Kenneth Grayson, Capitol riot suspect: ‘If Trump tells us to storm … ima do that then!’
A man arrested Tuesday and charged with being part of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol had telegraphed his intentions two weeks earlier, telling relatives on Facebook that he was prepared to storm the building “if Trump tells us to.”
Kenneth Grayson’s social media history also included claims that he had engaged in violent clashes with “commies” during a previous November Trump rally in Washington. He said he “left one unconscious so I did my little part and got the [expletive] out before I got arrested.”
Then just before Christmas Mr. Grayson, detailing his plans to attend then-President Trump’s Jan. 6 rally, said he was ready for more confrontation, according to the FBI affidavit filed alongside the charges.
“This [expletive] isn’t a [expletive] game to me, or some social media [expletive] story time!! I’m there for the greatest celebration of all time after Pence leads the Senate flip!! OR IM THERE IF TRUMP TELLS US TO STORM THE [EXPLETIVE] CAPTAL IMA DO THAT THEN,” he wrote on Facebook, according to the FBI.
Mr. Trump’s role in the events of Jan. 6 has been heatedly debated, and indeed is now at the center of impeachment proceedings.
In a speech to supporters just ahead of the assault, he encouraged them to march to the Capitol, though he said he wanted them to be peaceful.
Yet several of those arrested for breaking through barricades to breach the Capitol have told investigators they believed they were following Mr. Trump’s orders.
In Mr. Grayson’s case, his relatives and friends seemed conflicted over his behavior on Jan. 6.
One posted to Facebook urging him to “get the hell out of there,” and told him it was a federal crime to be inside, the FBI said. Another, though, asked if he was part of the crowd that stormed the Senate chamber, and urged, “TAKE PHOTOS!!! TAKE DOCUMENTS!”
Investigators tipped to Mr. Grayson after someone who’d attended school with him and ran into him recently alerted the FBI to some Facebook postings. That tipster had taken screenshots of a Facebook Live video streaming on Mr. Grayson’s page during the assault on the Capitol.
Three other tipsters also reported Mr. Grayson later, the FBI said.
Agents said they then matched Mr. Grayson to security video from inside the Capitol.
They also obtained Facebook postings through a search warrant, which is how they came across his previous activities.
Mr. Grayson is charged with knowingly entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct, disruptive conduct inside the Capitol, demonstrating inside the Capitol, and obstructing an official proceeding.