Insurrectionists are rushing to delete evidence of their participation in the Capitol riot, report says

Michael Nigro/Pacific Press:LightRocket/GettyRiots at the US Capitol Building.
  • Insurrectionists from the Capitol riot are reportedly rushing to delete evidence of their involvement.
  • CNN reported that several rioters have smashed their own phones to thwart FBI investigators.
  • Others have reportedly scrubbed their social media accounts.
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Insurrectionists are scrambling to delete photos and social media posts proving their participation in the January 6 Capitol riot, according to CNN.

The outlet obtained and analysed FBI affidavits and court documents that allegedly show about 30 riot attendees have actively taken steps to delete or remove any evidence of their participation.

Several broke their mobile phones, scrubbed their social media accounts, and tried to wipe hard drives that might contain photos and other proof of their involvement, CNN reported. One man is even believed to have stolen body cam gear from a police officer who was reportedly present at the riot, CNN reported.

FBI investigators had search warrants to go through the contents of the phones of some of the people who attended the riot. Their goal was to find relevant photos and videos that would serve as further evidence of their participation, CNN reported. But the FBI discovered smashed phones instead, CNN reported.

Joshua Black is allegedly one of those rioters who’s been deleting contents related to the attempted coup.

“After being told by an acquaintance that he was wanted by the FBI, [Black] says that he deleted things from his phone, which had been with him at the Capitol,” prosecutors said, according to CNN.

The Capitol riot left at least five people, including one police officer, dead. Members of the Proud Boys, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, were reportedly present.

Organisers were emboldened by Trump’s urges to protest the results of the 2020 election with him, despite Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory. While members of Congress were meeting inside the Capitol building day to certify the results, supporters organised an attempted coup and stormed the Capitol building.

Upon news that the riot breached the Capitol building, lawmakers began to shelter in place and many evacuated.

On the day of the riot and in the weeks after, those who attended were eagerly posting selfies and other photos to their social media platforms, according to various analyses.

Vox, for example, noted that plenty of rioters posed for photos. Others bragged of their attempt to pull off a coup, the Washington Post said. One woman even identified herself by name in an interview with a reporter posted to Twitter. The woman, who referred to herself as Elizabeth, said she’s from Knoxville, Tennessee. Her face is fully visible in the tweet, posted by Yahoo! News correspondent Hunter Walker.

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