Three men who participated in efforts to storm the Oregon Capitol building Dec. 21 also appear to have traveled to Washington D.C to take part in last week’s failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Images captured on social media and national television show what appear to be two of the men inside the U.S. Capitol as part of the mob attack that left five people dead and temporarily stopped Congress from certifying electoral college votes for President-elect Joe Biden. The third man was part of the mob but evidence has not shown he entered the building.
A review of video and photos from both events by OPB shows men whose appearance matches David Anthony Medina, 31, of Sherwood; Tim Davis, 59, of Springfield; and a third man who OPB has not been able to identify by name but appears to be the same person. None of the men have faced criminal charges for participating in either rally.
Over the past year, political extremists have escalated their tactics without significant intervention from law enforcement. Last week’s attempt to subvert democracy was merely the latest in a string of increasingly brazen and dangerous assaults on government institutions, including the December violence in Salem, an attempt by protesters to break into the Washington state governor’s mansion last week and the armed takeover of the Michigan State Capitol by far-right groups last spring.
Often, the same players show up at multiple events to engage in political violence.
Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy Williams vowed this week to prosecute any Oregonians who traveled to Washington D.C. and committed crimes.
“I join my fellow U.S. Attorneys in unequivocally stating that if we learn of any Oregonians who traveled to participate in this violence, they will be prosecuted in the District of Oregon to the fullest extent of the law,” Williams tweeted.
So far, three Oregonians have faced charges for curfew violations in the District of Columbia related to the insurrection. Prior to OPB’s analysis, no one from Oregon had been known to have entered the U.S. Capitol building with the mob, however.
The FBI is investigating the Washington D.C. attack in an attempt to charge people who instigated the violence. The Washington Post reported agents are also investigating whether some in the mob intended to kill lawmakers and staffers or take hostages. Several images show people in the mob carrying zip-tie handcuffs, including one image from inside the Senate chamber. The New Yorker reported another man on the floor of the Senate was a former officer in the Airforce.
A spokeswoman for the FBI’s Portland field office wouldn’t confirm whether the men OPB identified were known to them or part of an investigation.
“We will continue to aggressively investigate each and every individual who chooses to ignore the law and instead threatens violence, destruction of property, and injury to others,” the FBI’s Beth Anne Steele said in a statement.
Medina, the man from Sherwood, Oregon, is the organizer of the group Oregonians for Trump and the former campaign manager for Anna Kasachev, a failed Republican challenger for House District 22, which represents Woodburn.
A man who looks like Medina was broadcast on ITV news during the siege inside the U.S. Capitol. The man stood outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office as protestors looted it; one rioter carried away the speaker’s nameplate. Next to the man who appears to be Medina is another man wearing a sweatshirt that says “Camp Auschwitz.”
“We were good people, the government did this to us, we were normal, good law abiding citizens, and you guys did this to us,” the man who appeared to be Medina told ITV News.
On Dec. 21, images and video show Medina in Salem, Oregon, at a similarly raucous protest.
The rally, which took place two weeks before the insurrection in Washington, D.C., saw pro-Trump demonstrators push back police and break into the Oregon Capitol while lawmakers met in special session to pass relief efforts for businesses and schools affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The statehouse was closed to the public because of COVID-19, but a surveillance video released this week shows a Republican state representative opened a side door to the building that allowed the men to gain entry.
At one point, Medina is videotaped shouting into a bullhorn as Trump supporters gathered outside the locked statehouse. At another point, Medina stood at the front of a group of protesters inside the building and pointed at a line of Oregon State Police troopers blocking the crowds’ entry into legislative chambers.
“Don’t be mad at us,” Medina shouted at the officers. “We’re not here to cause trouble. We’re here to take our freedoms back.”
edina, in a red coat, is also shown on surveillance video trying to push past Oregon State Police as the pro-Trump crowd gained entry to the building. The video shows him next to Joey Gibson, founder of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group whose members have repeatedly engaged in violence during protests. Both men entered the statehouse. Neither were among the five people who have so far been arrested in connection with the Dec. 21 violence.
“We had a state rep open that door for us,” Gibson said in a video addressed to his followers on the conservative social media site Parler, a likely reference to Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, who opened a door to the building for the conservative demonstrators.