Skip to main content

South Carolina Firefighter Who Yelled ‘Civil War Two!’ Outside Capitol Before Going in on Jan. 6 Pleads Guilty

Elliot Bishai inside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6

Elliot Bishai in the Capitol on Jan. 6. (Images via FBI court filings.)

A South Carolina firefighter who recorded rioters climbing the wall outside the Capitol and yelled “Let’s go!” and “Civil war two!” before entering the building himself on Jan. 6 has pleaded guilty.

Elliot Bishai, 21, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building. The misdemeanor charge carries a potential one year in jail and a maximum $100,000 fine.

He had also faced additional misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

Bishai admitted that on Jan. 6, he joined the crowd of Donald Trump supporters that had grown increasingly violent in an effort to push past police and enter the Capitol. As he approached the building, he took video of people climbing the terrace wall.

“Let’s go, let’s go, you’ve got it!” Bishai acknowledged saying on the video. “Come on guys, keep pushing, keep pushing!”

Bishai is also heard saying: “Let’s go, let’s go! Civil war two!”

Bishai admitted that he entered the Capitol through a broken window next to the Senate Wing door at around 2:26 p.m., around 15 minutes after the first rioters breached the building.

Bishai then went into a conference room and sat in a conference chair. After that, he went to the Capitol crypt and took cell phone pictures of himself and Elias Irizarry, a co-defendant who is reportedly a cadet at the Citadel military college in South Carolina.

Bishai himself had enlisted in the U.S. Army, according to a Post and Courier report, and was supposed to begin training at Fort Jackson, but that was delayed pending the resolution of the criminal Jan. 6 charges. According to Bishai’s attorney, Donald Brown, Bishai currently works as a firefighter.

Neither the Citadel nor the U.S. Army immediately responded to requests from Law&Crime to confirm the respective status of Irizarry and Bishai with the Citadel and the Army.

Bishai then took an elevator to the third floor, entered the Capitol rotunda, climbed up on some statues, and took more pictures of himself, Irizarry, and another co-defendant, Grayson Sherrill.

Both Irizarry’s and Sherrill’s cases are pending.

Prosecutors identified Bishai through a combination of Capitol surveillance footage and video from the New Yorker that followed rioters as they broke into the Capitol, causing Congress to temporarily stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral win.

According to the statement of facts filed in support of Bishai’s arrest, a family member positively identified Bishai to FBI special agents and said that he entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 and “took selfies.”

Irizarry is allegedly pictured alongside Bishai inside the building. Irizarry appears to be holding a cylindrical object that prosecutors indicate could be a metal pipe.

“Are you entering your guilty plea of your own free will because you are guilty?” U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan asked Bishai at his hearing on Monday after going through the Statement of Offense that outlined his actions at the Capitol.

“Yes ma’am,” Bishai replied.

In what has become a standard part of plea agreements in Jan. 6 cases, Bishai agreed to pay $500 in restitution toward damage done to the Capitol building. Court documents put that amount at an estimated $2.7 million, an increase from a previous estimate of $1.5 million in damage.

Chutkan, a Barack Obama appointee, set sentencing for July 29. At that time, prosecutors are expected to drop all remaining charges against Bishai.

[Images via FBI court filing.]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: