The protester was identified as Ryan Clayton, a left-wing activist. He was arrested and charged with unlawful conduct. Unlawful conduct is a misdemeanor that carries a potential sentence of up to 6 months in prison and/or a fine.
Ryan Clayton, 36, is the president of Americans Take Action, a progressive political group that has vigorously opposed President Trump since he took office. Clayton and Americans Take Action say on their website, “Currently, our top priority is resisting the Trump regime, every day and every step of the way.”
Fox News reports that Clayton, who infiltrated a group of reporters in a secure area of the Capitol, had been on a watch list before Tuesday’s incident.
The U.S. Capitol Police Board is conducting an internal investigation into how someone without a press credential – and on a watch list – was able to slip into the secure area and get so close to the president.
“This was a monumental f—up,” a senior congressional security source told Fox News.
Clayton has been on a “watch list” kept by the Capitol Police, a source said, and was denied entry to the complex earlier that day when an officer recognized him at the Russell Senate Office Building.
But later on, officers in a tunnel leading to the Capitol did not check his ID to see if he had a pass or badge, the source said. He used an outdated visitor’s pass to enter the Capitol through a tunnel connecting the Rayburn House Office building. After clearing the security checkpoint, he made his way outside the Senate chamber, where he blended in with credentialed congressional reporters and stood just feet away from Trump.
A source also said Clayton was in possession of a four-day old pass for the location of the House Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility, which is home to the House Intelligence Committee. Fox News is told there is no evidence so far that Clayton attempted to access that facility.
More, on Fox News
Fox also reports that there may have been a second intruder who joined the Press Pool on Tuesday:
The second person was described as a middle-aged man who stood about 6 feet, 3 inches tall and was dressed in a gray suit and bow tie. When asked by reporters who he worked for, the man replied, “I’m a tourist,” and bragged about being able to sneak inside the Ohio Clock Corridor in the Capitol building.
Congressional security is investigating this report of a second breach.