Brandon Straka attends a rally in support of Donald Trump on March 23, 2019, in New York City. | Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
Brandon Straka, a Donald Trump ally who spoke at a Jan. 5 "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington — and has since pleaded guilty for joining the mob that stormed onto the grounds of the U.S. Capitol the next day — has provided investigators with information they say "may impact the government's sentencing recommendation."
It's an indication that Straka, one of the few Jan. 6 defendants who is also of interest to congressional investigators, has cooperated with prosecutors in a substantive way.
Straka, who describes himself as a "former liberal," became a relatively prominent figure in Trump-world in 2018, when he founded the "WalkAway campaign" to encourage liberals to abandon Democrats. He was one of just two speakers at pro-Trump events on Jan. 5 and 6 criminally charged for their roles in the Capitol attack. Owen Shroyer, an InfoWars broadcaster and ally of Alex Jones, also faces misdemeanor charges in the case.
Straka pleaded guilty in October to a single misdemeanor charge and was set to be sentenced next week. But prosecutors have asked for a 30-day sentencing delay so that his new evidence "can be properly evaluated."
Straka was among a long list of pro-Trump figures that the Jan. 6 select committee in the House has inquired about. He appears on a list the panel sent to the National Archives seeking records from the Trump White House.
In an FBI affidavit filed in January, investigators said he posted a 58-minute video on Jan. 7 describing his movements the day before.
"The plan was always to go to the Capitol. We were going to march from that event … to the Capitol, and there was going to be another rally. I was one of the speakers slated to speak at the Capitol," Straka said in the video.
Trump encouraged his supporters in his own Jan. 6 remarks to go to the Capitol and vowed to join them there, remarks that encouraged many of the attendees at the rally to march to the Capitol. Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows wrote in a new book that Trump told him afterward that he never intended to go to the Capitol and meant his words "metaphorically." Meadows has refused to testify to congressional investigators, who recently referred him to the Justice Department for criminal contempt of Congress charges.
In another eight-minute video prosecutors obtained, Straka can be seen approaching the Capitol on Jan. 6, saying "We're going in."
"As the crowd in front of him tried to push their way into the entrance of the U.S. Capitol, STRAKA yelled, 'Go! Go!'" prosecutors said in a description of the video. Straka later urged members of the crowd to take a riot shield from a nearby police officer. The video ends with Straka at the top of the Capitol steps.