The Ephrata man whose identity is being sought by the FBI in connection with the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol attended a recent political event that featured a speech by Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and personal attorney for former President Donald Trump.
Samuel Lazar appears in several Facebook photos taken at the May 15 fundraiser held at a Christian school in Chambersburg. In one photo, Lazar poses with the event’s host, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, Gettysburg legislator who was a leader of the effort to overturn the results of the presidential race in Pennsylvania and award the state’s 20 electoral votes to former President Trump.
It’s not clear why Lazar hasn’t been arrested, or whether the FBI has questioned him since LNP | LancasterOnline reported on April 10 that Lazar is the man in photograph no. 275 on the bureau’s “Capitol Violence” webpage.
The FBI declined comment Tuesday.
Lazar has repeatedly declined LNP’s efforts to speak with him about his activities at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Video shows him pepper-spraying police and trying to pull down a metal bike rack used by police as a barrier outside the Capitol.
While he did not return a phone message and text sent by LNP on Tuesday, he told a Huffington Post reporter that he wasn’t at the fundraiser, despite there being a photo of him posing with Mastriano.
A phone message left at Mastriano’s Harrisburg office was not immediately returned Tuesday. Mastriano is preparing to run for governor next year, with the proceeds from the $50-per-person Chambersburg event expected to go toward the senator’s campaign account.
Lazar is known by the Twitter hashtag as #facepaintblowhard - for the camouflage painted face he sported on Jan. 6 - to online sleuths trying to identify those wanted by the FBI.
Lazar has not been charged with a crime linked to the Jan. 6 insurrection, based on a search of publicly available federal district court records as of late Tuesday afternoon. A number of cases believed to be related to the events of Jan. 6 remain sealed in the federal court’s computer system.
Last month, a retired FBI agent offered several reasons why the FBI may not have arrested Lazar. They included strategy, time to investigate, or the possibility that Lazar is cooperating with the investigation.
In other cases where arrests have been made, the FBI has asked judges for more time to work on their cases, citing the scope of the investigation.
One such filing involved Michael Lopatic, the Manheim Township man charged with repeatedly punching one police officer in the head outside the Capitol. He has been released on bail pending trial after spending nearly three months in federal detention.
“The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence,” prosecutors wrote in the filing last month.