Conservative Influencer Is Charged in Jan. 6 Attack

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A conservative social media influencer has been arrested on charges related to her involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, including an accusation that she helped to steal a table that the F.B.I. says was used to assault officers, according to court documents.

The influencer, Isabella DeLuca, 24, was arrested on Friday in Irvine, Calif., in Orange County, on several charges, including theft of government property, entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct and demonstrating in a Capitol building.

Ms. DeLuca participated in and livestreamed the riot, in which an angry mob attacked the Capitol, and helped steal a table that was used as a weapon against law enforcement, according to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

After Ms. DeLuca “passed the table out of the window,” according to the complaint, she appeared to use her cellphone to record video or take photographs of rioting. She later deleted several social media posts relating to the attack in a likely “attempt to thwart any subsequent criminal investigation,” according to the complaint, which was prepared by an F.B.I. agent.

Ms. DeLuca could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday, and it was unclear from court documents if she had a lawyer. She is a registered Republican, according to public records. Ms. DeLuca was released the day of her arrest, her mother, Gina DeLuca, said by phone on Monday. She declined to comment on the charges or her daughter’s case.

According to the complaint, Ms. DeLuca first came to the attention of the F.B.I. three days after the attack when the agency received a tip that she had deleted social media posts related to her involvement in the riot. In an interview with the F.B.I. on Jan. 21, 2021, Ms. DeLuca admitted to having been at the Capitol on Jan. 6, but denied entering the building. Her mother confirmed the account to the agency, and said she had watched her daughter’s Instagram livestream from outside the Capitol, according to the complaint.

Subpoenaed bank records showed that Ms. DeLuca traveled to Washington from New York City by train on Jan. 5, 2021 and made a purchase at a Dunkin’ Donuts two miles from the Capitol the day of the riot, the F.B.I. said.

Just before 3 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, Ms. DeLuca wrote on social media: “Fight back or let politicians steal and election? Fight back!” Shortly after, she sent a private message to another user on Instagram confirming she was heading to the Capitol, the F.B.I. said. Surveillance footage also placed her there, the agency said.

The footage showed Ms. DeLuca entering the Capitol through a broken window, where she and other rioters removed a table and passed it to others outside through another broken window, the F.B.I. said. She continued taking photos as other rioters continued stealing furniture, including a lamp and a chair, and passing them to the rioters outside.

“The table legs were broken off at some point in the melee,” according to the complaint, and one of them was used by a rioter to attack a law enforcement officer. Another rioter appeared to use the table itself to attack law enforcement, the F.B.I. said.

Just before 6 p.m., Ms. DeLuca, according to the complaint, “messaged an acquaintance on Instagram, ‘It’s insanity here’ and ‘I got maced and had a sound bomb go off right next to me.’” She continued posting about the attack on social media over the next several days.

“I was there on Jan. 6. I have mixed feelings,” she wrote on Jan. 14, the F.B.I. said. She added: “People went to the Capitol building because that’s Our House and that’s where we go to take our grievances. People feel, as do I that an election was stolen from them and it was allowed.”

Ms. DeLuca is among more than 1,200 people who have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, in which an angry mob, egged on by President Donald J. Trump’s lies about the 2020 election being stolen, attempted to halt the certification of the results. Federal prosecutors have described the ongoing criminal investigation into the events of that day as the largest in the history of the Justice Department.

Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.


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