On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that Justice Department prosecutors are building cases against the pro-Trump Capitol rioters, and the right-wing paramilitaries who supported them, using one particularly fatal mistake they made: proudly posting their misdeeds to social media.
“The government is … reviewing records from 1,600 electronic devices and more than 210,000 tips, ‘of which a substantial portion include video, photo and social media,’ the Justice Department said,” reported Elizabeth Williamson. “Many of the tips came from independent and amateur investigators combing through gigabytes of material from social media.”
In many cases, the rioters gave the game away, the report noted: “On one Facebook page, a man posted a selfie with the caption, ‘I just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol.'”
The report also followed the case of Joe Biggs, an ex-Army Staff Sergeant who fell in with the far-right Proud Boys and was allegedly hired by the FBI to provide information on “Antifa” groups prior to his storming of the Capitol. During the invasion, Biggs “charged over the wreckage of police barricades, pulled down another barrier, faced off with the police and then filmed himself.” He even shouted, “We’ve just taken the Capitol!”
According to the report, “Mr. Biggs might have been equally aware of his behavior at the time. One clip from inside the Capitol features him belatedly donning a mask, apparently to obscure his identity, only to pull it down and exclaim, ‘This is awesome!'”
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