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.

The FBI found text messages on Samuel Fontanez Rodriguez’s cell phone to Jackson Kostolsky of South Whitehall Township, which included photos of the two men posing on the Capitol steps with Fontanez Rodriguez’s knee on Kostolsky’s neck, apparently imitating a Minneapolis police officer’s actions in the George Floyd killing.

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.

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.

Investigators discovered photos of Samuel Fontanez Rodriguez putting his knee on his friend’s neck in front of a Black Lives Matter sign. Photo – The Justice Department

Insider notes that more than 880 people have been charged in connection with the deadly insurrection, with almost 330 people pleading guilty so far.

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.

meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity. She can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/GaiaLibra and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/politicalsaurus


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