MAGA rioter who bragged he would 'storm the Capitol any day' pleads guilty — after hesitating
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A New York man who was boastful on Instagram and a TV interview about his participation in the January 6 Capitol riot has now pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Christopher W. Ortiz, 27, of Huntington, New York, pleaded guilty Thursday to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. But he needed a pause before finalizing the plea, the Courthouse News Service reported.

“As U.S. District Judge Jia Cobb walked Christopher Ortiz through the plea agreement this morning, the 27-year-old hesitated when asked if he willfully and knowingly entered the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, knowing he did not have permission to do so.

“He took up the judge’s offer to go to a breakout room with his court-appointed attorney, Danielle Jahn.

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“After about 20 minutes, Ortiz returned and pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. The New Yorker initially faced three other charges that are more serious, including disorderly and disruptive conduct, but they are being dropped as part of the deal. He also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.”

That represented a change of tune for Ortiz from his Instagram posts cited in the FBI criminal complaint against him.

“During the video a male was seen scaling the U.S. Capitol building and a male voice was heard screaming "Yeah!" At another point the camera shows a large crowd at the U.S. Capitol door; the same male voice yelled "Yeah! We're at the door!" At yet another point the same male voice was heard yelling, "Onward, Onward!" while entering the U.S. Capitol building. The male voice was recognized, and confirmed, by (a witness), to be the voice of Ortiz.

“(The witness) asked Ortiz (on Instagram) what he was doing there. Ortiz replied, “participating in government.” Ortiz also responded, “Lol they can come and get me; I didn’t break or vandalize or steal; I walked through and out.” Ortiz added, “I’d storm the Capitol for you any day.”

The Courthouse News Service report added this:

“In an interview with News 12 last January, Ortiz said he thinks ”the sensationalism around the violence at the riot isn’t right.”

“I don’t think it was violent, I didn’t vandalize, I didn’t steal, I didn’t break anything, I didn’t burn anything,” he said. “There on D.C. that day, I saw a group that represents about half of our entire country. And I feel like the division across this nation is reaching a high.”

Ortiz faces up to six months in prison, five years’ probation and a $500 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28.

You can read the criminal complaint against Ortiz here.