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A convicted abortion-clinic bomber live-streamed himself at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, as he put it, “fighting for our beloved President Donald J. Trump.” He stood just a few steps away from a short fence that separated him and other Trump supporters from the Capitol Building, according to the video, originally posted to his Facebook account and shared with VICE News.
John Brockhoeft was convicted and spent time in prison for planning to bomb an abortion clinic in 1988. Two years later, he also admitted to setting a fire that wrecked another abortion clinic. He was just one of several high-profile anti-abortion activists who showed up to Trump’s rally-turned-riot in Washington, D.C., that led to the death of five people and dozens of arrests.
Wearing a hat emblazoned with the words “U.S. NAVY” and “VETERAN,” Brockhoeft told the camera that he’d heard rumors about storming the Capitol.
“They’ve put up a barrier here—you can maybe see a little bit of it, in between people—to try to keep us from going into the U.S. Capitol,” Brockhoeft says, as he pans to show the crowd, many of whom are brandishing Trump flags and cheering at the speech the president gave right before the attack on the Capitol.
“They’re in there, supposedly counting the electors and verifying states. But so they put these barriers up because they knew we were coming, and I have heard some chatter about how our people are gonna take those barriers down and push their way in. I will keep you informed.”
The video does not show whether Brockhoeft ultimately entered the Capitol Building, where marauders clashed with police, trashed lawmakers’ offices, and forced a temporary stop to the certification of the Electoral College votes. Brockhoeft did not immediately reply to a VICE News request for comment.
Brockhoeft’s video is just one part of the trail of evidence of his time at the nation’s capital that he littered all over Facebook, like countless other Trump supporters, regardless of the potential legal consequences. He even fired back at a commenter who suggested that antifa was at least partially responsible for the chaos.
“Antifa didn’t storm the building, that was our people,” he wrote on the page of a woman who’d also gone to D.C. to back Trump. “There were no antifa people anywhere. I was there.”
After Trump released a video that afternoon asking rioters to “go home,” Brockhoeft wrote on the same page that he was “disgusted” with him.
“I was there, and we showed him so much support that he could have stayed on as president no matter what [Mike] Pence or the Electoral College said,” Brockhoeft said. “With Trump now telling us to go home and be peaceful, it's going to be a lot harder to win this war.”
In 1991, Brockhoeft was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to using gasoline to set a fire in the basement of the Planned Parenthood Association’s Margaret Sanger Center in Cincinnati on December 30, 1985. Although no one was injured—and Brockhoeft has said he didn’t want to hurt anyone—the clinic was destroyed.
In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a charge that he’d firebombed another Ohio clinic—but Brockhoeft later admitted to it, the Associated Press reported. Brockhoeft also spent more than two years in prison for planning the 1988 bombing of a Florida abortion clinic.
“For me personally, was it worth it? Incredibly so,” Brockhoeft said in a 2013 interview with Cincinnati news outlet WCPO. “I lost seven years of my life, but I gained a beautiful young wife who loves me and six more children, beside the three I already had, and I couldn’t imagine life without any one of those children.”
In that interview, Brockhoeft rejected the idea that attacking abortion clinics qualified as “violence”—and said his views on using what he called “force” against clinics hadn’t changed. Asked if he’s still involved with the Army of God, an infamous group that encourages people to fight legalized abortion with violence, Brockhoeft replied, “The Army of God organization? What Army of God organization?”
He then smiled.