Capitol Insurrectionists Claim Sustainability Motives
April 1, 2021
In a legal twist following the January 6 insurrection, attorneys claim their clients were assessing the thermal performance of the U.S. Capitol Building, and not illegally invading it as prosecutors allege. Furthermore, they say the boisterous energy audit was fully lawful, having been endorsed by President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and other elected officials.
“There seems to be a cloud of misunderstanding around the events of January 6,” said Fort Lauderdale-based attorney Arthur Burke. “My clients have been unjustly charged with violent entry, disorderly conduct, obstruction of Congress, and numerous weapons charges, when in fact they were following normal energy audit protocols.”
Burke maintains that the so-called “deadly or dangerous” weapons were, in fact, necessary tools of the trade. “It’s outrageous that prosecutors don’t know that you can’t fire bullets from a thermal imaging gun. And for long-distance imaging, which you need in a large space like the Rotunda, it’s normal to use a thermal gun with a 16-inch barrel and telescopic sight; otherwise you’ll miss the most vulnerable spots.”
Furthermore, Burke claims the Confederate flag photographed inside the building was being used to test for air leaks. “It’s standard auditing practice to unfurl a large flag indoors to identify drafts, and then you use a crossbow to plug those leaks, right during the audit! My boys came prepared, and I’m proud of them.”
Burke also disputes the charges of unlawful entry, citing numerous requests from Trump, Cruz, and other officials for a comprehensive audit. “With only two weeks until President [Biden’s] inauguration, time was running out. They wanted to get the Capitol buttoned up for some ‘storm’ or other,” said Burke. “At least, that’s the term they kept using.”
Preparations began several days prior to the audit, when Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) gave tours to groups of home-improvement professionals. According to Burke, she pointed out tunnels, windows, and other suspected thermal bridges—all to help facilitate the audit. “You have to remember, the core building is more than 200 years old, plus additions and remodels. My clients only had a limited window of time, and [Rep. Boebert] gave them a fighting chance.”
BuildingGreen asked Burke via Zoom why it was necessary for his clients to break windows, which is normally frowned upon as a weatherization technique. After a long pause, punctuated by rapid blinking, he said, “They were spot-checking the seal. These were mostly double-pane windows, and if the seal is compromised you can get condensation, which can lead to rot. And the single-pane windows needed replacing anyway, so it’s all good.”
When asked whether his clients had produced a report based on the audit, Burke referred BuildingGreen to #CapitolAudit hashtag on Parler and the Breitbart comments section.