I-Team: Images appear to show local activist inside U.S. Capitol during unrest

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Questions are being raised about photos that appear to show a local political activist inside the U.S. Capitol building when it was stormed last week by Trump supporters.

Frank Scavo from Old Forge is an ardent supporter of President Trump. He told Eyewitness News last week that while he went to Washington, D. C. to protest, he was not in the Capitol Building when chaos erupted. Now, photos have surfaced that appear to indicate otherwise.

Scavo organized a bus trip with about 200 people from the Wilkes-Barre-Scranton area to the capitol last week in order to join the protest of the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. A day later, he talked to Eyewitness News about the chaos making some claims that appear contradictory to photographic evidence.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: Protesters enter the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Images have surfaced in the national media as well as social media sites. They show a large crowd inside the capitol building. Some show a man who appears to be Frank Scavo in the middle of the crowd, wearing a mask that says “End The Rain Tax”.

“About 1:00 or 1:30 Mike Pence announced that he was not going to decertify the election and send it back to the states,” Scavo told Eyewitness News the day after the riot.

He says he called for his group who was at the back of the building to prepare to return home.

“About 10 minutes later I hear the first boom and I said ‘jees, what was that?'” he said.

Scavo told Eyewitness News reporter Mark Hiller that his group moved across the street from the front of the Capitol Building and stood behind the barricades as they watched some other protestors scaling scaffolding in place for the presidential inauguration. According to Scavo, he and his group returned to the back of the building where he told Hiller he believed it would be safer.

“And we could see people up along the railing, which obviously means how did these people get in there? And then we started to see the tear gas and another series of flashbangs,” he described.

Scavo says he had no idea the day would bring about such violence and told us he was remorseful that the day led to tragedy. He did not, however, express regret about taking his group to Washington for the protest.

“I just gave it some direction to go down to Washington and show that we are here watching. The people went crazy, you know that’s free will. I can’t control it. I’m not responsible for that,” he said.

Based on the photographs, however, it does appear that Scavo was closer to the action than he told us he was.

Eyewitness News has been trying to reach Scavo for comment about the photographs and visited his home in Old Forge seeking a response. We also reached out to him via text message and phone calls but have not heard a response.

Scavo nor anyone in his group have been directly accused of any wrongdoing at the Capitol and no one from the group has been charged.

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