The FBI on Tuesday arrested a man who agents say posted online conspiracy theories prior to recording himself encouraging destruction inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The man, Andrew Ryan Bennett, of Columbia, Maryland, was identified via a tip, an FBI special agent said in a Statement of Facts filed in federal court.
Two days before the siege, Bennett posted a statement favoring conspiracy theorist and attorney Lin Wood on Facebook. The following verbiage, the FBI says, was included “along with a photograph of a caravan of vehicles on a road carrying American flags” (emojis omitted):
You better be ready chaos is coming and I will be in DC on 1/6/2021 fighting for my freedom! #FIGHTBACK for Lin Wood and his family! PS. #BidensLaptopMatters #FUCKCANCELCULTURE #FUCKANTIFA #FUCKCOMMIESCUM #FUCKCHINA #STOPTHESTEAL
This is my _line___ ether you with me or against me FAFO! Keep thinking I’m crazy!
Remember these dates 1/6, 1/11, 1/12
Attached to the post was a link to a report by Washington, D.C. Fox affiliate WTTG-TV. The report contained a headline which read: “DC says no guns allowed during MAGA election protest.”
“MAGA Caravan heading from Cali to DC,” Bennett continued. “[C]redit to the person who posted this pic in my discord chat they know who they are!”
Bennett went on to live stream video from inside and outside the Capitol Complex on Jan. 6, the FBI said. In the videos, Bennet wore “a baseball hat with ‘Proud Boys’ motto on it,” court records say.
Facebook GPS records also placed Bennet “in the vicinity of the U.S. Capitol” at about 3:29 p.m. on the day of the riots and siege.
An FBI agent described some of the videos gathered:
In Live Video 4, Bennett seemingly yells “no destruction!” at approximately the 0:40 second mark when someone is seen kicking a door. However, in Live Video 3, Bennett seemingly chants “break it down!” along with the crowd at approximately the 2:47 and 3:54 minute marks. Based on my knowledge of the investigation and the events at the Capitol building, I believe the “break it down” chant was in relation to a door located in the Speaker’s Lobby that was barricaded by USCP and where a woman was later shot. A gunshot can be heard at approximately the 2:42 minute mark of Live Video 4.
Bennett is currently charged via criminal complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with two counts: (1) Knowingly Entering or Remaining in a physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and (2) Disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Attorney Lin Wood is himself facing scrutiny after Dominion Voting Systems sued Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Defending the Republic, Inc., for defamation. Defending the Republic lists Wood among its three directors, court papers say. Wood’s former law partners have said they recorded him saying he may be the second coming of Christ “in the form of an imperfect man,” among other things.
[image via Al Drago/Getty Images]
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