Politics - News Analysis
MAGA Rioter Called the FBI Hotline Himself to ‘Clear His Name’ — Then He Got Arrested
Just about one year ago, Samuel Fontanez Rodriguez wanted to “clear his name” in connection with the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building. So he called the FBI to admit he participated in the attack, Insider reports.
But as a result, Rodriguez found himself charged on July 6 with four counts stemming from his role in the attack. Among them? Knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, disorderly conduct, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
In the two weeks that followed the Capitol siege, Rodriguez called the FBI, identified himself, and acknowledged he took part in the attack, along with hundreds of other angry Trump supporters, according to court filings. Hoping to clear his name, Rodriguez told investigators he was exposed to tear gas and smoke bombs and left the building after a short time, prosecutors said.
His call came just days after Jackson Kostolsky, one of his friends, also spoke to federal agents and implicated himself in the insurrection, saying he and Rodriguez traveled together to the Capitol. Court documents state that Kostolsky identified himself and Rodriguez in photos that were taken that day during subsequent interviews.
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Both men were also captured on security camera footage throughout the Capitol, according to prosecutors.
This led investigators to search Rodriguez’s cell phone, and when they did they discovered a hoard of photos taken during the riot. One such photo taken on his phone shows the men in front of a Black Lives Matter sign. Rodriguez placed a knee on Kostolsky’s neck as he lay on the ground.
Quite obviously the photo is a reference to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt with one knee on Floyd’s neck for almost 10 minutes.
I have a hard time understanding how someone can clear their name when there are photos and video footage that clearly demonstrates they were involved. But I suppose the two deserve credit for confessing. Now let’s throw the book at them.