said other people in the crowd that raided the Capitol were “angry about pedophiles, the news cycle, and losing their businesses during the lockdown.”
Democratic lawmakers characterized the Capitol violence as a “coup attempt” by Trump supporters, and impeached the president on charges of “inciting an insurrection.” Trump, who told protesters to “go home” during the violence, dismissed the charges. Trump loyalists claim it was the Democrats who staged a “coup” via what they said was a “fraudulent” election in November involving the widespread misuse of mail-in ballots, 'faulty' voter machines and other tricks. The president’s legal team has failed to win any of its dozens of court cases on the alleged fraud.