Jan. 6 videos said to show Colorado election denier Shawn Smith clashing with police
Activist on Thursday called for Colorado secretary of state to hang
Sedition Hunters identified Colorado election denier Shawn Smith as the person highlighted in the red circle, seen as a flash-bang grenade explodes at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection. He loses his footing in a clash with police. (Screenshot from a video linked to by Sedition Hunters)
Sedition Hunters, a group that assists law enforcement searching for people who allegedly committed crimes during the Jan. 6 insurrection, on Saturday identified Colorado “election integrity” activist Shawn Smith in videos from the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and named him a “person of interest.”
The development follows a Newsline investigation that identified Smith in another Jan. 6 video, as reported in a story that the outlet published on Wednesday.
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Smith, a retired Air Force colonel, is a key figure in election-denial activities in Colorado and other states. He is president of Cause of America, which is funded by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell with the goal of coordinating “election integrity” activities throughout the country, animated by the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
On Thursday Smith was a panelist during a gathering of leading Colorado figures in the far-right election denial movement, including Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, at The Rock Church in Castle Rock. During a presentation that night, Smith, referring to Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, said, “I think if you’re involved in election fraud, then you deserve to hang.”
The videos in which Sedition Hunters identified Smith show him as part of a violent mob in a physical confrontation with police officers trying to clear Trump supporters from an area near the side of the Capitol. Smith, according to Sedition Hunters, is seen at the front of the mob in direct physical contact with police in riot gear.
“You know they’re criminals,” he shouts at police, apparently referring to Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress who that day were certifying President Joe Biden’s Electoral College win in the 2020 election. “Stand with the people! Stand with the people! These are your people! These are your people right here! … Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it!” he’s heard to say in a video credited to landoseason.com.
At one point, he loses his footing as a police officer advances on him. A flash-bang grenade explodes nearby, and the gray cap he is wearing falls off. Then he appears to leave the area immediately in front of police.On Sunday morning, Newsline sent Smith a request by text for comment about him appearing in newly discovered Jan. 6 videos. The text included a screenshot of the face of the person Sedition Hunters identified as Smith. A subsequent text included a link to a video in which Sedition Hunters identified Smith. Smith at first replied that he was “prepping a response.” He did not dispute that the person in the screenshot was him. He later wrote that we would not be able to respond until Monday.
“I recommend you wait for my response, including specific facts and characterizations in dispute,” Smith texted about seven hours after Newsline first contacted him. He did not specify the facts and characterizations to which he referred. If Smith responds this story will be updated.
In a later part of the landoseason.com video, the person identified as Smith appears to admonish other members of the mob about their behavior toward police.
“Stop, stop, stop f***ing yelling at them, stop, stop yelling at them,” he says to another Trump supporter. Then he turns to the phalanx of police and, gesturing to the Capitol, says, “This is our house … This is our house.”
Sedition Hunters describes itself as “a global community of open-source intelligence investigators” devoted to finding insurrectionists. HuffPost has called the group one of the FBI’s “most critical assets,” whose efforts “has affected hundreds of the more than 700 cases that federal prosecutors have brought” against alleged insurrectionists.
The four videos in which the group identified Smith are the first known to show the person it identifies as Smith engaging directly with law enforcement officers during the insurrection. The Smith video that emerged from the Newsline investigation shows him among a violent group of rioters engaged in a clash with police outside the Capitol, but Smith does not appear to directly engage with officers in those images.
The Thursday gathering at The Rock Church was organized by the far-right group FEC United. The church on Sunday was the site of a protest against it permitting FEC United, which was founded by Colorado conspiracist and podcaster Joe Oltmann, holding its events at the church.
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