Dozens of people who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th are scrambling to destroy evidence that directly implicates them in participating in the deadly insurrection which was grand marshaled by former President Donald Trump and egged on by Republican lawmakers, according to a new report that was released by the Associated Press on Saturday.
That proof includes internet posts and personal correspondences such as text messages in which the rioters bragged to family, friends, and social media followers about having joined the mob which had its sights set on disrupting the congressional certification of the 2020 election.
“At least 49 defendants are accused of trying to erase incriminating photos, videos, and texts from phones or social media accounts documenting their conduct as a pro-Donald Trump mob stormed Congress and briefly interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory,” the agency found. “Experts say the efforts to scrub the social media accounts reveal a desperate willingness to manipulate evidence once these people realized they were in hot water. And, they say, it can serve as powerful proof of people’s consciousness of guilt and can make it harder to negotiate plea deals and seek leniency at sentencing.”
Many of those efforts, however, may prove to be in vain, the Associated Press pointed out, because of the breadcrumb trails that electronic communications leave behind.
“Erasing digital content isn’t as easy as deleting content from phones, removing social media posts, or shutting down accounts,” AP wrote. “Investigators have been able to retrieve the digital content by requesting it from social media companies, even after accounts are shut down.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.