A woman turned her ex-boyfriend into the police for taking part in the Capitol riots, after he called her a “moron” for not believing false claims that 3 November’s presidential election was “stolen”.
According to court documents released earlier this week, Richard Michetti, of Philadelphia, joined a mob of pro-Trump supporters at the US Capitol on 6 January, as he and several others allegedly breached the building causing House members to barricade themselves inside offices.
The insurrection took place shortly after Donald Trump spoke at a “Save America” rally nearby, where he made false claims about widespread fraud in 2020’s presidential election and told his supporters to “be strong”.
After sending videos of the mob and bragging about avoiding tear gas, Mr Michetti is alleged to have texted his ex-girlfriend a message parroting Mr Trump’s false claims, writing: “If you can’t see the election was stolen you’re a moron.”
The next day, Mr Michetti’s ex-girlfriend told the FBI that he had been at the Capitol on 6 January and handed over photos, videos and texts he had sent to her from the riots.
The woman, who is not named in the ten-page statement of facts, told the FBI that her ex-boyfriend messaged her on 5 January saying that he was going to Washington, DC, to attend Mr Trump’s rally.
The next day he allegedly told her that he had breached the building along with other rioters, texting: “It’s going down here,” and adding: “We stormed the building they held us back with spray and teargas and paintballs.”
Mr Michetti is also accused of sending her two videos from inside the Capitol, and texting that the rioters were doing the right thing to “stop the vote”, before then calling the woman a “moron”.
The FBI interviewed the ex-girlfriend a few days after the riots on 11 January, and she helped them identify Mr Michetti from videos and photos sent in to the agency.
Footage from inside of the Capitol also allegedly showed Mr Michetti in several parts of the building, including the Rotunda, federal agents claimed in the court documents.
Mr Michetti was later arrested and has subsequently been charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, obstruction of Congress and knowingly entering a restricted building.
If he is convicted, Mr Michetti could face up to 20 years in prison, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is one of more than 200 people who have been arrested in connection to the riots.
Mr Michetti was released this week on unsecured bail with electronic monitoring. His next court appearance is scheduled for federal court in Washington, DC, on Monday.