The events of January 6—when a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the United States Capitol in a deadly failed insurrection—continues to have national consequences.
Fueled by former President Donald Trump's lies that the 2020 election was "stolen" from him, supporters made their way from a nearby "Save America" rally, at Trump's request, to the Capitol, where a joint congressional session certifying then-President-elect Joe Biden's victory was underway.
Soon, rioters began shattering windows, beating police officers, ransacking congressional offices, marauding about the Senate floor, and calling for the execution of any lawmaker they perceived as disloyal to Trump.
While hundreds have been arrested for rioting at the Capitol, one notable rioter didn't just walk free—he recently joined the North Carolina House of Representatives.
State Rep. Donnie Loftis, a Republican, was sworn in this past week. In a since-deleted Facebook post around the time of the riots, Loftis wrote:
"I got gassed three times and was at the entrance when they breached the door. I spoke to many service members and we all agreed that we didn't want to be there but we had no other choice. ... My Oath of Enlistment has the phrase 'both foreign and domestic'. We didn't think it would actually be domestic."
The state's Democratic Party Chair Bobbie Richardson wrote in a statement:
"Today marks a new low for General Assembly Republicans, because instead of condemning those actions and rejecting the rhetoric that incites violence, they are welcoming a Capitol insurrection participant with open arms."
In protest, North Carolina Democratic House members walked out of Loftis' swearing-in, citing the Republican party's growing embrace of extremism.
People celebrated their efforts.
Others were infuriated that Loftis is still in a government position.
Loftis claimed that, though he was at the door and gassed when it was breached, he was peaceful throughout the riots.