A Donald Trump fan caught on camera brawling with police officers during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was charged by the feds this week after he bragged about his conduct on a Trump fan site and pushed back on the online conspiracy theory that undercover “antifa” members were behind the violence.
Jose Padilla faces several charges, including felony counts of obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder and assault on a law enforcement officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon. Federal officials say he pushed up against the police line while wearing a scuba mask and shoved officers trying to stop the pro-Trump mob from storming the Capitol. He also helped rioters use a giant metal-framed Trump sign as a battering ram against officers on the police line, and threw a flagpole at officers trying to keep the mob out of the building.
The feds said Padilla used the website TheDonald.win, which was created after the subreddit r/The_Donald was placed on restricted mode last year. He also posted about his support for Trump on Facebook.
“There’s a lot of memes and posts flying around saying that the people who were fighting last night were all Antifa provacateurs etc. I just want to say that as a first hand observer of every point of last night, that it was not Antifa. They were Patriots who were trying to Restore the Republic after being attacked by the cops, who struck first,” Padilla wrote on Facebook, according to the feds. “Even those who broke the windows next to the doorway to the Capitol were Patriots trying to find a way to turn the Flanks of the cops.”
On the online forum TheDonald.win, Padilla wrote about his involvement in the attack, saying that he “pushed the rails,” “pushed the stairs,” and “pushed the doorway.”
“I was beaten unconscious twice, sprayed more times than I care to count, received strikes from batons that should have been lethal (Multiple temple and carotid strikes) except that God was on my side,” Padilla wrote, the feds say.
Padilla also worked to correct the record about online rumors that “Antifa” was somehow responsible for the pro-Trump mob’s efforts.
“Honestly, the guy breaking the windows weren’t Antifa,” he wrote. “They were Patriots trying to find a new way in so we could flank the cops who were holding the doorway.”
Padilla joins a list of Capitol insurrectionists who pushed back on online rumors about antifa because they were upset about anti-fascists getting credit for their work.
The case against Padilla was unsealed at about the same time that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) used his time at a hearing on the Capitol attack to float a conspiracy theory that “agents provocateurs” and “fake Trump protesters” were responsible for the attack.
Read the criminal complaint below.