Bruno Joseph Cua, an 18-year-old from Milton, Ga., was arrested and charged late last week over his admitted involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Complex.
An apparently fervent acolyte of former president Donald Trump, Cua’s alleged Parler account offers potentially key information for the U.S. Senate impeachment trial beginning Tuesday afternoon.
“President Trump is calling us to FIGHT!” the account Brunocua posted. “#DOJ, #SCOTUS, #FBI, His own cabinet, everyone has betrayed him. It’s Trump & #WeThePeople VS the #deepstate and the #CCP. He knows this is the only way to save our great country, show up #January6th. It’s time to take our freedom back the old fashioned way. #Thisisour1776.”
Appended to that Parler post was the following late December post from Trump’s Twitter account: “The ‘Justice’ Department and the FBI have done nothing about the 2020 Presidential Election Voter Fraud, the biggest SCAM in our nation’s history, despite overwhelming evidence. They should be ashamed. History will remember. Never give up. See everyone in D.C. on January 6th.”
A second Parler post attributed to Cua presses the issue while sharing another Trump Twitter call to action on the infamous date in question.
“This is the third time he’s tweeted about it,” the user @PatriotBruno wrote. “This isn’t a joke, this is where and when we make our stand. #January6th, Washington DC. Be there, no matter what. Nothing is more important. #LIVEFREEORDIE #FIGHTFORTRUMP #1776 #WETHEPEOPLE.”
According to the FBI, Cua originally appeared on law enforcement’s radar after “at least two tips” identified him as a participant in the pro-Trump riots that let five people dead and numerous more injured.
In a refrain that’s become common with criminal defendants in the dozens of cases filed so far against the Capitol rioters, Cua’s own alleged social media was cited by the government as evidence.
“Yes, for everyone asking I stormed the capital [sic] with hundreds of thousands of patriots,” the 18-year-old wrote in an Instagram post referenced in a criminal complaint. “I’ll do a whole video explaining what happened, this is history. What happened was unbelievable.”
“Yes, we physically fought our way in,” the post concluded.
Court papers note that the alleged rioter was later identified by a police officer from Georgia who “has had direct interactions” with Cua “including in-person.” This officer identified Cua from a D.C. Metropolitan Police Department presentation titled “Persons of Interest in Unrest-Related Offenses” and later provided the FBI with screenshots from what is alleged to be the teenager’s Instagram account, which is still active as of this writing.
The charging document also relies heavily on a Jan. 17 video published by the New Yorker which appears to show Cua “facing the camera, wearing the dark sweatshirt, holding the same jean jacket in his left hand, a cellular phone in his right hand, while wearing grey gloves,” according to the FBI.
“They can steal an election, but we can’t sit in their chairs?” Cua is allegedly heard off-camera asking out loud.
A lengthy footnote offers more details:
In the Instagram photos provided by [the Georgia police officer], CUA is wearing a dark sweatshirt with a logo on the back of the shirt that appears to be a red, white and blue flag over an eagle. In the [D.C. Metropolitan Police Department] presentation and video from The New Yorker from the Senate Chamber on January 6, 2021, CUA is in a similar dark sweatshirt, but with the eagle logo on the front of the sweatshirt. FBI Agents reviewed and compared the screenshots, images, and videos of CUA wearing a sweatshirt. Based on the similarities of the sweatshirt colors and the sweatshirt logos seen separately on the front and back, FBI Agents believe that the sweatshirt is reversible or CUA wears at least two versions of the same sweatshirt; one with the logo on the front and one with the logo on the back. In some instances, the sweatshirt CUA is seen wearing looks brown; in other instances, the sweatshirt looks grey. Additionally, in some instances, the sweatshirt logo is on the front and in other instances the same logo is on the back.
Cua was charged with: (1) one count of 18 U.S.C. 111(a)(1) (assaulting a federal officer); (2) one count of 18 U.S.C. 231(a)(3) (civil disorder); (3) one count of 18 U.S.C. §1512(c)(2) (obstruction of an official proceeding) (4) three counts of 18 U.S.C. 1752 (entering and remaining while causing disorderly conduct and using violence against a person in a restricted building); and (5) six counts of 40 U.S.C. 5104(e).
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cua is the son of a corporate vice president and professional photographer.
[image via U.S. DOJ]
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