On January 11, a tipster contacted the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center to report that an individual “had been publicly bragging to friends and family about participating in the riots within the United States Capitol Building.”
Just 11 days later, the FBI says, Paul Gray Colbath of Fort Mill, South Carolina -- the subject of that tip -- agreed to an interview with agents at his residence. Apparently, he was not bragging by then.
Colbath was arrested October 28 in connection with the insurrection at the U. S. Capitol, but his file was just released today by the Department of Justice. It was a case study in humility, as relayed by the FBI agent who did the interview.
“(Colbath) stated that he did not 'assault' the Capitol building but did enter it via an open door. Before entering the Capitol, Colbath heard the sound of glass breaking, which he stated he assumed was a window," the agent wrote. "During the interview, Colbath stated that when he first entered the Capitol building, he was in a hallway, and saw a cloud of what he believed was tear gas, and he saw a man near him who had been affected by the tear gas. He ushered the unidentified man into a nearby office to get fresh air. He did not know whose office he occupied. He advised that he saw a broken window and vandalism to the office, and when he saw the clear signs of destruction, he knew that being in the Capitol building was wrong. He only stayed in the office a short time, and he believed it was no more than five minutes.”
The report continued: “Colbath advised that it felt good to get this off his chest. He stated that he did not want to turn himself in, because he did not feel like he did anything criminal, but that he still felt guilt about his participation. He felt ashamed and like he made 'a big mistake.' He did not take any weapons with him to the Capitol or plan to promote sedition or overthrow the government.”
The report did not specify details of the boasting that the tipster claimed had prompted the contact to the FBI. It stated that Colbath had provided cellphone video of his participation and the report contained photos showing him in and outside the Capitol.
Colbath is charged with illegal entry, disorderly conduct and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol Building.
You can read the FBI statement of facts here.