A Look Back At Some Of The Most Birdbrained Alleged Insurrectionists We’ve Met This Year

Protip: Don't Accidentally Rat Yourself Out To The Feds With A Snapchat Bitmoji
(TPM illustration/Getty Images)

Jan. 6 saw a horrifying attack on the Capitol that exposed huge cracks in the country’s democratic project, and ex-President Donald Trump and his top enablers — many of whom are still in Congress — have made it clear that the assault only swelled their thirst to maintain power at any cost. Several of Trump’s toadies helped the former president fuel and foment the insurrection using their top positions in government.

But let us also not forget the more ridiculous Jan. 6 characters, e.g. the QAnon Shaman, who have utterly beclowned themselves during and in the aftermath of the attack — like Wile E. Coyote running directly into a wall with a fake tunnel painted on it.

Some of our favorites:

The Literal Cartoon

Matthew Buckler of La Plata, Maryland was busted by his own Snapchat account, which displayed his alleged location on the app’s heat map by placing his little cartoon bitmoji right at the Capitol building during the attack, according to the prosecutors. You really can’t make this stuff up:

(FBI Baltimore Division complaint and arrest warrant)

Buckler was charged with entering restricted grounds and engaging in disorderly conduct to obstruct Congress. His next status hearing is in February.

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The Singing Judas

Oh Lord, where do we even start with this guy?

James Beeks, an actor who played Judas in the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” traveling tour, allegedly teamed up with a group of Oath Keepers to breach the Capitol. Investigators were able to partially identify Beeks, who has performed as a Michael Jackson impersonator, by this Michael Jackson “BAD” world tour jacket the actor was allegedly wearing that day:

(U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia)

After his arrest, Beeks somberly told the judge last month that he was in court “by special divine appearance.”

The actor, currently free on pretrial release, has been charged with obstruction of Congress, unlawful entry and disorderly conduct.

The Ransackin’ Romeo

As it turns out, flexing about that time you laid siege to the epicenter of American democracy isn’t much of a turn-on. Just ask Robert Chapman of Carmel, New York, who was arrested in April after a person he had matched with on Bumble, a dating app, turned him over to the feds when he allegedly bragged about storming the Capitol.

“We are not a match,” the Bumble user allegedly told Chapman, who seemed inclined to agree.

“i [sic] suppose not,” he allegedly replied.

(FBI New York Field Office complaint)

Chapman was charged with disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and disruption of Congress.

The insurrectionist heartbreak didn’t stop there: There’s also Richard Michetti, who allegedly texted helpful updates on what he was up to in real time to his ex-romantic partner as he was allegedly breaching the Capitol. That ex-partner turned him in the next day, and now he’s facing trespassing-related charges.

The Lego Architect

When Robert Morss of Glenshaw, Pennsylvania was arrested in June on assault and robbery charges in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, the authorities found an actual U.S. Capitol Lego set as they searched his home.

The feds initially reported that the Lego set was “fully constructed” when it was discovered. However, prosecutors stated in another filing several days later that there had been a “miscommunication” and that the Lego set was found in a box, not fully constructed. Behold:

(The United States Attorney for the District of Columbia)

Morss has pleaded not guilty to all charges and remains in custody pending trial.

The Guy Who Meme’d Himself

According to a DOJ court filing in Texas man Thomas Conover’s case, the feds stumbled across a video Conover filmed of himself while he was allegedly at the Capitol. In the video, prosecutors said, Conover holds up a beer can and declares, “I don’t always storm the Capitol of the United States of America. But when I do, I prefer Coors Light.”

Imagine having to explain to your loved ones that you got busted for trying to overthrow the government because you just had to record yourself invoking an ancient meme that sprung from Dos Equis commercials while bragging about how you tried to overthrow the government.

Conover’s been charged with two misdemeanors: entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct.

The Self-Snitcher

Multiple defendants in the Jan. 6 cases have decided to represent themselves in court, a strategy that hasn’t really been panning out.

Exhibit A: Brandon Fellows of Albany, New York, who insisted on being his own lawyer after claiming to spend two weeks in the jail’s law library, only to accidentally admit to more alleged wrongdoing while taking the stand in October. Specifically, Fellows revealed that he had told his public defender about a potential scheme to get the judge kicked off his case by contacting the judge’s family. The defendant also admitted to telling the public defender he had gotten a judge in a different case disqualified by putting the judge’s wife’s name as his emergency contact.

“When I’m worried, I don’t make the most understandable decisions,” he explained to the judge during the October hearing.

Fellows has been hit with trespassing and disorderly conduct charges, along with obstruction of Congress.

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