The Daily Beast

Congress Helped Their Businesses During The Pandemic. Then They Attacked The Capitol

Stephanie Keith/Getty

Before Brandon Straka was storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, he was a hair-dressing, #WalkAway-tweeting MAGA influencer—taking in tens of thousands of dollars in government pandemic money.

According to The Daily Beast’s review of records from the Project On Government Oversight’s Covid Tracker, Straka is one of at least nine individuals facing charges stemming from the Capitol riots who received special coronavirus funds through small business loan programs over the last year. And Straka is far from the only notable insurrectionists among the group.

Collectively, these business owners took in more than $227,000 from three small business relief initiatives—the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, or Disaster Assistance Loans—and they are facing charges ranging from entering a restricted building to assaulting police officers with a deadly weapon.

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