Stephen Ayres, a former President Donald Trump supporter who participated in the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, testified in the House select committee’s public hearings, telling them he no longer believed the 2020 election was rigged.
“There’s no way you can keep something like that quiet, as big as something like that,” Ayres said. “With all the lawsuits being shot down one after another, that was mainly what convinced me.”
“It makes me mad because I was hanging on every word [Trump] was saying,” he added.
He testified that he lost his job and had to sell his home because he had trusted in conspiracies furthered by Trump and his allies.
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“It changed my life, not for the good. Definitely not for the better,” he said.
Ayres, who is not a member of either the far-right Proud Boys or Oathkeepers groups, had not planned to attend the march on the Capitol. After seeing Trump at the “Stop the Steal” rally on the Ellipse, he said he was upset.
“It was what basically got me to come down here,” he said, adding that he had hoped the president would join his supporters at the Capitol.
At the time, he said he was supportive of then-Vice President Mike Pence using his powers as the overseer of the electoral count in front of a joint session of Congress to overturn the election.
He left when Trump issued a statement asking his supporters to leave the Capitol.
Ayers also approached former Capitol police and apologized for taking part in the riot.
“Take the blinders off, and make sure you step back and see what’s going on before it’s too late,” added Ayres in warning to others who support the former president.
Ayres is awaiting sentencing which has been scheduled for September 13.
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