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A Brooklyn man who was among the mob of Donald Trump supporters that stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 was on the receiving end of a mysterious nine-second phone call from the White House switchboard as the mayhem unfolded, CNN reported Monday.
Anton Lunyk, 26, who was nabbed by the feds after a witness recognized him in a New York Post tweet, received the call at 4:34 p.m., shortly after Trump posted a video on Twitter encouraging his supporters to “go home” and adding, “we love you, you’re very special.”
It’s unclear who at the White House placed the call to Lunyk, whether it was made in error, or whether it was answered or went directly to voicemail.
It was the only call that came from the White House to one of the rioters during that time period, according to CNN.
Efforts to contact Lunyk by The Post were unsuccessful.
The existence of the call was revealed by former GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman of Virginia, who had been a technical adviser for the House Select Committee investigating the riot, during an interview on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” Sunday night.
“You get a real ‘A-ha’ moment when you see that the White House switchboard had connected to a rioter’s phone while it’s happening,” said Riggleman, who ended his work for the committee in April. “That’s a big, pretty big ‘A-ha’ moment.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the House Intelligence Committee chair and a member of the select panel, downplayed the call disclosure after being asked about Riggleman’s comments earlier Sunday.
“I can say that each of the issues that Mr. Riggleman raised during the period he was with the committee, which ended quite some time ago, we looked into,” Schiff told CNN’s “State of the Union”. “And one of the things I think that has given our committee credibility is, we have been very careful about what we say, not to overstate matters, not to understate matters.”
Tim Mulvey, a spokesman for the panel, told “60 Minutes” in a statement that Riggleman had a “limited knowledge of the committee’s investigation” and had left before the panel conducted its “most important investigative work.” The spokesman added that the committee had “run down all the leads that arose from his [Riggleman’s] work.”
Lunyk traveled from New York to Washington the night before the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally with Francis Connor and Antonio Ferrigno.
The trio attended Trump’s speech at the Ellipse near the White House and then moved on to the Capitol with thousands of other supporters, where they entered the building in an effort to disrupt Congress’ certification of the 2020 election.
Lunyk was fingered by a witness who recognized him in a tweet by The Post, which reported on a livestream of the Capitol attack by Tim Gionet, a white nationalist known as “Baked Alaska.”
Lunyk was arrested in May of last year, while Connor and Ferrigno were collared that August.
“Witness 1 provided an online tip to the FBI regarding the riot at the U.S. Capitol. On January 18, 2021, law enforcement interviewed Witness 1. Witness 1 advised that he/she attended college with ANTON LUNYK and he/she recognized LUNYK in the background of a New York Post Twitter image (shown below in Image 1),” an FBI agent said in a court document filed after Lunyk’s arrest.
“The individual identified by Witness 1, LUNYK, is the individual in Image 1 wearing what appears to be a red hat, gray hood, vest, long sleeve shirt, and a scarf, and holding what appears to be a cell phone in his hand,” the agent said.
In the weeks after the 2020 election, Lunyk, Connor and Ferrigno exchanged numerous messages on social media about the 45th president’s defeat.
“Biden can’t get inaugurated bro it just cannot happen,” Lunyk wrote on Dec. 8, 2020, according to court documents.
On Jan. 5, 2021, Lunyk sent a message to a group chat on Instagram: “This is history in the making.”
Four days later, Lunyk wrote in another group chat after Baked Alaska’s screenshot appeared in The Post: “We are officially in some serious s—.”
“CUS I WAS IN DC 50 FEET FROM THE DON … AND I WAS IN THE CAPITOL … PEACEFULLY,” Lunyk wrote, according to court documents.
The three also exchanged violent threats against former Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“I would’ve said ‘Our job yesterday wasn’t completed. Our end goal was to brutally murder Pence and Pelosi, and sadly today they’re still breathing, therefore we must come back stronger and fiercely next time around,’” Connor wrote to Ferrigno, Lunyk and others on Jan. 8, 2021.
“We raped AOC,” Connor texted the same day.
“If they take my money I’m gonna shoot Pelosi,” Lunyk said on Jan. 12, 2021.
The trio each pleaded guilty in April of this year to a single charge of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building and were scolded by federal judge Rudolph Contreras at their sentencing Sept. 15.
“The three of you just come across as real knuckleheads … all in your twenties, all live at home, none of you are advancing your education,” Contreras said, adding “you all could use a strong dose of maturity.”
Lunyk was sentenced to one year’s probation, including two months of home confinement, and ordered to pay a $742 fine and $500 in additional restitution — as well as perform 60 hours of community service.
Connor and Ferrigno were also sentenced to a year’s probation. Connor was ordered to home confinement for three months, while Ferrigno received two months. Both were also made to pay a $371 fine, $500 restitution, and perform 60 hours of community service.