Pastor Charged in Capitol Attack

FBI: William Dunfee proclaimed Hallelujah on Jan. 6
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2022 7:30 PM CDT
FBI: Ohio Pastor Proclaimed Hallelujah at Capitol Riot
Insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump riot outside the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

FBI agents on Wednesday arrested a church pastor from Ohio who was filmed telling rioters to "rise up" during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. William Dunfee, 57, faces felony charges of interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder, in addition to obstruction of an official proceeding, NBC News reports. The FBI said that Dunfee proclaimed "Hallelujah" when a rioter said Congress had ceased its certification of Joe Biden's 2020 presidential election victory and that he later proclaimed to the crowd, "Mission accomplished."

Dunfee's participation was documented in a video shot by a rioter in which he wore his company jacket; he's a partner in Ohio's Cross Builders, per NBC. In a video on his church's Facebook page made before Jan. 6, Dunfee is shown promoting the trip to Washington. "It's not over," he says. "November the 4th through the 6th, we are heading to DC. Who's going with us?" In a video made after the January 2021 attack, Dunfee complained about the way the rioters were viewed. "We show up January 6th at the Capitol Building right? To let it be known that we are not going to stand back and let an election be stolen," adding, "And what did that get us? Huh? We are all deemed what? Huh? Bunch of terrorists, right?"

According to the video and the FBI affidavit, Dunfee told the crowd "It is time for the American people to rise up. Rise up. Rise up." He then told police, "We want Donald Trump, and if Donald Trump is not coming, we are taking our house." Along with other rioters, the video shows, Dunfee then pushed a metal barricade into police officers and broke their line. He went with others to the east steps of the building. Dunfee is not charged with entering the Capitol. (Dunfee and his congregation once squared off with employees of a strip club.)

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