Ex-GOP Rep. Riggleman Says Lawmakers Should Shake Cop's Hand as Capitol Rioter Clips Emerge

Former Virginia GOP Congressman Denver Riggleman chastised several congressional lawmakers who recently refused to shake hands, recognize or award police officers for their role in pushing back against the deadly January 6 Capitol riot.

"Maybe Congressmen and Congresswomen should shake Michael Fanone's hand. And everyone who protected them," Riggleman tweeted Friday.

The remarks by Riggleman come after The Washington Post reported Thursday that GOP Congressman Andrew Clyde of Georgia refused to shake the hand of D.C. police officer Michael Fanone, who was beaten unconscious by rioters after voluntarily rushing toward the building in its defense last January. Fanone and fellow U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn have been at the forefront of criticizing Republicans who voted against recognizing their actions in pushing back on the riot.

"I simply extended my hand and said, 'How are you doing today, Congressman.' I knew immediately he recognized me by the way he reacted. He completely froze. He just stared at me," Fanone said in an interview with the Post published Thursday.

Clyde's reported refusal to shake hands with the Capitol officer came Wednesday, right after a 406-21 House vote in favor of awarding several such officers a Congressional Gold Medal. All 21 'no' votes were from Republicans, including Clyde.

In the same Twitter post, Riggleman shared a video Friday night that allegedly shows former UFC fighter Scott Fairlamb screaming into his cell phone as he appears to head toward the Capitol steps on January 6.

"What patriots do?" Fairlamb says in the footage. "We f**king disarm them, and then we storm the f***king Capitol. F**k you!"

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth this week approved the release of several videos apparently showing the 44-year-old Fairlamb storming the Capitol. Fairlamb is still being held in federal custody for his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection on top of a criminal history showing violent crime.

One associate of Fairlamb's told HuffPo's Ryan J. Reilly, who posted the footage on Twitter that was shared by Riggleman, that Fairlamb got sucked into the "conspiracy theory vortex." The FBI also told HuffPo that several "concerned citizens" submitted similar videos of Fairlamb in order to encourage federal authorities to keep him in custody as he awaits trial.

Fairlamb faces several charges stemming from the insurrection including assaulting a federal officer; a charge of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; a count of carrying a dangerous weapon; and a charge of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Newsweek reached out to Riggleman and Clyde's offices Saturday morning.

Report on Capitol Insurrection
In this Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol Police officers hold off rioters loyal to President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington. A report from a bipartisan Senate investigation was critical of law enforcement agencies for the lack of communication before and during the attack at the Capitol. /Julio Cortez/AP Photo