Two East Texas men are accused of being a part of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, with federal authorities saying they forced their way into the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to disrupt and impede Congress’s certification of the 2020 presidential election.
Alex Kirk Harkrider, 33, of Carthage has been charged with conspiracy and unlawful entry with a dangerous weapon, violent entry or disorderly conduct and aiding and abetting, according to a criminal complaint from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Harkrider was arrested Monday and booked into the Gregg County Jail on a U.S. Marshal detainer, jail records show.
Harkrider is charged alongside a Longview man, Ryan Taylor Nichols, who federal authorities say, in addition to unlawfully entering the Capitol building, pepper-sprayed law enforcement officers and bragged about his involvement on Facebook.
Nichols has been charged with civil disorder, assaulting a federal officer using a deadly or dangerous weapon, conspiracy and unlawful entry with a dangerous weapon, violent entry or disorderly conduct and aiding and abetting. He was also arrested Monday and is being held in the Smith County Jail.
Two witnesses contacted the FBI separately after the Jan. 6 insurrection, telling agents that both Harkrider and Nichols had posted images and videos of themselves involved in the insurrection to their Facebook accounts.
Investigators followed up on the tips and found photos, screenshots and videos from both Harkrider and Nichols depicting them taking part in the insurrection, according to an arrest affidavit in the case. One photo, the affidavit said, showed both men in the Capitol with the caption “We’re in.”
In photos and videos, the affidavit said Nichols can be seen carrying a crowbar and bullhorn and is shown yelling “If you have a weapon, you need to get your weapon!” and “This is the second revolution right here folks! [...] This is not a peaceful protest.”
Nichols can also be seen spraying an agent, believed to be pepper spray, towards U.S. Capitol police while Nichols, Harkrider and a large crowd is trying to shove their way into the building.
Another video, the affidavit noted, shows Harkrider leaning out from the Capitol through a broken window. Harkrider is also accused of sharing a Snapchat from inside the building that said “We’re in. 2 people killed already. We need all the patriots of this country to rally the f- — up and fight for our freedom or it’s gone forever. Give us liberty, or give us death. We won’t stand for it.”
Nichols, on Facebook, threatened violence based on the outcome of the certification process weeks before Jan. 6, according to the affidavit. On Dec. 24, he posted a photo of a bullet and the text “By Bullet or Ballot, Restoration of the Republic is Coming.”
Four days later, according to the affidavit, Nichols posted “Pence better do the right thing, or we’re going to MAKE you do the right thing,” an apparent reference to the believe that Vice President Mike Pence could change the outcome of the election.
After the rally, Nichols posted on Facebook that a conspiracy theory that said Antifa actually stormed the Capitol building was false, according to the affidavit.
“Listen up: I hear so many reports of ‘Antifa’ was storming the capital building. Know that every single person who believes that narrative has been DUPED AGAIN! Sure, there may have been some ‘Antifa’ in DC, but there wasn’t enough to ‘Storm the Capital’ themselves.”