Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested Joe Biggs, a right-wing media personality and a member of the Proud Boys who promoted the pro-Trump event that led to a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Biggs will faces at least three charges, federal authorities said. The complaint against Biggs notes that another Proud Boys member was seen breaking the window of the U.S. Capitol building with a clear plastic shield, and that Biggs was apparently filmed inside the Capitol in a video posted to to right-wing social media platform Parler.
“In the video, a voice off camera says, ‘Hey Biggs, what do you gotta say?’ The person depicted below smiles broadly and replies, ‘this is awesome!’ before pulling his gaiter up to cover his face,” a FBI special agent wrote in an affidavit.
The leader of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested ahead of the rally and ordered to stay out of Washington, D.C.
The FBI affidavit said Biggs posted that the Proud Boys would be “blending in” during the event and that “Jan 6th is gonna be epic.” The affidavit also notes that several members of the Proud Boys were wearing earpieces during the breach of the Capitol.
Biggs told FBI agents that he had, in fact, entered the Capitol building, but claimed the doors were wide open when he made entry. Biggs also denied “having any knowledge of any pre-planned storming the Capitol, and had no idea who planned it.”
Biggs, a Florida-based Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, first gained prominence in right-wing circles as a correspondent for the conspiracy theory website InfoWars.
Later, he became a prominent leader in the Proud Boys and was a fixture at the group’s often-violent rallies and events throughout the presidency of Donald Trump.
Biggs has often glorified political violence, especially against leftists. Once, ahead of a Proud Boys rally in Portland, Oregon, he posted a video online showing himself swinging a Trump-themed baseball bat, promising to bring it to the rally and “put it to good use” against counter-protesters.
He has been seen wearing T-shirts emblazoned with different slogans including “Death To Antifa” and “I’m Just Here For The Violence” and “Training To Throw Communists Out Of Helicopters”— a riff on the “Pinochet Did Nothing Wrong” meme, popular among white supremacists, that glorifies Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s regime for killing political dissidents.
More recently, a post by Biggs to the social media site Telegram read: “Make Zimbabwe Rhodesia again” — another popular white supremacist refrain calling for the return of a violent white colonialist government in the African nation.
Biggs is a Trump loyalist. HuffPost spotted him at the formal launch of Trump’s 2020 campaign in Orlando, Florida.
“When you come out here, it’s a brotherhood. It’s a family. It’s like being at a revival, man,” Biggs could be heard telling another right-wing activist about the Trump rally.
He was arrested on the final day of the Trump presidency.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.