This is me: Rioters flaunt taking part in Capitol riot

'This is me': Rioters flaunt involvement in Capitol siege

In dozens of cases, supporters of President Donald Trump downright flaunted their activity on social media on the day of the deadly insurrection

Credit: Reuters Photo

These suspects weren't exactly in hiding.

“THIS IS ME,” one man posted on Instagram with a hand emoji pointing to himself in a picture of the violent mob descending on the US Capitol.

“Sooo we've stormed Capitol Hill lol,” one woman texted someone while inside the building. “I just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol,” another wrote on Facebook about a selfie he took inside during the January 6 riot.

In dozens of cases, supporters of President Donald Trump downright flaunted their activity on social media on the day of the deadly insurrection.

Some, apparently realizing they were in trouble with the law, deleted their accounts only to discover their friends and family members had already taken screenshots of their selfies, videos and comments and sent them to the FBI.

Their total lack of concern over getting caught and their friends' willingness to turn them in has helped authorities charge about 150 people as of Monday with federal crimes.

But even with the help from the rioters themselves, investigators must still work rigorously to link the images to the vandalism and suspects to the acts on January 6 in order to prove their case in court.

Read | US Capitol riot puts spotlight on ‘apocalyptically minded’ global far-right

And because so few were arrested at the scene, the FBI and US Marshals Service have been forced to send agents to track suspects down.

“Just because you've left the DC region, you can still expect a knock on the door if we find out that you were part of criminal activity inside the Capitol,” Steven D'Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington office, said earlier this month.

“Bottom line — the FBI is not sparing any resources in this investigation.” In the last few weeks, the FBI has received over 200,000 photos and video tips related to the riot.

Investigators have put up billboards in several states with photos of wanted rioters. Working on tips from co-workers, acquaintances and friends, agents have tracked down driver's license photos to match their faces with those captured on camera in the building.

In some cases, authorities got records from Facebook or Twitter to connect their social media accounts to their email addresses or phone numbers. In others, agents used records from license plate readers to confirm their travels.