Ms. Ingraham, who told Fox News viewers about the “anti-fascist” uprising, later shared on Twitter that the Washington Times article she quoted had been exposed. It did not issue an on-air correction. Mr Herman, the Limbaugh innkeeper who speculated on Antifa, wrote in an email Saturday, “It was clear that a large group of Trump supporters entered the Capitol and attacked people.” But he continued to falsely claim that antifa activists planned to pose as Trump supporters.
Of the 290 people charged with the attack, at least 27 are links to far-right groups such as the Oath Keepers or the Proud Boys. Others have ties to neo-confederate and white supremacist units or are clear supporters of the QAnon conspiracy movement. The vast majority expressed an ardent belief that Mr Trump was the rightful election winner.
On January 8, the FBI announced that there was no evidence that supporters of Antifa known to aggressively counter-protest demonstrations against white supremacists participated in the Capitol mob. And on January 13, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the minority in the Republican House, spoke at the impeachment trial of Mr. Trump, saying, “Some say the riot was caused by Antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of this, and conservatives should be the first to say so. “
But the next day, the arrest of a protester named John Sullivan sparked another surge in right-wing media over Antifa and the uprising.
Mr Sullivan called himself a Utah “activist” and CNN mistakenly featured him as a “leftist activist” when he appeared on the network on Jan. 6. (He had sold footage to CNN and other news outlets showing the shooting of Ashli Babbitt, a rioter who died in the Capitol.) Conspiracy agency Gateway Pundit and Mr. Trump’s attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani arrested Mr. Sullivan, to re-accuse Antifa of posts that garnered tens of thousands of likes and shares on Facebook and Twitter.
In reality, Mr. Sullivan was an attention seeker whose policies were fungible and seemingly altered based on the protest he was attending at the time, according to activists from Seattle, Salt Lake City and Portland, Oregon who had warned him for months about the Uprising in the Capitol.