Speed Reads

Drama in D.C.

Capitol Hill rioters showed little concern about being identified

Many of the Trump supporters in Wednesday's Capitol mob were not wearing masks — a sign not just of their cavalier attitude concerning the raging pandemic, but also, perhaps, their lack of concern about being potentially identified as insurrectionists.

One notable example, cited by Facebook's Tom Gara, is Richard "Bigo" Barnett, who apparently posed in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office with his feet up on her desk and admitted to the press that he took one of her envelopes as a sort of souvenir. "It's all so surreal," Gara explained. "This guy didn't just loot Pelosi's office, he spoke on record to [The New York Times] about it and gave them his full name and age." The Washington Post's Jon Swaine added that Barnett had also reportedly "prepared for a violent death," having written on Facebook that "I came into this world kicking and screaming, covered in someone else's blood. I'm not afraid to go out the same way."

Slate's Sam Adams echoed Gara's unease about the lack of concern by the mob in protecting their identities. "These people believe they will face no consequences, and thus far they are sickeningly correct," he tweeted in apparent reference to the numerous easily-identifiable right-wing personalities in attendance, and the shockingly low number of arrests made on Wednesday.

The investigative journalism website Bellingcat has launched an effort to compile photographs and videos from the Capitol storming, not to identify people who were there but to "enable future research" as websites and owners begin to delete the images. The FBI, meanwhile, tweeted Thursday that it is "seeking to identify individuals instigating violence in Washington, D.C.," and that it's "now accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting or violence in and around the U.S. Capitol on January 6."