Such a vast ensemble of characters emerged from Wednesday’s Capitol siege — you have Britney Spears’s 55-hour ex-husband, Jason Allen Alexander; the pelt-covered fellow who’s the son of a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge; the well-known QAnon shaman who the FBI somehow struggled to immediately identify. But perhaps the defining image of this leisurely, stupid, and largely uninhibited affair came from the grinning, waving man who waltzed out of the House floor with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern.
After some early questions over his identity — a number of Twitter users were convinced his name was Via Getty — the lectern-haver was identified as Parrish, Florida resident Adam Christian Johnson, a stay-at-home furniture builder, whose wife is a doctor. The Bradenton Herald confirmed his identity with a local acquaintance. Perhaps as a furniture specialist, Johnson was just admiring the Congressional handiwork, or looking to turn a profit.
While it remains unconfirmed if Johnson actually managed to get the lectern out of the Capitol building — seems highly unlikely, but so did the riot’s prolonged runtime — a listing for the House Speaker’s podium appeared on eBay soon after the siege. But was it really Johnson’s doing, or even sold at all? That much remains to be seen.
As Snopes confirms, a now-archived Reddit post from soon after the storm featured old images from an eBay listing for the “House of Representatives Speaker Podium.” It came from the user basdvic1, who claimed the item’s location was in San Diego, and had 10 positive reviews at the time of its listing. The final sale raked in 167 bids and went for $99,900 — with a shipping estimate of late January. If the listing photo — a cropped image from Pelosi’s impeachment press conference in 2019 — is any suggestion, the post isn’t close to legitimate. Further, the sale ended at 2:54 a.m. on January 6, which would place its conclusion more than 12 hours before Trump supporters attempted to derail the electoral vote certification.
So either someone’s out of nearly $100,000 over a pre-coup shitpost, for now, or basdvic1 has a friend on hand to place the enormous bid and get paid back immediately. An eBay spokesperson confirmed to International Business Times that any listing of federal property is “being removed and ended.” So perhaps this isn’t the only coup souvenir of varying credibility making the rounds on the platform.
Now, hard as it is to imagine the House lectern making it out of the Capitol in one piece, it’s a little harder to see this thing making it from the hands of a Parrish, Florida resident to San Diego — unless there was some conditional shipping plan to get this there before month’s end. Given the archived listing’s timestamp, it perhaps would’ve required Tenet-grade time manipulation to pull this off. We’ve reached out to Speaker Pelosi’s office to see if Johnson or someone else at the Capitol actually succeeded in Florida man National Treasure, and will update this post if we hear back. In any event, it’s another case study in how easily you can dupe a board full of Redditors during a coup.