AZUSA (CBSLA) — Chaos at the nation’s Capitol Wednesday left the country and the world stunned.
One day later, it’s been found that among the group of rioters who breached the doors and sent lawmakers scrambling to the floor were several well-known members of extremist groups — including Jake Angeli of QAnon, self-proclaimed white nationalist Richard Barnett, Nick Ochs of the Proud Boys and Tom Gionet, also known as Baked Alaska.
Gionet, who streamed himself hyping up the crowd inside of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office, has ties to Southern California — including reportedly attending school at Azusa Pacific University and previously interning at Warner Records.
His social media accounts show him posing for photos with guns by the iconic Hollywood sign.
“He’s a noted Nazi miscreant,” Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino. “It is a disgrace that someone like him was able to invade the sacred Capitol of the United States.”
Levin said the invasion was likely methodically organized underground by the different groups whose ideologies intertwine.
“What they all share in common is a great affinity, almost a cultish affinity, for the president, a love of conspiracy theories and the promotion of the notion that we should engage in a civil war,” Levin said.
The professor said he expects to see another dangerous uprising, but the questions remain of who will lead it and what future event will be the catalyst.
“We’re seeing these people and we know who they are, being so blatant in showing their faces at the Capitol, I think that says something,” Levin said. “They’re taking a victory lap right now, and I think the federal government should prosecute them to the full extent of the law.”