Southgate resident Anthony Williams used Facebook to show off photos and videos of himself inside the U.S. Capitol, which gave law enforcement officials enough evidence to arrest him last week.
Williams — who was charged with obstruction of official proceedings, entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct — is the sixth Michigan man arrested for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 riot. Williams discussed plans to “storm the swamp” on Facebook weeks before he traveled to Washington, D.C., according to a federal criminal complaint, and later said it was the “proudest day of my life lol.”
Federal court records show Williams took photos and videos of himself throughout the day, posing with statues inside the Capitol Rotunda. In one video recorded outside the Capitol, Williams discussed how “we took this f—–g building” and “pushed back the cops.”
Williams called himself an “Operation Swamp Storm Veteran” in a Facebook post three days after the violent riot. He said he felt the Founding Fathers “smiling down on us” while occupying the U.S. Capitol, which caused members of Congress to evacuate the building and delayed the certification of the 2020 election.
U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly Altman released Williams on March 26 on an unsecured bond of $10,000. He was required to surrender his passport and is prohibited from possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapons for the duration of his court proceedings.
Williams is set to appear virtually in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on March 31, but prosecutors requested that his case be transferred to the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.
The investigation started after the FBI received an online tip that included screenshots of Williams’ Facebook posts. Law enforcement officials identified Williams by matching his driver’s license photo to images posted to the Facebook profile.
Other records found a cell phone with a number belonging to Williams was located inside the Capitol.
Williams posted several times about his intent to travel to Washington, D.C. in the months after the November presidential election.
“Every lie will be revealed,” he posted on Nov. 13. “‘Americans’ who participated in fraudulent scheme to overthrow our duly elected president are TRAITORS. China orchestrated the attack and will pay severely for their transgression. American is a nation under a just GOD. Be prepared to #FightBack #HOLDTHELINE #Trump2020 #NoRetreatSurrender.”
Williams posted updates to Facebook as he traveled to Washington, D.C. He posted his location in Bedford County, Pennsylvania with the caption “Operation Storm the Swamp” and posed for a photo with five other men at a sports pub in Arlington, Virginia.
Williams was back on Facebook after he was released. He shared a news article about former President Donald Trump saying Capitol rioters posed “zero threat” in a recent Fox News interview.
Williams also posted a political cartoon depicting the Jan. 6 riots. The cartoon shows a Trump supporter opening the dome of the Capitol building to yell “Can you hear us now?” at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Mike Pence and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
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