OLD FORGE, Pa. — A man from northeastern Pennsylvania who organized a trip to the Trump rally in D.C. on Wednesday talked with Newswatch 16 about what he saw and heard.
Frank Scavo of Old Forge said he and his group never imagined that rioters would storm the Capitol during what they thought would be a peaceful gathering.
Video posted to the Facebook page of Frank Scavo shows the crowd of Trump supporters gathered outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., as Congress began certifying the electoral victory of president-elect Joe Biden.
Scavo organized the trip, which took 200 people from the northeastern Pennsylvania area on four buses to what they thought was to be a peaceful rally.
Scavo says, for most of the day, it was peaceful to the point of being uneventful.
"As we progress through the afternoon, it became almost boring. It was almost time to go back to the bus, you know. At one o'clock, we left the Capitol area because there was nothing going on,” said Scavo.
Scavo says he and some of his group headed over to the Republican National Committee building a block away to sightsee.
That's when dozens of police cars pulled up along with the bomb squad and told them to leave the area.
They learned that an explosive device had been found near the Republican National Committee building.
He believes this was a planned event to riot and that Trump supporters did not orchestrate it.
"This was an ANTIFA-type event that they had, put this way, no matter what happened yesterday, they were going to riot, not us,” said Scavo.
Fact-checkers have found no evidence that Antifa was involved.
Scavo said when Vice President Mike Pence said he could not decertify the electoral votes, that was when those rioters stormed the Capitol.
Scavo says he was too far away to see it actually happen but believes this was preplanned.
"How could the Capitol fall within 5 minutes to a bunch of unarmed people?” said Scavo. “And, that's what I'm saying. We weren't even really aware of the fact that this was all going on. If unarmed people can get into the Capitol, then the security in that U.S. Capitol is certainly questionable.”
Scavo says the group made their way to their buses when they learned a 6 p.m. curfew would be imposed on D.C.
He says he figured the day would be a memorable moment in the nation's history, just not in this manner.
"We were there when the U.S. Capitol was under siege. Would I do it again?” Scavo laughed. “Well, I might have skipped that ride if I knew that was going to happen.”