Homes in the Community Raided for Suspected Capitol Involvement


Photo courtesy of @inminivanhell Facebook page

FBI agents raided the home of Russel Taylor early in the morning of January 27th following Taylor’s involvement in protests outside the Capitol during the January 6th riots. Pictured below FBI agents confiscate technology equipment from Taylor’s home and load it into a vehicle.

Sandhya Ganesan and Max Katz

“At 6am I heard something that sounded like a gunshot. From what I understand now, it was probably not a gunshot, but rather some type of explosive device that is meant to disorient people inside of a building. When I got up I saw several police-type vehicles in front of the Taylor home. Some of the vehicles appeared to be armored types of vehicles. There seemed to be 15-30 FBI/police agents,” reported an anonymous member of the community. 

The early morning disruption was an FBI raid on the home of Russel Taylor, a right-wing activist in Orange County who was seen protesting near the Capitol on January 6th. The search was executed, along with a raid of Allan Hostetter’s home, who also attended protests in Washington alongside Taylor.

Both men are known locally for being advocates of radical conservatism, and are instrumental members of the American Phoenix Project, which was founded to protest the “fear-based tyranny” of pandemic lockdowns. Through the American Phoenix Project Taylor has sponsored campaign events for local conservative politicians and held rallies to protest stay at home orders. Aside from their organizations, they have been known to be propagators of QAnon and “deep-state” conspiracies.

Patriots are standing up ready to fight. They will do what is required to make sure we maintain these freedoms for generations to come. From this point forward there is no going back till this is finished

— Taylor

Taylor and Hostetter used their organization to reach out to Virginia Women for Trump through Facebook, and participated in the group’s planned protest at the Supreme Court on January 5th before the final deliberation of the election votes. The Virginia Women for Trump group was the primary organizer, but Hostetter and Taylor have been reported to have been financially and logistically supporting the event.   

Hostetter was seen to be encouraging the crowd to ready themselves for “war tomorrow” and used the word “vipers” to describe their alleged enemies. Taylor was also very vocal at the protests and gave his own speech, which can be viewed on the Americanphoenixproject on Instagram. 

“Patriots are standing up ready to fight. They will do what is required to make sure we maintain these freedoms for generations to come. From this point forward there is no going back till this is finished,” said Taylor in his speech. Echoes of “that’s right” can be heard in the background, and he continues on. 

“Now let the record in heaven show that on this day, we are here in the memory of our god, our religion, our freedom, our families, our country, and our peace… We know that the creation of the Constitution was our founding father’s responsibility, and the preservation of the Constitution will be our responsibility,” said Taylor. 

Taylor also quotes religious Ezra Taft Benson in 1986, recalling statements of Benson’s about defending the Constitution and how that defense would not come from Washington but from enlightened men and women. 

In his speech Taylor also quotes President Reagan, and rallied the crowd, stating “So I will ask you what President Reagan stated, does anyone here want to surrender (never’s were shouted from the crowd) I declare a firm hell no… We have to fight, we have no other choice. We have everything to lose, our freedoms, our families, our businesses, our livelihoods… When the time comes, and is not far off, that we fight to win in order to preserve our freedoms.”.   

Despite their indisputable involvement in the protests the day before the capitol insurrection, Taylor’s lawyer, Duke Huish has tried to distance his client from the involvement in the day of the insurrection. However, Taylor was photographed on the day wearing what appeared to be a bulletproof vest.  He was also documented holding up the middle finger to Capitol police around 4:30 PM. Other photos depict him being involved in protest throughout the day, although he reported that he never made it inside the capitol that day. 

“I believe the world is watching the United States as it prepares for a revolution of thought, and a fight for freedom. While many have fled and given up, we remain. Behind enemy lines, we have the numbers, and most importantly we know that in the end, God wins… Where we go one we go all, and there is no going back until this is finished and we have one. I am Rusell Taylor and I am a free American,” concluded Taylor in his speech. 

It is unclear at the moment if Taylor committed any crimes at the January 6th protest. A second anonymous member of the community stated, “You never expect somebody who lives in your community to be one of those people you see on TV. I think that everything that has gone on with protest and conspiracies on the internet that influence people’s behavior in a way that has negative implications for others has been heart-breaking.”