Feds Keep Up Drumbeat Of Insurrectionist Arrests Throughout Biden’s Inauguration

Screenshot/ProPublica
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January 20, 2021 5:08 p.m.

As Joe Biden took the oath of office at the Capitol on Wednesday, federal agents stayed busy charging and arresting people for allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 attack on the same building. 

The most recognizable man arrested Wednesday was Joe Biggs, a prominent member of the Proud Boys, the right-wing street gang that was present in force on Jan. 6.

Biggs, like many other alleged Capitol rioters, identified himself with abandon during the riot itself: Shortly after allegedly entering the Capitol building, someone livestreaming the riot to the social media site Parler turned the camera to Biggs and asked “Hey Biggs, what do you gotta say?” an FBI agent’s affidavit recounted.

“This is awesome!” Biggs allegedly replied, with his face showing.

Like hundreds of other video clips of the Capitol, the Parler video allegedly showing Biggs was scraped from the website by a hacker in the days after the attack, resulting in an archive of sorts for media and law enforcement to pick through. 

As HuffPost noted, Biggs has a history of violent rhetoric, evidenced in t-shirts referencing Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s practice of throwing dissidents out of helicopters. “Make Zimbabwe Rhodesia again,” read one recent post from Biggs. 

On Tuesday, multiple members of the anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers were charged with conspiracy against the United States and other offenses for their allegedly pre-planned actions on Jan. 6. And in the affidavit in support of Biggs’ arrest, an FBI agent noted that the Proud Boys also showed signs of having participated in a coordinated effort. 

“[M]ultiple individuals were photographed or depicted on videos with earpieces, including other individuals believed to be associated with the Proud Boys,” the affiant wrote, after noting that such devices “could be used to receive communications from others in real time.” 

During an interview with FBI agents on Monday, Biggs allegedly admitted that he entered the Capitol building, the affidavit said, but he claimed that the Capitol doors were open when he made his entry, and he denied knowledge of any pre-planning of the attack. 

Biggs is charged with obstructing, influencing or impeding an official proceeding before Congress, as well as entering a restricted building and engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct at the Capitol. He was arrested in Florida on Wednesday. 

Also charged Wednesday was Patrick Edward McCaughey III, who was not a high-profile right-winger before the Capitol attack but became one afterward. McCaughey was allegedly one of the men at the Capitol’s West Terrace doors — from which Biden emerged for his inauguration Wednesday — who crushed Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges against a doorpost. 

Hodges emerged without serious injury, but video of the “heave-ho!” struggle in the hallway has since gained significant attention. 

McCaughey, an FBI agent’s affidavit asserted, was the man captured on camera attempting to convince officers to “just go home!” in between joining the group of rioters that attempted to breach the police line and enter the Capitol, crushing Hodges in the process. 

During the onslaught, another man in the riot — who isn’t identified in the affidavit discussing McCaughey — grabbed Hodges’ gas mask and assaulted him with it. 

During the exchange, according to the affidavit, “MCCAUGHEY continues to pin Officer Hodges to the door while a separate rioter begins violently ripping off Officer Hodges’ gas mask, exposing Officer Hodges’ bloodied mouth.” 

As the press let up, McCaughey allegedly flagged to other police officers that Hodges appeared to be injured. But a split second later, McCaughey was allegedly back to scuffling with police, including by striking them with a police riot shield.

McCaughey allegedly documented his trip to the Capitol and shared it with friends, one of whom was allegedly a mutual friend of someone who became a witness and contacted the FBI about McCaughey’s actions. 

McCaughey, who was arrested Tuesday in New York, faces charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees; civil disorder; entering a restricted building or grounds; and violent entry or disorderly conduct. 

Finally, like many other alleged rioters, Karl Dresch posted photos of himself on social media bragging about entering the Capitol, according to authorities. Unlike other alleged rioters, he’s the son of the late Michigan state Rep. Stephen Dresch (R).

“Don’t worry I loves yous all just setting the record straight.antifa did not take the captiol.that was Patriots,” Dresch allegedly wrote on Facebook on Jan. 6 above  a picture of the inside of the Capitol building.

“We the people took back our house, the news is all bullshit.and now those traitors Know who’s really in charge,” he added. 

Dresch is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building, and violent entry and disorderly conduct. He, too, was arrested Wednesday.

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