Revealed: DeSantis appointed election denier to regulatory agency after she seemingly stormed the Capitol

Revealed: DeSantis appointed election denier to regulatory agency after she seemingly stormed the Capitol

On March 21, 2021, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed MAGA Republican Sandra Atkinson — who was chairing the Okaloosa County GOP — to the Florida Board of Massage Therapy, noting that the appointment was "subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate." Two years later, DeSantis' connection to Atkinson is drawing scrutiny — as Atkinson, according to USA Today reporter Will Carless, appears to have entered the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.

Photos, Carless reports in an article published on May 23, show Atkinson marching with "Stop the Steal" demonstrators in Washington, D.C. that day. Atkinson, according to Carless, has "denied" to USA Today that she entered the Capitol with the mob that stormed the building.

But Carless reports that "according to a USA Today review of multiple videos from the day and an interview with a close Republican Party associate," Atkinson "proceeded to the Capitol and through the doors."

READ MORE: 'Boxed in': Why Trump’s 2020 fixation is a 'fundamental problem' for Ron DeSantis

"The same kind of activity has led to criminal charges for many who stormed the Capitol (on) January 6 — charges for unlawful entry, picketing or other nonviolent acts," Carless explains. "Two months later, Atkinson's name emerged in bold type, in an announcement from DeSantis. She was being given a new job: The governor was appointing her to a statewide regulatory board."

The Florida governor's office, according to Carless, "now declines to answer any questions about what DeSantis knew about Atkinson before her appointment or during her time as a regulator."

"Long seen as a leading candidate for the Republican nomination," Carless notes, "DeSantis has a fine line to walk regarding January 6. On the one hand, he can draw support from people who believe Trump's ongoing false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from the GOP. That also risks promoting his presumptive rival's main talking point."

READ MORE: Ron DeSantis pitches 'sanity' to Iowans who are 'open-minded' to ditching Trump: report

Read USA Today's full report at this link.

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