Credit: Youtube/PBS NewsHour
Credit: Youtube/PBS NewsHour

Convicted rioter tells Jan. 6 committee: “Trump asked us to come.”


Need to Know

  • In a newly released video, a Macomb County man explained to a US House Committee that he attended the Jan. 6 insurrectionist riot at the invitation of former President Donald Trump.
  • Bobby Schornak was charged last year in federal court for his involvement in the attack, but received a reduced sentence, in part, because he opted to cooperate with federal officials. 
  • Schornak said Trump only asked for two things: His vote and his attendance on Jan. 6.

MICHIGAN — A Macomb County man who was convicted in federal court for his involvement in last year’s attack on the US Capitol said he only joined the riot because former President Donald Trump “asked” supporters to attend the rally-turned-insurrection on Jan. 6.

Robert “Bobby” Schornak, of Roseville, was one of several convicted rioters (and the only one from Michigan) who offered testimony last night to the US House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack. In a video, he explained that he felt compelled to attend the rally because he believed the election “was being stolen” despite no credible evidence of election fraud. 

Newly released testimony from Ivanka Trump and former Attorney General Bill Barr also suggests that multiple White House officials — including Trump himself — were keenly aware there was no credible evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

“What really made me want to come was the fact that, you know, I had supported Trump all that time. I did believe, you know, that the election was being stolen. And Trump asked us to come,” Schornak said in a video played by the committee. “Trump has only asked me for two things. He asked me for my vote and he asked me to come on Jan. 6.”

Images of Bobby Schornak (right) at the Jan. 6 attacks were displayed at this week’s hearing. 
Credit: Youtube/PBS NewsHour

About three months after the 2021 attack, federal prosecutors charged Schornak with obstructing Congress, breaking into the Capitol, and disorderly conduct, reports the Detroit News. He and another rioter reportedly packed body armor, a knife, helmets, and other gear — including “Antifa spray” — to attend the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington DC. 

Schornak took a plea deal in November 2021 that required him to serve up to six months in prison and gave investigators access to his social media accounts, reports Macomb Daily. He also agreed to pay $500 in fines and to give a full account of his role at the Jan. 6 insurrection. In exchange for his cooperation, prosecutors opted to drop four of his original criminal charges.

In part because Schornak had agreed to cooperate with the House committee and provide testimony, a federal judge in February handed down a significantly more lenient sentence in his case than prosecutors had recommended: Only 30 days in jail and two months on home arrest.

When issuing the sentence, Judge Beryl Howell said Schornak’s behavior was “not a garden-variety of unlawful entry” and she was concerned that he “took a selfie with a fellow rioter,” and that he appeared to steal an American Flag from the Capitol, reports CBS News.

A Courier Newsroom/Data for Progress poll found that 61% of likely voters are “very” or “somewhat” concerned that Trump Republicans will promote violence to achieve political goals in future elections. Another 10% are a “little concerned” about the possibility. Only 29% of voters say they’re not concerned at all. The second of the six public hearings is scheduled for June 13. 

Click here and here to read more coverage from The ‘Gander about the House Committee.