MINOT, N.D. — Last week, we got the news that Rockne Earles, a man formerly of Oriska, North Dakota, who was active in the North Dakota Republican Party, was arrested for charges related to violence he is alleged to have perpetrated during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.
“In a publicly available video, Earles is seen grabbing and throwing a U.S. Capitol Police Officer (Victim Officer 1) against the Northwest stairs underneath the West Front scaffolding outside the U.S. Capitol Building,” the Department of Justice said in a news release. “In the video, Earles grabs and throws Victim Officer 1 to the ground using what appears to be a significant amount of force. Two other rioters joined Earles in shoving and assaulting Victim Officer 1. Victim Officer 1 landed on the steps and then attempted to escape away from the rioters.”
According to news reports, in 2021, Earles was a spokesman for the District 24 Republicans at an event honoring local law enforcement.
Social media posts, as well as pictures and video from disgraced former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally held before the attack on Congress, show Daniel Johnston was at the rally with Earles.
Johnston has not been arrested, or charged with a crime, nor is there evidence that he entered the U.S. Capitol building with rioters on Jan. 6. Still, a former elected official, who holds a position of influence in North Dakota’s dominant political party, was on the periphery of one of the ugliest political events in American history, in the company of one of the accused rioters.