A former Navy SEAL insists he and his son left the Capitol grounds before it was breached during the Jan. 6 insurrection -- but photos and videos show otherwise.
Shannon Rusch admits to marching on the Capitol alongside prominent Proud Boys members, but The Daily Beast reported evidence to dispute his protestations that he and his son did not take part in the siege.
"Video footage shows his son picking up what appears to be a dropped police baton as scuffles with cops intensified outside the building," the website reported. "Later, he is seen with the baton inside the Capitol, minutes after the building was first breached. And the ex-SEAL posted a video of himself on Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 with other Proud Boys, one of whom announced that 'we just stormed the fucking Capitol.' The ex-SEAL ... responds with approval."
The photo and video evidence was identified by a team led by John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab and the investigative group Deep State Dogs, and shows Rusch's son Trevor McDonald entered the Capitol around 2:15 p.m. with a first wave of Proud Boys to go inside.
Rusch posted photos of himself and his 21-year-old son in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 4 and 5, saying they had gone to protest Donald Trump's election loss and stand in "defiance of tyranny and to celebrate American freedom," tagging a number of conservative public figures in the social media posts.
"There is no one I'd rather be here with than my son for this historic event," Rusch tweeted on Jan. 5. "The calm before the strom.... [sic]"
McDonald can be seen in photos and videos from Jan. 6 wearing the same distinctive plaid jacket and red sweatshirt as he wore in his father's posts, and footage shows him picking up a dropped police baton during a clash with officers outside the Capitol and then holding the same weapon as he entered the building among the first group of rioters.
Video recorded by a livestreamer shows him shouting "woo" into the camera as he walked past inside the Capitol.
So far no evidence has turned up showing his father inside the Capitol, and neither man has been charged with a crime related to the insurrection.