Surging Pennsylvania Senate Candidate Was Part of Mob Marching to Capitol on Jan. 6

Kathy Barnette has been surging in the run-up to Tuesday’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. Barnette’s Trumpism has been well-documented, but on Monday NBC News reported that the right-wing lawmaker was even part of the mob that marched to the Capitol last Jan. 6.

The outlet authenticated photos of Barnette in the crowd of Trump supporters, walking alongside Proud Boys, ahead of the attack on the Capitol. The images were initially flagged on Sunday by extremism reporter Chad Loder. There is as yet no evidence that Barnette breached the Capitol.

Barnette acknowledged that she was in Washington, D.C., last Jan. 6, but denies entering the Capitol. “Kathy was in DC to support President Trump and demand election accountability. Any assertion that she participated in or supported the destruction of property is intentionally false. She has no connection whatsoever to the proud boys,” her campaign said in a statement provided to NBC News.

Barnette also suggested the deadly insurrection wasn’t really so bad. “I feel about January 6, the way the left feels about the summer of 2020 when you have Black Lives Matter and Antifa and other groups out there looting and robbing and everyone was calling it mostly peaceful protests,” she said, according to NBC News.

The increased focus on Barnette as she takes on Trump-endorsed Mehmet Oz and conservative businessman David McCormack in the Keystone State primary comes following a poll from earlier this month showing a dead heat between the three. Barnette has in the past labelled former President Barack Obama a “Muslim,” called being gay a “culturally degenerate lifestyle,” and flirted with a QAnon conspiracy theory about child trafficking during her 2020 congressional campaign. Regarding the 2020 presidential election, Barnette claimed in a Facebook video from December of that year that Trump had been screwed. “Fight, fight, fight,” she urged viewers. “This is our country. This is not their country. This is our country.”

Barnette would later charter three buses to Washington, D.C., for attendees of the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the riot at the Capitol. We now know that she was headed to the Capitol herself.

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