Jan. 6 rioter attending Fauci hearing sparks fury (2024)

The presence of a January 6 rioter behind Dr. Anthony Fauci as he testified in a congressional hearing on the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday has sparked outrage on social media.

Brandon Fellows, 30, was identified as the man making faces while Fauci was describing the death threats he and his family had received while he was overseeing the country's response to the pandemic.

Fellows was later removed from Monday's hearing, and said Fauci "belongs in prison" as he was escorted out by security.

He was sentenced in February to 42 months in prison after being convicted on felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions during the insurrection on January 6, 2021, during which Donald Trump supporters aimed to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election. Fellows had been incarcerated since July 2021, and was released from prison on May 20, but remains on probation.

Jan. 6 rioter attending Fauci hearing sparks fury (1)

Many took to social media to respond to Fellows' presence at the hearing.

"You'd think a convicted J6 MAGA terrorist would be banned for life from the Capitol by @CapitolPolice after serving 3 years in prison but here we are and he's sitting behind Fauci today making faces like the jackass that he is," one social media user wrote on X, formerly Twitter:

You’d think a convicted J6 MAGA terrorist would be banned for life from the Capitol by @CapitolPolice after serving 3 years in prison but here we are and he’s sitting behind Fauci today making faces like the jackass that he is pic.twitter.com/YvzDhKx2OM

— Wu Tang is for the Children (@WUTangKids) June 3, 2024

Fellows "is a convicted felon who served 3 years and didn't learn a f****** thing," another person wrote.

Another wrote: "In responses to Dr. Fauci and his family receiving death threats Fellows facial expressions are completely unacceptable. Fellows should NEVER BE ALLOWED in a hearing again."

Tagging the House Democrats account, another person wrote: "Why the h*ll are the felons; the jerks who threaten people not only allowed in the hearings but get a seat right behind Dr Fauci. HOW? You need to investigate how Ivan Raiken or Brandon Fellows got there???"

Hey @HouseDemocrats why the h*ll are the felons; the jerks who threaten people not only allowed in the hearings but get a seat right behind Dr Fauci. HOW? You need to investigate how Ivan Raiken or Brandon Fellows got there??? https://t.co/cPTlueZ6ZC

— JudithCardamone (@JudithCardamone) June 3, 2024

Fauci himself addressed Fellows' presence at the hearing during an interview on CNN on Monday night. "What's somebody like that doing at a hearing about COVID?" he said.

Fellows updated his cover photo on Facebook to a screenshot of himself making a face behind Fauci during the hearing.

"Today marks 2 weeks since being released, I considered this fun, not necessarily an accomplishment, but I've been accomplishing a decent amount and having tons of fun the past 2 weeks," he wrote alongside the photo.

Newsweek has contacted Brandon Fellows for further comment via Facebook.

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Who is Brandon Fellows?

Fellows, of Schenectady, New York, was arrested by the FBI on January 16, 2021.

According to the Department of Justice, he entered the Capitol via a broken window on January 6, 2021, and smoked marijuana in the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat.

Fellows posted several videos on Snapchat on the day, including one that showed his feet propped on a table in Merkley's office.

"This one is going to get me incriminated," Fellows told a reporter with Bloomberg News about that video.

"I didn't know it was a senator's desk. It felt very comfy," he said during his trial.

He also said that he believed he was fighting "the corrupt government" and that rioters "had the right to overthrow" the government, NBC News reported.

Fellows was convicted in August 2023 of obstructing an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building and disorderly conduct.

Fellows, who represented himself during most of his legal proceedings, was found in contempt at his trial.

In a motion seeking to delay his sentencing until after the Supreme Court rules on a case that could undo charges stemming from the Capitol riot, he called U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden—a Trump appointee—a "modern-day Nazi judge" running a "kangaroo court." He also wrote that rioters "had and have the right to overthrow the government once [then-Vice President Mike Pence] certified the stolen election."

McFadden sentenced him to 37 months in prison for his convictions relating to January 6 and an additional five months for contempt.

Uncommon Knowledge

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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Jan. 6 rioter attending Fauci hearing sparks fury (2024)
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