The man caught carrying what appears to be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's podium during Wednesday's pro-Trump riot inside the U.S. Capitol was identified as Adam Christian Johnson, 36, of Parrish, Florida. A photo of Johnson grinning and waving to the camera as he clutched the podium went Wednesday. Johnson was not among the 14 rioters arrested by U.S. Capitol Police, although three other Florida residents were among the suspects.
After the photo of Johnson, who wore a hat with President Donald Trump's name on it, went viral on social media, residents of the community in Manatee County recognized Johnson. An acquaintance identified Johnson for the Bradenton Herald. Johnson, his wife, and five children live in Parrish. His wife is a doctor in nearby Palmetto. They did not respond to calls for comment.
Johnson's neighbors were not willing to talk about him, and the street numbers were removed outside his home. State Sen. Jim Boyd, a Republican who represents Bradenton, said he was disappointed in Johnson, calling his actions "intolerable." Boyd added, "There's nothing right about what they did. I'm sad if it is one of ours, but they don't act like us here in Manatee County."
Johnson does have a criminal history, with charges of marijuana possession and probation violations on his record. Screenshots from his Facebook page showed him sharing photos from the pro-Trump protests outside the Capitol, where members of Congress were meeting to certify the 2020 presidential election results. Johnson is a Tennessee native and deleted his Facebook page, reports the Smoking Gun. He studied psychology at the University of South Florida, he wrote on his Facebook page.
In addition to the 14 arrests by U.S. Capitol Police, the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police arrested at least 52 others. Four deaths were linked to the riot, which began when pro-Trump supporters forced their way into the Capitol. Trump has been widely criticized for inciting the violence, sparking condemnation from members of both parties and resignations in his administration.
Both Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have called for Vice President Mike Pence and Trump's cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office. Pelosi said she would pursue impeachment if Pence does not. "I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th amendment," Pelosi said Thursday. "If the vice president and cabinet do not act, Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment." Trump's term ends in 13 days, when President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.