Many Trump supporters who took part in the January 6th riots at the United States Capitol building made the job of law enforcement officials much easier by snapping incriminating photos of themselves committing crimes as they were happening.
MLive.com this week talked with several extremism experts for some clues about why so many MAGA rioters thought they'd get away with sharing photos of themselves breaking the law to the entire world.
Sam Jackson, a professor at the University at Albany who studies anti-government militias, tells MLive.com that the rioters likely thought they would succeed in overturning the results on the 2020 election and thus imagined creating historical records of themselves to show they were heroes at a world-changing event.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the folks who participated feel like they weren't doing anything wrong, probably combined with a sense that they thought they were doing something historic," he explained.
Josh Pasek, a professor at the University of Michigan, similarly tells MLive.com that many of the MAGA rioters have likely been surprised to learn that America has not greeted them as liberators.
"The people who went to the Capitol trying to 'stop the steal,' by and large, expected that they were going to succeed at that and thought that they would really push the government to make different decisions," he said. "Some of them didn't realize the seriousness with which storming the Capitol would be taken."