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FBI: South Carolina Man Traced To US Capitol During Riot

storming capitol 010621 flickr.jpg
Blink O'fanaye
A pro-Trump mob scales a wall to get into the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The FBI has filed a criminal complaint against a South Carolina man who authorities said was captured taking a selfie with a statue of John C. Calhoun while illegally storming the U.S. Capitol with supporters of President Donald Trump during a deadly insurrection this month.

A complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleged Andrew Hatley drove his Ford Mustang to Washington from his home in South Carolina to attend protests against Congress’ formal certification of President-elect Joe Biden's election victory over Trump.

A witness told investigators that they had known Hatley for “several years” and provided a picture to the FBI which appeared to show Hatley and another man in the U.S. Capitol building in front of a statue of Calhoun, a former vice president and fierce slavery advocate, according to the complaint filed by Special Agent Cassidy Thompson Smith.

The witness said they obtained the picture from another person, who had received several photos and geolocation data from Hatley himself, the documents said. Agents also said Hatley had told the second witness “he was going to attend the protests against the certification of the election.”

Agents said they were able to match Facebook photos of Hatley with images provided by witnesses and captured in surveillance video from inside of the crypt at the U.S. Capitol. Authorities used the location data shared by Hatley with one of the witnesses to confirm his cellphone was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 as the mob breached the building, according to the FBI.

In a phone call, Hatley told agents “he was not sure how much he should say without legal counsel because he could be in a great deal of trouble,” according to the criminal complaint, which also said Hatley had denied involvement in the raid in a Facebook post.

Hatley is accused of four federal offenses, including knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct on Capitol buildings or grounds; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol buildings.

News outlets report he is the first person from South Carolina to be wanted for involvement in the riot. The FBI documents did not give an age for Hatley or say where in the state he was from. It was also unclear whether he was in federal custody.

Hatley did not immediately return a request from The Associated Press for comment.