AMERICUS, Ga. (AP) – The FBI says a Georgia attorney accused of joining the attack on the U.S. Capitol riot bragged on social media that he was one of the first rioters to fight in Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi’s office had broken into and said she probably would have been torn to bits “if they found her there.
William McCall Calhoun Jr., of Americus, Georgia, appeared in court for the first time Friday after being arrested for, among other things, violent entry or disorderly conduct, manipulating a witness and entering a restricted building. He remains in detention until another hearing this week.
According to a sworn affidavit from an FBI agent, a citizen reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about social media posts Calhoun made before, during, and after participating in the January 6 riot.
Calhoun wrote he was going to DC “to give some backbone to the GOP” when the House and Senate met to confirm the November election won by Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. He bragged about passing police barricades and being in a group that had broken into Pelosi’s office.
The Jan. 12 affidavit also cites Calhoun’s interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution in which Calhoun described his actions as “patriotic” acts of “civil disobedience.”
“Anyone who claims it was other than civil disobedience wasn’t there and they didn’t see it and they don’t know,” he said. “I would freely admit that I entered, but I did it out of love for my country.”
Civil disobedience, by definition, is a non-violent form of political protest in which participants peacefully break a law they believe is unjust and then willingly submit to punishment to demonstrate that the law should be changed. For his part, Calhoun wrote of Parler in a post quoted by the FBI: “We are all coming back armed for war.”
Calhoun described himself as a practicing lawyer in Americus for 30 years, primarily handling criminal defense cases.
To date, more than 125 people have been arrested for the violent uprising led by supporters of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, where a Capitol policeman and four others were killed.