Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin posted a photo on her Facebook on Thursday with two men who reportedly identify as supporters of a member of the 2014 Bundy standoff currently serving time in federal prison.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Todd Engel was sentenced last July to serve 14 years in prison for his role in the infamous 2014 standoff led by Cliven Bundy—not to be confused with the 2016 militant takeover by Ammon Bundy, Cliven’s son, of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
Engel, an Idaho resident, drove to Bunkerville, NV to assist Cliven Bundy and his crew in an armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management team sent to gather Bundy’s cattle grazing on public lands. Per the Review Journal, Engel brought a loaded AR-15 and extra ammo in a tactical vest and hid behind concrete barriers on an interstate overpass to stop federal agents from advancing.
In the photo McGeachin posted to her Facebook, the two men standing alongside the lieutenant governor were dressed in jumpsuits with Engel’s last name printed on the front. When the picture was snapped, they flashed “OK” signs—as in the case of the Coast Guard officer who flashed the same symbol on MSNBC, the hand signal, initially a trolling tactic started on 4chan, has been co-opted as a symbol of the racist far-right. The lieutenant governor made a heart shape with her hands for the photo. (McGeachin’s office did not immediately respond to Splinter’s request for comment. We’ll update this post if they do.)
McGeachin posted the photo with the Engel supporters along with two others with the caption, “Sending love to Todd Engel from the Idaho Capitol and ‘getting to know’ the new Senate Pages.” She has since deleted the post.
This isn’t the first time McGeachin’s publicly displayed support for the Bundy crew—or posted comments getting too cozy with white supremacist sentiments. In July 2018, a commenter wrote on her page, “I’m proud to be white again!” before expressing his support for McGeachin’s campaign. She responded, “Thank you, Bob!”
Shortly after, McGeachin posted a video to her Facebook page filmed by Eric Parker, another member of the Bundy standoff who was sentenced to one year of supervised release, in which he compared the First and Second Amendments and advised people to “stop shooting the people around you and start shooting the target.” As in the case with the photo of the jumpsuit-wearing Engel supporters, McGeachin deleted the comment and the video after they were reported in the media.