A gay conservative activist plead guilty to disorderly conduct charges for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Brandon Straka, 44, issued a guilty plea on Wednesday to the misdemeanor charge and has agreed to pay $500 in restitution. He faces up to six months in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for December.
On Facebook, Straka thanked his 357,000 followers for their patience. “Dear Patriots,” he wrote. “Hang on tight, negative press is likely coming down the pike this week. Let it come, and let it go. It means nothing. It’s just pointless noise. The best is yet to come. We’re almost there.”
A former New York City hairstylist, Straka billed himself as a gay former liberal who left the Democratic Party and enticed others to follow in his footsteps. Through his #WalkAway campaign, Straka traveled the country, organizing rallies, marches and delivering emotional speeches in support of former President Trump and Republicans.
Straka visited Fort Lauderdale in October of 2020, participating in a political debate inside the Sunshine Cathedral. Three months prior, American Airlines banned Straka from flights for refusing to wear a mask.
In the wake of the Capitol Insurrection, Straka was quickly identified by his own social media posts. He admitted in plea papers to recording himself during the breach, encouraging the mob to take a riot shield away from a police officer and to push their way into the building.
A felony charge of impeding police during a civil disorder was dropped as part of a plea agreement. Straka has promised to cooperate with investigators by turning over his social media and participating in a law enforcement interview.
Plea papers reveal Straka’s $500 restitution payment to the Department of Treasury is an acknowledgment that the riot occurred and as of May 17 has caused $1,495,326.55 in damages to the Capitol. The attack resulted in five deaths.
Straka will remain in his home state of Nebraska under court-ordered supervision until sentencing. He is one of the first Capitol rioters to go to court, prompting the website The Raw Story to write in its headline: ‘Stop the Steal’ organizer to start the squeal by sharing private social media messages with feds.