Another Springfield man accused of making his way to the floor of the U.S. Senate on Jan. 6 is the second Illinois resident arrested this week in connection with the U.S. Capitol breach.
Roy Nelson Franklin, 66, told the Chicago Sun-Times Thursday after his arrest that he supported former President Donald Trump, and “I got arrested for supporting Trump.”
Charges against Franklin have been likely ever since his companion in the breach, Thomas B. Adams Jr., was arrested in April. A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Springfield alleges an agent overheard Franklin tell someone the whole thing was fun.
“I admit I was there, and I am proud of the fact that I was there, and stood up for a cause that I believed in,” Franklin said, according to the 11-page complaint. “I have no problem with that. It was not about Trump; it was about stealing the election.”
Additionally, the feds say they have identified Franklin in footage from the Senate floor.
Franklin is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and obstruction of an official proceeding. A judge ordered his release during a court hearing Thursday afternoon.
Franklin told the judge during the hearing that he had been out of work for four years.
Speaking later to the Sun-Times, Franklin insisted he planned to go to trial rather than plead guilty to the charges.
“I just wish that people would actually quit being so blinded and see what’s actually happening,” Franklin said. “And they won’t.”
Chicago activist Larry Ligas was also arrested Wednesday in connection with the breach, which interrupted the Electoral College vote count and led to what prosecutors say is likely the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history. In all, at least 19 Illinoisans are among the hundreds charged across the country.
Franklin’s name surfaced in an Insider article, which described Adams as one of the first people to set foot in the Capitol on Jan. 6. It reported that he and Franklin were at the bottom of the Capitol steps around 2 p.m., pressed close to police barricades. When the hundreds of people behind them pushed forward, it said Franklin tripped and fell on an officer.
Franklin said the officer barely reacted, according to the article.
The article also said the pair saw people scaling scaffolding on the side of the building, and they followed. It said Adams and Franklin were let into the building by other rioters who smashed windows, made their way inside and opened the doors.
Finally, the article quoted Franklin as saying, “But I think that even if we had burned it down to the ground, Congress still wouldn’t have listened to us.”
Franklin denied Thursday certain claims in the article, telling the Sun-Times that he was not one of the first to enter the building and that he doesn’t know who opened the door.
“I wasn’t even close to the door when it was opened,” he said.
Federal agents on April 13 searched a home where they believed Franklin lived, according to the criminal complaint, which included an affidavit from an FBI special agent. During that search, the agent said he overheard a conversation between Franklin and his significant other. That’s when Franklin allegedly said the whole thing was fun and made his other comments.
The FBI agent also wrote that Franklin said he wanted a copy of video of himself praying on the Senate floor. The agent then referenced video footage of Jacob Chansley — known as the QAnon Shaman — leading a prayer on the Senate floor.
The agent wrote that “Franklin and Adams were several feet away from Chansley when he recited the prayer.”
“That’s what they’re mad about,” Franklin told the Sun-Times. “We prayed. And I’m an atheist. What do you think about that?”