A former candidate for the New York state senate charged in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol asked people to delete videos and photos of him inside the building after his friends began to get arrested.
Daniel Christmann was taken into custody Wednesday on charges of disorderly conduct, entering a restricted building and demonstrating in a Capitol building, according to the Department of Justice.
Federal authorities said several people reached out to investigators with the FBI to provide information on Christmann’s participation in the riot. A criminal complaint states that Christmann made several posts on his “dannyforsenate” Instagram account showing a large crowd of people inside the Capitol.
He had also shared a video of a man yelling, “We want Nancy …we want the rest of them.” The FBI said it believes the man, who was not Christmann, was referring to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers.
Surveillance video also showed Christmann climbing through a window to get inside the building. Several screengrabs from the video, which were included in the complaint, showed him standing in the crowd holding his cellphone.
According to investigators, Christmann had multiple conversations on social media in which he confirmed he was at the riot. In one message, he wrote, “Yeah im not going to lie. I wasn’t one of the first people in. When realized it was happening I was scaling walls and s—.”
When asked if he went inside the building, Christmann responded, “How could I not?”
After two of Christmann’s friends got arrested, authorities said he began messaging people on social media to ask them to remove videos and photos of him in the riot. “So delete them,” he wrote in one message, according to the complaint. “My friend Jake got taken in and my campaign manager from this summer got taken in. Its go time on the end of times.”
His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday and Christmann could not be reached.
Christmann launched a failed bid in 2020 to become the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, according to CNBC. He later ran and again failed as a Libertarian candidate for New York state’s 18th Senate District, which includes the Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick neighborhoods.
Since the riot, federal investigators have arrested more than 535 people in nearly all 50 states.