A plumber from Brooklyn, New York, who ran for the New York State Senate last fall, was arrested at his home by the FBI on Wednesday for walking in with a mob of Trump supporters during the January 6 riot the US Capitol had invaded.
The 38-year-old defendant Daniel Christmann posted photos and videos from inside the Capitol that day on his Instagram account, which is named “Dannyforsenate” according to a file in federal court in Brooklyn. Two people gave the authorities a hint about these Instagram posts, the file says.
Surveillance video images also show Christmann outside and inside the Capitol, the file revealed.
In one such picture, Christmann is seen “speaking or screaming” while standing in a crowd outside the Capitol in front of law enforcement officers lined up to prevent people in the mob from entering, the file says.
The FBI identified Christmann from the bulk photos by comparing the images of him with his Instagram account and a New York Police Department booking photo for his August 14, 2020 arrest for criminal mischief, making graffiti and possessing graffiti instruments.
The photo (circled in yellow) shows Daniel Christmann entering the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in a DOJ Statement of Facts.
Christmann’s case, like the other defendants, is being prosecuted in the US District Court in Washington, DC. He is due to appear in federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday afternoon.
Michelle Gerlent, a Christmann attorney, declined to comment on the case when contacted by CNBC.
Christmann had submitted a failed application as presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party in 2020.
Later that year he ran as a candidate under the New Moderate Party line for New York’s 18th Senate District, which includes neighborhoods such as Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick.
In that race, he was struck down by Democratic Party and Working Families Party candidate Julia Salazar, who received more than 97% of the vote, up from 2.3% by Christmann.
Read more about CNBC’s political coverage:
Christmann wrote in an Instagram post after the riot that he was “not one of the first people,” but “when I realized it was happening, I climbed walls and s —” said the file, referring to a screenshot of the conversation.
Christmann claimed he had “climbed a wall on a garden hose,” the file says.
On the same day, another supporter asked Christmann if he had gone “inside” the Capitol,
“How could I not?” he replied, said the file.
Christmann then sent private messages on Facebook on January 18, telling people to “delete” some videos from the riot, stating that “my friend Jake and my campaign manager were picked up from this summer”.
“It is time for the end of times,” said Christmann in this Facebook message.
Jake is a reference from Edward Jacob Lang, a resident of New York State, while Christmann’s campaign manager was Nicolas Moncada, who was an illustration subject at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan until last year.
Both men were arrested earlier this year and charged in connection with the Capitol riot.
Lang, who remains in custody without bail, was seen on videos and photos “violently collaborating with law enforcement agencies trying to keep rioters out of the Capitol,” a court record in his case said.
A video shows what Lang apparently “lifts a protective shield over his head while the crowd cheers, and then repeatedly violently hits the shield on the ground near the officers visibly lined up,” the file says.
Another video shows Lang stabbing officials several times with a bat.
Lang is charged with rioting, assaulting the police, obstructing an official process, and other criminal offenses.
Moncada posted a photo of himself on his Instagram account titled “Outside Pelosi’s Office,” referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California, according to a January 16 court file.
He is accused of illegal entry for restricted reasons and violent disorderly behavior when entering the Capitol grounds.