New York politician arrested over Capitol riot after boasts on his own campaign page

·2-min read

A fringe New York state senate candidate managed to get himself arrested for participating in the Capitol riot by posting evidence of his involvement on his campaign's Instagram page.

Daniel Christmann, who ran a long-shot campaign against leftist state senator Julia Salazar in 2020, was arrested for participating in the Capitol riot, and provided evidence that he was present on his Instagram page “Dannyforsenate.”

The right-wing candidate only won 2.3 per cent of the vote that year.

Mr Christmann was arrested on Wednesday and was charged with unlawful entry and disorderly conduct.

An FBI complaint documented how he was identified by the Instragram post.

“Two tipsters provided information about posts purportedly made by DANIEL CHRISTMANN to Instagram account 'Dannyforsenate,' including screenshots from videos depicting images inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6. [They were] depicting what appears to be an interior room of the US Capitol, as well as the view from an interior window of the US Capitol overlooking an exterior plaza/terrace on the US Capitol grounds (numerous law enforcement personnel and protesters are also visible in the background).”

A comment Mr Christmann made on the post implicated him further.

One comment included in the complaint shows a user asking “So you stormed the capitol, huh?” Mr Christmann replied “Yeah I'm not going to lie, I wasn't one of the first people in. When realized it was happening, I was scaling walls and s***.”

More than 540 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol riot, and the FBI says it is seeking hundreds more. Some of those individuals, particularly people associated with the extremist right wing gangs The Proud Boys and The Oath Keepers, are facing conspiracy charges. At least three Oath Keepers have pleaded guilty and have agreed to assist the investigation.

Mr Christmann's arrest comes at the same time as the House select committee begins its inquiry into the Capitol riot. During the opening session on Tuesday, police officers who defended the Capitol testified about their experiences and the injuries they sustained during the attack.

Republicans have been reluctant to spend time discussing the attack, likely because it paints them and Donald Trump in a negative light. Senate Republicans blocked the establishment of a 6 January commission, and other lawmakers have been attempting to offer counter-narratives to the House committee.

Representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene attempted to hold a press conference after the House committee closed its first day, but the duo were driven off by protesters blowing whistles and calling them traitors.

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