By Leo Wolfson, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Frank Eathorne was much closer to the violence incited during the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol invasion than he had said earlier, according to photos and videos released on Twitter.
On Sunday and early Tuesday morning, photos and videos surfaced on Twitter showing Eathorne standing in an area beyond police barricades that had been knocked over during the riot at the U.S. Capitol.
According to NBC News and CapitolHunters, a group collecting and disseminating information on Twitter regarding the riot, Eathorne can be seen standing on restricted grounds on the west side of the Capitol after demonstrators bypassed several police barricades.
A number of photos and videos published by both organizations showed Eathorne standing in the crowd as critical events were playing out in the riot around him.
None of the photos or videos showed Eathorne taking part in violent behavior or the invasion of Capitol building itself.
Eathorne did not respond to a request for comment.
Previously, Eathorne said he “attended the organized and peaceful rally near the White House on January 6th” and only made “a brief stop in the vicinity of the Capitol building property.” Eathorne said he left the event in the mid-afternoon and watched news of some of the events on the news “I personally had not witnessed.”
Eathorne spoke at the rally for former President Donald Trump on Saturday, making the comment that he would run through a barbed wire fence for Trump.
The recently released photos show Eathorne spent at least two hours at the riot. In one photo he can be seen standing amidst a throng of people in front of the inauguration platform protestors climbed on.
As members of the mob yelled “Stop the Steal” around him, Eathorne can be seen in one video underneath a giant “TRUMP” banner hanging just a few feet above his head.
According to CapitolHunters, Eathorne was present when “flash bangs,” explosive devices designed to disorient people, and tear gas canisters were lobbed into the crowd.
The group said based on the photos and videos, Eathorne would also have heard the crowd’s cheers for the breach of scaffolding and the seizing of the Capitol’s West Plaza about 30 minutes later.
After the seizure, CapitolHunters reported Eathorne continued moving forward to the plaza.
“It strains credulity that he could not know what was happening around him,” the group reported.
Eathorne, wearing a gray ball cap with an American flag on the back and a blue jacket, can also be seen in one photo from early on in the day holding a two-way radio transmitter.
Authorities have determined the Jan. 6 event was highly planned and organized beforehand, but capitolhunters said radios were barely used during the riot. Eathorne is not seen with one at any other juncture.
Eathorne has been affiliated with Oath Keepers, an organization headed by a man now facing seditious conspiracy charges in connection with the Capitol attack
Seen at Eathorne’s side in a number of photos is Casper resident Bob Ide, a current state Senate candidate. Ide did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Most of the 846 people charged in connection with the Jan. 6 event went inside the Capitol building, although there were two people charged and sentenced who did not go inside or incite any violence.