Yakima City Council member Jason White has pushed conspiracy theories about the presidential election for months on his personal Facebook page, culminating Wednesday with several posts and comments cheering the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol.
“History in the making,” he posted as an angry mob entered the Capitol, pushing through barriers, breaking windows and clashing with security as lawmakers were evacuated.
Asked by a commenter what he meant, White responded, “Patriots taking back the capital.”
White did not respond to phone and Facebook messages seeking comment for this story. But that post and the comment were in keeping with his monthslong spree of conspiracy theories about the election, conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and the Q-Anon conspiracy theories about high-level Democrats engaging in sex trafficking. On Sunday he predicted Wednesday’s riots in a Facebook post full of spelling and grammatical errors, as well as debunked conspiracies.
“Epstien didn’t kill himself..he’s alive!?” White posted. “And Justice John Roberts should have resigned before his laundry gets aired out. Lin Wood. This guy is a beast! Bush funeral...Pence also got the note...the one that almost made Jeb vomit...yeah that one. The 6th is going to be WILD. I get this image of congress in tears. They are done! If you don’t know we have been in Martial Law since 2018. There is more than enough evidence to send all the deep state players away forever..”
As Wednesday’s unrest unfolded, White posted several comments that seemed to support violent retribution against those he believes stole the election from President Donald Trump, allegations that have been repeatedly disproved. Replying to a comment featuring D.C. rioters standing with a hangman’s platform and noose, White wrote, “Yeah, that will take forever one at a time.” And he “liked” a comment suggesting that if “something big” didn’t happen during the uprising “we will be in a full on Civil War.”
On Tuesday one of White’s posts ridiculed U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, as a “cuck” for refusing to go along with lawmakers who planned to object to certifying Electoral College votes. On Wednesday he posted, “‘Back the Blue’ isn’t aging well,” an apparent reference to police defending duly elected senators and representatives in the Capitol building.
That sort of post is “shameful,” White’s Yakima City Council colleague Holly Cousens said Wednesday. She recognized his First Amendment right to speak his mind and acknowledged that she had not yet seen his Wednesday Facebook posts, but said she’d been watching coverage of the Capitol uprising all day.
“If he is in support of that, it is shameful,” Cousens said.
White stopped attending council meetings months ago, so she’s not sure that censuring him — a step the council took in April when White posted on Facebook urging people not to wear masks and calling Yakima Pride President Cristina Ortega “an idiot” — is necessary. She’s open to the conversation if the rest of the council wants to take it up, but she recognizes it would be essentially a symbolic gesture.
“What would that do?” Cousens said. “He doesn’t come to council.”
Council Member Brad Hill seconded that sentiment in an emailed request for comment.
“I strongly condemn all of the statements you cited,” he wrote. “I am not going to comment any further because in my position as a City Council member I can’t take any meaningful action in response to Mr. White’s social media posts. The council censured him for previous behavior and it didn’t result in an improvement; a second censure for his recent behavior won’t either. Obviously, his comments today are not representative of our city or council.”
No other council members responded to messages seeking comment for this story.