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Newbold in eye of Capitol firestorm

LISBON — Retired Navy SEAL Adam Newbold of Lisbon has been contacted by the FBI in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Newbold told ABC News he has been interviewed by the FBI about his “activities” at the protest-turned-riot and expects to be contacted again.

ABC News reported Newbold confirmed he was questioned after posting a video on Facebook on his way home from Washington. In the video, he described what occurred as “necessary” and stated, “Guys, you would be proud.”

Special Agent Vicki Anderson from the Cleveland office of the FBI was reached for comment, and she said as a matter of policy they do not confirm or deny if there is an investigation underway.

Newbold, 45, told the Journal in a story published Jan. 8 he was among 50 to 60 people from the area who attended the rally in support of President Trump, but has denied entering the Capitol and participating in the violence against police, which is also what he told ABC News, nor was he aware of anyone in their group who did. Newbold has said he and some in his group actually tried to help police.

In the Journal story, Newbold said he hoped marching to the Capitol would persuade Congress to oppose affirmation of President-elect Joseph Biden’s win. Newbold stated he was troubled by what occurred when the protest turned violent, but that was before he posted the now deleted Facebook video. The Journal learned of the video after the story ran.

According to the video, he said some of the locals who went to Washington “were on the very, very front lines of that,” and what occurred should make elected officials “think twice” and left some “shaking in their shoes.”

Newbold said in the video he hopes the message they sent elected officials was received. “Unfortunately, I’m hoping the message was strong enough. Unfortunately, maybe it wasn’t. I’d hate to see this escalate more,” he said.

“There are stories to tell for generations upon generations, and hopefully it pans out to be a positive revolution,” Newbold concluded.

ABC News reported Newbold expressed remorse in their interview and stated the attack on the Capitol “was all taken too far.”

“I would like to express to you just a cry for clemency, as you understand that my life now has been absolutely turned upside down,” he told ABC News. “I am not a terrorist. I am not a traitor.”

According to ABC News, Newbold said his attitude changed after learning that a rioter had been shot and a police officer died.

“It accomplished nothing. What the hell was it all for?” he said.

Two ABC News contributors — a retired Marine and a retired Navy SEAL — issued a joint statement calling the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol “not about free speech; it was an insurrection. Any military member who participated violated their oath to defend the United States Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Newbold told ABC News he would never take up arms against the government he served for 24 years.

There is also a photograph circulating on social media of Newbold sitting astride an unattended Capitol police motorcycle. Newbold told the Journal there is a video showing he stopped a protester from ransacking the motorcycle saddle bags, and then he decided to pose for a photograph.

Newbold declined further comment other than to say the ABC News story was a “hatchet job” that misrepresented most of what he said.

Meanwhile, WKBN First News reported Wednesday Newbold told them that while he believes the American system of government is broken and the election was fraudulent, that broken system has elected a new president.

Newbold told WKBN he still supports the country and he is still an American.

“The assertion that I or anyone with me had the intent to commit sedition or to overthrow the government is absolutely absurd. I feel I have stood strongly for the government, the president and the Constitution,” Newbold said.

tgiambroni@mojonews.com

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