Vernon Jones, a Georgia lawmaker from DeKalb County, was one of the warm-up acts for President Donald Trump at Wednesday’s protest in Washington D.C.

“They don’t know they have awakened a sleeping giant,” said Jones, a lifelong Democrat – that is, until Wednesday.

“I’m officially joining the Republican party!” shouted Jones as the crowd cheered.

Jones said of the GOP, “We’re going to bring in new ideas. We’re going to bring in brand new people. We’re going to come in, and we’re going to take our country back!”

Soon afterward, Trump himself addressed the crowd, repeating his claims that the election was stolen from him.

Later, while members of Congress began the process of certifying Joe Biden as the winner, the protest turned violent as attendees stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Wednesday evening, Jones released a statement that reads as follows:

"To the peaceful Patriots who came to our nation’s capital today, we cannot drown out our message with violence. We are not ANTIFA or a lawless mob. We are Americans who believe in the rule law and follow the principles of our constitution."

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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