Arizona’s Sen. Shamp was there on Jan. 6
At around 3:18 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, a rioter pulled Officer Michael Fanone into the crowd, where he was tased and beaten, as an angry mob continued to try to break into the U.S. Capitol building. The Lower West Terrace was the scene of some of the most violent skirmishes. Roughly 30 minutes later, Republican Sen. Janae Shamp, of Surprise, was in the crowd, watching things unfold.
In footage provided to the Arizona Mirror by extremist researchers, Shamp, along with her husband, can be seen in the large crowd that gathered along the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol on Jan. 6 outside of a tunnel entrance that became the forefront of violent clashes that would turn deadly.
Rosanne Boyland, a Trump fan there that day to support the former president, would die from acute amphetamine intoxication while attempting to help others breach the Capitol through the small tunnel that police officers had been holding for hours. Footage reviewed by the Mirror shows Shamp not far from Boyland moments before she is overtaken by the crowd, however, Shamp was not directly involved with Boyland or the violence that occurred.
The footage reviewed led the Mirror to discover additional video of Shamp and her husband in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6. It also helped the Mirror establish a timeline of where Shamp was and shed further light on her beliefs, uncovered by independent extremist researcher Haley Orion, known online as Arizona Right Wing Watch, who sent the Senator a friend request to her private Gab account.
“I knew January 7th on our way home from Washington DC that We the People must get involved in or the corruption is going to destroy our beautiful Republic!” a Telegram post, viewed by the Mirror, from Shamp says.
In the days after the violent events of Jan. 6, Shamp would share conspiracy theories on her Gab account surrounding Jan. 6 and the upcoming swearing in of President Joe Biden. Many of the posts featured QAnon conspiracy theories that never came to fruition, predicting mass arrests of members of the “Deep State.”
Shamp, an ardent supporter of President Trump, has previously denied knowledge of QAnon when asked about her beliefs. Shamp was the co-chair of a controversial special legislative committee which shared the same acronym as a popular QAnon acronym.
The Novel Coronavirus Southwestern Intergovernmental Committee, or NCSWIC, shared the acronym with the QAnon slogan, “Nothing Can Stop What is Coming,” a phrase parroted by QAnon adherents, suggesting that mass arrests or even executions of members of the “Deep State” would be coming. Shamp called any link between QAnon and the committee name a “goofy accusation” despite speakers having connections to QAnon and her own Facebook history of posting QAnon content, including the phrase.
Shamp did not respond to repeated requests for comment about her whereabouts on Jan. 6 or her posts on Gab.
Shamp on Jan. 6
Footage reviewed by the Mirror appears to show Shamp and her husband attending the rally near the White House where Trump spoke early in the day. Shamp, wearing a hat with fur on it, can even be seen appearing to sing along to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” as they wait for the then-president to speak.
It wouldn’t be until late in the afternoon that Shamp and her husband were again spotted on camera.
The Lower West Terrace of the Capitol was the location of some of the most vicious fighting between police and rioters. Shamp can be seen in footage at the Lower West Terrace at around 4 p.m. The Mirror determined this by comparing footage of Shamp that was provided to the Mirror to other footage of Jan. 6 with timestamps, as well as using events that happened at the Lower West Terrace to determine an approximate time.
By this time, Ashli Babbitt had already been shot inside the Capitol, the Capitol had already been breached at multiple points and police had already issued multiple requests asking crowds to disperse.
At the Lower West Terrace, Shamp can be seen watching the tunnel where rioters had already trampled over Rosanne Boyland’s body. Police engaged in a tumultuous 3 hour battle with rioters, who were attempting to breach the Capitol, some brandishing weapons like sledgehammers and poles.
Multiple officers were injured, dragged and beaten in the tunnel as police and rioters exchanged blows and chemical agents.
Just a few yards from where the tunnel fight was occurring, at approximately the same time Shamp was present, rioters were also breaking windows near the tunnel to gain access to the Capitol.
The Mirror did not find any evidence that Shamp or her husband breached the Capitol or participated in any violence that day.
After Jan. 6, Shamp would go to her account on Gab, a website favored by the far-right, and repost conspiracy theories about that day, and much more.
Shamp and “The Storm”
After Shamp accepted her friend request, extremist researcher Orion gained access to Shamp’s private Gab account and provided the Mirror with screenshots of posts and reposts made by the lawmaker, along with a timeline of her account’s activity.
Shamp created her account two days after the events of Jan. 6. She had previously been posting on another alt-social media site favored by conservatives known as Parler. On both sites Shamp had been posting under the handle @JanaeBree.
On Parler, Shamp had the QAnon slogan “#WWG1WGA” in her bio. WWG1WGA, meaning “Where We Go One, We Go All,” is a phrase used as a rallying cry among the so-called “digital soldiers” of the QAnon community.
Shamp herself appears to have considered herself a “digital soldier,” sharing the “Digital Soldier Oath” to her Gab page on Jan. 23, 2021.
Her first post on Gab was Jan. 8, where she said that the events of Jan. 6 were “not a riot,” claiming it was a protest about stolen elections. She also shared a story from a far-right website claiming there was no riot that day.
In the little over a year she was active on the site, Shamp frequently posted and reposted QAnon conspiracy theories as well as other conspiracy theories, especially in the days leading up to the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
Some of the posts include: a post claiming Trump was responsible for the deaths of “child rapists,” that Biden and Kamala Harris would be arrested on inauguration day, that Trump would use the emergency broadcast system to announce mass arrests, that the United States is under “maritime law,” and that 9/11 was an “inside job.”
Shamp also posted about the QAnon belief in “The Storm,” a prophesied day that the Trump administration would conduct mass arrests and the executions of thousands of members of an alleged “cabal of pedophiles” that is alleged to exist within the government and society.
“What are they building on the lawn at the (White House)? Why do they look like mass gallows to me? Am I projecting again?” Shamp said in a post after the inauguration. Some QAnon believers believed that Trump would be inaugurated on March 4, a belief that Shamp appeared to signal to a few days prior by sharing a post that included the false belief that the United States had turned itself into a corporation in 1871, returning the official inauguration date to March 4.
Shamp would continue posting QAnon content coming from strictly QAnon accounts, many sharing QAnon slogans and conspiracy theories in the weeks immediately following Jan. 6; 22 days after the violent events of Jan. 6, Shamp would repost an image of gallows with the words “government repair kit.”
The post, by a QAnon promoter on Gab, also suggested that courtroom television should be replaced with “hang-em tv” and said “patriots” need to be ready to “take back our planet Earth” and ended the post with the QAnon rally cry “WWG1WGA.”
Shamp’s final Gab post would be in February of 2022, announcing her run for legislative district 29, stating she was “proud and honored” to be running alongside now Sen. Steve Montenegro and Rep. Austin Smith.
Shamp did not respond to questions about her posts or if she had been contacted by local or federal law enforcement about her and her husband’s activities on Jan. 6.
Haley Orion contributed to this report.