A man captured posing for photographs during Wednesday’s siege of the U.S. Capitol has been identified by local media as Indiana white nationalist Matthew Heimbach.
Heimbach, who is in his late 20s and lives in the southern town of Paoli, has been characterized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a neo-Nazi though he once said he was abandoning the movement. He has been in the public spotlight before.
SHIRTLESS MAN IN HORNED HELMET AT CAPITOL PROTEST IDENTIFIED
In 2015, Heimbach founded the Traditionalist Worker Party — a political party Heimbach said was designed to “create a European-styled nationalist movement” — with his stepfather-in-law, Matt Parrott.
In 2016, the Towson University alumnus was ordered to serve jail time for violating the terms of his two-year probation after harassing a protester at one of President Trump’s rallies in 2016.
In a lawsuit, Heimbach argued that the president had authorized him to remove the individuals in question when he said, “Get ’em out of here.”
Heimbach later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct to avoid incarceration.
Just a year later, he helped to organize and promote the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. — a march that led to violent clashes and a fatal attack on 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
Heimbach’s party was disbanded after his arrest on a domestic battery charge in March 2018. He was accused of attacking Parrott during a confrontation over an affair with Parrott’s wife, Jessica.
The assault on the Capitol killed five, including 42-year-old Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick and 35-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt.
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Police arrested 70 people on charges related to the unrest, Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department said Thursday.