Nine months after one of the most violent days in the history of our country, investigations are still ongoing as more than 670 people have been charged with involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence depicting the violence of the day, some officials are continuing to play dumb and ignore the brutality that occurred. To date, officials have reviewed more than 15,000 hours of footage, making it the largest digital crime scene in history.
The best part is that most of these videos have come from the rioters themselves. Participants in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection not only sent photos and footage to friends and family but posted to their social media accounts. In a recent incident, the government obtained at least eight videos of the Capitol insurrection after a Massachusetts man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor Thursday. The man, identified as Brian McCreary, was famously photographed at the Capitol riot alongside the infamous ‘QAnon shaman,’ Jacob Chansley.
McCreary’s plea comes nine months after he first told FBI investigators that it was not Trump supporters but "antifa" who stormed the halls of government. He was arrested Feb. 3, during which his cell phone was confiscated.
On Thursday McCreary accepted a misdemeanor plea of entering or remaining in a restricted building, a charge that carries a maximum of one year in prison but sentencing guidelines of zero to six months, according to the Court House News Service.
During McCreary’s hearing, U.S. Chief Judge Beryl Howell noted that McCreary provided eight video clips to the FBI that documented the violent mob.
“When you were filming, did you hear — as captured on video — ‘where are they counting the fucking votes?’” Howell asked to confirm that McCreary partook in different activities inside the Capitol.
“A lot of people were yelling, your honor,” McCreary said. “I was trying to capture what was happening.”
McCreary also admitted to following the mob inside the Capitol and realizing he should have known that he wasn’t supposed to be there.
“I realized upon reflection that that should have been obvious to me,” McCreary said.
Among the videos of the violent mob, one showed rioters attacking Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman. Goodman a Black Capitol Police officer, heroically diverted a mob of angry Donald Trump supporters away from the Senate chamber during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Video footage shared to social media depicted him acting quickly and selflessly as angry mob members stormed the building.
Two others pleaded guilty Thursday, bringing the total number of guilty pleas up to 103. Last week, U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan shared that he was afraid some rioters were taking early plea deals with no remorse for their actions, and were only saying whatever they thought prosecutors wanted to hear.
“It’s become evident to me in the riot cases … that many of the defendants who are pleading guilty are not truly accepting responsibility. They seem to me to be trying to get this out of the way as quickly and as inexpensively as possible and stating whatever they have to say in guilty pleas and hoping to get probation and leave,” Hogan said.
Most of the 100 rioters who have pleaded guilty have admitted to a lesser crime than what they were originally charged with, including parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol—Class B misdemeanors that carry a maximum sentence of six months in jail. As a result, many of these individuals avoid being tried on multiple charges, some of which carried more potential prison time.
Other newly released Jan.6 insurrection videos include the infamous Eric Munchel, coined the "zip-tie guy," and his mother, Lisa Marie Eisenhart, who worked their way through protesters to end up in the U.S. Senate gallery during the insurrection.
According to the Nashville Tennessean, a federal judge overseeing the case against Munchel and Eisenhart ordered the release of the 50-minute video that was recorded on a cell phone that the son wore on his vest during the riot. "I'm going to get me some of them motherf***ers," Munchel said in the video as he and his mother grabbed handfuls of plastic handcuffs or zip ties.
Both Munchel and Eisenhart are awaiting trial on federal charges.
Officials are strategically using footage posted online by those who attended the riots to prosecute them. As time continues to pass, more individuals are being charged daily.
“The country is watching to see what the consequences are for something that has not ever happened in the history of this country before,” U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said, “for actions and crimes that threaten to undermine the rule of law and our democracy.”