A New Mexico man and right-wing podcaster who claimed he was in the U.S. Capitol on January 6 as a videographer has pleaded guilty to in connection with the riot.
Shawn Witzemann, 39, of Farmington, New Mexico, pleaded guilty today to misdemeanor parading charges, the Department of Justice reported. The FBI had been tipped off to Witzemann by a video posted to a Facebook page for a Proud Boy-friendly podcast he hosted daily.
“The video was posted to the Facebook page of The Armenian Council for Truth in Journalism by an Instagram user with the username “@krampusnatch.” The caption for the video read, in part, ‘moments ago… Shawn was inside the capitol building!’” the FBI stated in its filing against Witzemann.
The FBI said Witzemann was the registered use for the Instagram account. Witzemann told agents in an interview that he attended the Trump rally and marched to the Capitol building.
“Witzemann further stated that he made it to the top of the stairs, on what he described as a “patio” near the front entrance of the Capitol building. He observed Capitol Police walking around, and then attempted to climb up scaffolding to get a better view of the crowd with his cell phone camera. He came down off the scaffolding after a police officer told him to get down.”
In April, NBC5 Chicago had reported April that Witzemann had “changed his mind about entering a guilty plea after U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, an appointee of President Donald Trump, found former federal contractor Matthew Martin not guilty during a bench trial.
“McFadden said that prosecutors did not prove Martin knowingly entered a restricted building and that he may have believed police officers had let him into the building, NBC News reported.” Presumably, Witzemann had a change of heart more recently.
Witzemann was quoted about his interactions with right-wing activists at the riot in a Raw Story exclusive on Rudy Guiliani’s efforts to frame “antifa” with the help of a bogus evidence from a far-right network.
You can read the FBI statement of facts on Witzemann here.
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