Since the failed revolt of Jan. 6, 2021, when MAGA heads, white supremacist dunderheads, and Republican Party officials stoked the fires of insurrection that led to a siege of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., people have been getting identified and arrested. (Not enough people, and many of them continue to experience a much more sympathetic justice system than their counterparts who are not white, but at least they’re being brought to account.) There’s a long list of folks the FBI is looking for, with photos put out there for identification from the public.
One very public attendee of the Jan. 6 insurrection was Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano. Mastriano is the elected official who had a strange, somewhat secretive meeting with Donald Trump just weeks after Trump lost the November 2020 election. Mastriano was an active participant in the runup to the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” anti-democracy disaster. He infamously told the crowd gathered in Washington that day: “It’s time to rise up, Americans.” Mastriano was filmed marching and reportedly organized one of the many bus trips to the Capitol that day. His colleagues have asked that he resign from his position. Mastriano has argued that he left early in the march and did not participate in the subsequent siege on the Capitol building. Well, there are new photos emerging that seem to tell a different story.
Let’s first give precise context here: In the day or two after the Jan. 6 insurrection, amidst calls for his resignation, Mastriano gave this exact statement: “My wife and I went to Washington, D.C., today to support President Trump. When it was apparent that this was no longer a peaceful protest, my wife and I left the area and made our way out of the area. At no point did we enter the Capitol building, walk on the Capitol steps, or go beyond police lines.” Let’s go take a peak at what the kids call the “receipts.”
Mastriano’s defense is that this is all left-wing deep state witch-huntery. In a statement to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mastriano said: “They are foot soldiers of the ruling elite and should be dismissed. Even disingenuous internet sleuths know that the police lines did shift throughout the course of the day.” Of course, these “disingenuous internet sleuths” have been a major resource for the FBI in the search for the identities of the hundreds of not-peaceful insurrectionists at the Capitol that day. That image above gives you a peek into what the retired military colonel considers “shifting.”
One of the people yet to be arrested but on the list is Sam Lazar. He’s here at on the FBI wanted list at #275. He has been identified by Sedition Hunters as Sam Lazar, and given the proper hashtag of #facepaintblowhard. Lazar was also identified by Lancaster Online, which called him a “staunch Trump supporter” based on a review of his active social media accounts. According to Huffpost, Lazar has been out and about living his most MAGA life, which has included attending and taking some photos at a fundraiser for dubious coronavirus-spreading Trump ally and Big Lie inciter Republican Mastriano. Headlining the event where Lazar took photos with Mastriano was none other than the leaky head of corruption himself, Rudy Giuliani. Receipts!
According to HuffPost, Lazar attended the May 15 event and “posed for photos alongside right-wing Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano at the May 15 event headlined by Giuliani.” The event took place in Chambersburg and is assumed to be a part of Mastriano’s ambition to run for governor of Pennsylvania.
Lancaster Online says the FBI wants the Ephrata, Pennsylvania, resident for his bullhorn antics of incitement and more importantly, an allegation that what he was filmed spraying at the Capitol Police guarding the steps on Jan. 6 was possibly pepper spray. The news outlet reports that Lazar’s Facebook page has been scrubbed of the various images showing his more militant support of Donald Trump. What exactly was in that spray he was using is hard to say. Whether it was an actual irritant or something less destructive, you aren’t allowed to do that to people—spray them with crap.
Mastriano, like the rest of the ambitious and craven brass of the Trumpian GOP, will be happy to pass off all responsibility for the insurrection onto people like Lazar. And people like Lazar deserve all kinds of responsibility for their part. But one would hope a retired military colonel would have the lightest touch of integrity. He doesn’t, and that’s mostly because he has turned to fascism to feed his ambition.