Prosecutors filed charges against a Mission Viejo woman who admitted entering the U.S. Capitol when it was stormed by a mob seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election, but who claimed that police “welcomed” her in.
Investigators used cell phone tower data to identify Danean MacAndrew as one of hundreds of people present at the insurrection in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, according to a sworn statement from an FBI agent. They then compared videos she posted to social media with surveillance footage recorded during the riot to confirm she was there.
Authorities went to her house in Mission Viejo and interviewed her on Sept. 28, according to court documents. She said she went to the Capitol after listening to a live speech by former President Donald Trump, in which he stated the election was “stolen by emboldened radical-left Democrats” and “fake news media.”
“You don’t concede when there’s theft involved,” Trump said before thousands of his supporters marched to the Capitol with his blessing.
MacAndrew told FBI agents that Capitol police were letting people in when she arrived, according to court documents. She said she walked through the building for a few minutes, then left when officers told people they had to leave.
“Capitol Police opened the doors, welcomed us in, and stood aside as we wandered the hallways,” MacAndrew said in a social media post dated Feb. 22.
She is one of several people charged in connection with the riot in Washington D.C. who claim police invited them into the building. A Victorville man who was arrested in January for participating in the insurrection said he was “escorted” through restricted grounds by officers.
A warrant was issued for MacAndrew’s arrest in November, and she was taken into custody on Dec. 1. She has been charged with entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct and parading in the Capitol.
The federal public defender assigned to represent her could not be reached for comment.
Prosecutors have filed charges against more than 700 people for taking part in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Some who were seen violently forcing their way past officers in videos posted to social media face allegations including assault and obstruction of officers during a riot. At least 140 police officers were injured during the riot and five died in the aftermath, one after suffering strokes and four by suicide.
Source: Orange County Register