A former candidate for the New York state senate indicted in the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol has asked people to remove videos and photos of him inside the building after his friends started to get arrested.
Daniel Christmann was taken into custody on Wednesday for disorderly conduct, entering a small building and demonstrating in a building on the Capitol, according to the Justice Ministry.
Federal officials said several people had contacted FBI investigators to provide information about Christmann’s involvement in the riot. A criminal complaint says Christmann made several posts on his “dannyforsenate” Instagram account showing large crowds of people inside the Capitol.
He also shared a video of a man shouting, “We want Nancy … we want the others.” The FBI said it believed the man, who was not Christmann, was referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers.
Surveillance video also showed Christmann climbing through a window into the building. Several screenshots from the video, which were included in the complaint, showed him standing in the crowd holding his cell phone.
According to investigators, Christmann had several conversations on social media in which he confirmed he was in the riot. In one message he wrote: “Yeah, I’m not gonna lie. I wasn’t one of the first people to come in. When I realized this was happening, I was climbing the walls and it’s —. “
When asked if he had entered the building, Christmann replied, “How could I not? “
After two of Christmann’s friends were arrested, authorities said he started messaging people on social media asking them to remove videos and photos of him during the riot. “So delete them,” he wrote in a message, according to the complaint. “My friend Jake has been taken and my campaign manager for this summer has been taken. It is the end of time.”
His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday and Christmann could not be reached.
Christmann launched a failed 2020 candidacy to become the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, according to CNBC. He later ran for and failed again as a libertarian candidate for the 18th District of the New York State Senate, which includes the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick.
Since the riot, federal investigators have arrested more than 535 people in almost all 50 states.