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A Long Island man arrested for storming the U.S. Capitol this month told an acquaintance that he was simply “participating in government” when asked why he was part of the Trump-incited mob, federal prosecutors said.
Christopher Ortiz, 27, was arrested Wednesday in Huntington, L.I., and charged with illegally entering restricted grounds and disrupting the orderly conduct of government, the prosecutors said.
Ortiz incriminated himself by posting Instagram stories that showed him entering the Capitol with other rioters Jan. 6 while Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 election that former President Donald Trump claimed was fraudulently stolen for Joe Biden.
He posted the videos to his account and more than one person who followed him contacted the FBI in the following days to alert them to Ortiz’s participation in the mob, the feds said.
In a conversation with a follower who knew him since high school, Ortiz admitted he was at the Capitol, according to Instagram direct messages provided by the feds.
“CHRIS WHAT ARE YOU DOING,” wrote the acquaintance, who provided the messages to the FBI.
“Participating in government,” Ortiz responded.
The acquaintance told Ortiz to instead go to a town hall meeting, then added, “This is BEYOND the worst idea you’ve ever had. I am going ON RECORD saying that.”
Ortiz responded by saying he showed up at the Capitol to protest Chinese Communist Party “influence in our government,” before praising his own actions.
“My story is better than anything Netflix is putting out so enjoy the show!” he said, then added later, “I’d storm the Capitol for you any day.”
In the video Ortiz posted to Instagram, he yelled, “Yeah, we’re at the door. ... Onward, Onward!” according to the Instagram follower, who confirmed it was Ortiz’s voice.
Another friend of Ortiz contacted the feds on Jan. 7, saying they had information that Ortiz was at the Capitol based on his Instagram content.
Ortiz will be prosecuted in Washington, D.C., Federal Court.