Capitol rioters scramble to trash photos and social media posts showing they were part of mob: report
Dozens of Capitol rioters, who previously proudly documented their involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection for social media, are now scrambling to delete photos and posts pointing to their presence at the Capitol on that day, according to CNN.
The news outlet reported that FBI affidavits and court documents reveal that nearly 30 previously identified rioters have allegedly attempted to get rid of evidence on their social media profiles and have also destroyed physical evidence.
Several rioters have reportedly smashed their phones, wiped hard drives and deleted photos. One man allegedly stole a police officer’s body camera and another woman had her children delete photos off of their phones, moves that could result in additional charges, CNN noted.
“If the Justice Department has made a specific factual allegation in a court filing of any type, then you can bet they have that factual assertion amply backed up,” CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig, told the outlet.
The attempts to get rid of evidence did not stop there; federal prosecutors last month documented alleged rioter Joshua Black’s move to wipe his phone of photos.
“After being told by an acquaintance that he was wanted by the FBI, [Black] says that he deleted things from his phone, which had been with him at the Capitol,” federal prosecutors wrote, according to CNN.
Despite the attempts to get rid of the evidence, investigators have said that they have not been thwarted.
Authorities were able to use screenshots of “recently deleted” Facebook posts to identify alleged rioter Anthony Mariotto. An unnamed tipster reportedly sent the screenshots showing Mariotto smiling while inside of the Senate gallery, CNN reported.
The Department of Justice has reportedly charged over 215 people so far in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection, the outlet noted.