The DOJ arrested and charged an accused Capitol rioter after he spoke to Insider about his 'fun time' there

Madison Hall
·3 min read
Capitol riot
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they push barricades to storm the US Capitol in Washington D.C on January 6, 2021. Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images
  • Rioters attacked and breached the US Capitol on January 6, disrupting Congress.

  • An Insider contributor, Abigail Higgins, wrote about two rioters who infiltrated the building.

  • The DOJ cited the article in an affidavit against one rioter and immediately initiated an investigation.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

An Illinois man who breached the US Capitol on January 6 is facing a slew of charges after he gave an interview about the incident to Insider, a recent filing from the Department of Justice shows.

Federal authorities charged Thomas Adams, 39, with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, obstruction of an official proceeding, and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, according to a complaint obtained by Insider.

An affidavit from FBI Special Agent Christopher E. Drabicki against Adams said that Insider published an article one day after the Capitol insurrection that included statements and interviews from Adams and his friend about their experiences.

"It was a really fun time," Adams said in the piece.

In the article, from Insider contributor Abigail Higgins and entitled, "Men who joined in violently storming the US Capitol describe a carnival atmosphere inside," Adams also said that was "one of the first to set foot in the US Capitol." The federal affidavit said that the article informed the agent that:

  • Adams trampled over police barricades before entering the Capitol and Senate Chambers

  • Adams was a witness to Jacob Chansley, the "Q Shaman," in the chamber

  • Adams used his phone to take photographs and videos of people inside of the Capitol

Insider in Capitol court filing
Department of Justice

After learning about Adams via the Insider article, the FBI agent said that he ran a records check on Adams before driving to his home in Springfield, Illinois to confirm his where he lived. The FBI moved forward with the investigation soon after and interviewed Adams about his time in the Capitol on February 4.

When asked about his interview with Insider by investigators, Adams said that he did not realize that his quotes were ever published online.

After learning from Insider that Adams recorded his time in the Capitol on his cell phone, the DOJ searched Adams' and identified one other rioter who is friends with Adams.

Despite the police resistance against the rioters that included pepper spray, concussion grenades, and riot shields, Adams said he believed the Capitol was a "public access building" that anyone could enter. He told investigators that he didn't realize that the protestors illegally breached the Capitol until he was walking on glass.

Adams' preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 16. Court filings show that Adams was released from pre-trial detention after paying a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

Insider's efforts to reach Adams were not successful Wednesday.

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