Several now-charged Trump supporters who allegedly stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 previously used a Telegram group chat to conspire to commit violence on that day, prosecutors alleged in an indictment made public on Monday.
In a group chat titled “PATRIOTS 45 MAGA Gang,” 38-year-old Daniel Rodriguez, 26-year-old Edward Badalian and a third defendant whose name is redacted from the indictment allegedly discussed traveling to D.C. to disrupt Congress’ scheduled certification of the 2020 election results on Jan. 6. Rodriguez was allegedly the insurrectionist who assaulted Capitol Police officer Michael Fanone with an electroshock weapon.
On December 21, Badalian allegedly texted the group, “We need to violently remove traitors and if they are in key positions rapidly replace them with able bodied Patriots.” Several days later, he allegedly posted a map of the Eastern half of the U.S. marked with “rally points” to connect “patriot caravans” that were set to arrive in D.C. by 6:00 p.m. on Jan. 5, according to the filing.
On December 23, Rodriguez allegedly texted that “we gotta go handle this shit in D.C.,” and asserted six days later in the chat, “Congress can hang. I’ll do it.”
Several days after booking travel plans for D.C., Badalian confirmed to members of the group chat he had respirators, masks, snow goggles, knee pads and baseball helmets ready for them, prosecutors said. He told the group that ”we don’t want to fight antifa lol we want to arrest traitors.”
The day before the insurrection, Rodriguez allegedly texted the group “There will be blood. Welcome to the revolution.”
The defendants allegedly went to then-President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 before making their way to the Capitol. Rodriguez and Badalian allegedly wore walkie-talkies.
As the insurrection was underway, the redacted third defendant sent a text to an individual identified as “Person Two” informing him or her that the group was at the Capitol steps and “the battle has begun,” according to the indictment.
The indictment also lays out how Rodriguez allegedly shocked Fanone with a Taser-like weapon. The officer lost consciousness in the attack.
Rodriguez and the third defendant stole emergency escape hoods — a type of protective mask with a built-in respirator — from an office inside the Capitol, prosecutors wrote.
All three defendants are charged with conspiracy, obstruction of official proceedings, tampering with potential evidence and illegally entering restricted grounds. Badalian and Rodriguez have both pleaded not guilty.
Read the indictment below: