- A California woman was arrested and charged in connection to the Capitol riot on Friday in Alabama.
- Stephanie Baez boasted about her attendance on her Instagram during and after the insurrection, prosecutors allege.
- She told authorities she was allowed to be in the building because she previously confirmed online that the Capitol would be open.
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An alleged Capitol riot attendee, who prosecutors say boasted about her presence at the pro-Trump insurrection on social media, told authorities that she had permission to be in the Capitol on January 6 because she had previously looked up the building’s operating hours to confirm it was open so she could tour the site.
Stephanie Baez, a 27-year-old California woman, told authorities she traveled to Washington, DC, in January to attend then-President Donald Trump’s rally and to look at medical schools, according to court documents.
She was arrested in connection to the riot on Friday in Alabama, according to the Department of Justice.
Baez documented her experience during the attack in extensive Instagram posts, praising the “patriots” who “stormed” the Capitol and offering to give an interview to a fellow Instagram user, according to a criminal complaint.
“I cannot believe the hypocrisy on the left from this. The only bad thing Trump supporters did, which I will call out, was break windows,” she told an Instagram user later that night, according to court documents. “Cops LET THEM PAST the barriers. And the citizens of America are ALLOWED TO BE IN THE CAPITOL BUILDING WHEN ANYTHING IS IN SESSION.”
Months later, during a non-custodial interview with Justice Department officials, Baez would parrot the same justification for her presence in the Capitol that day.
Around January 6, the FBI received an anonymous tip pointing authorities to an Instagram user who posted videos of herself during the riot. The tipster identified the user as Baez and officials confirmed her identity using her listed phone number and California Department of Motor Vehicle records, the criminal complaint said.
The FBI was later alerted to another video posted to Instagram of Baez being interviewed in front of what appeared to be the Capitol on January 6, court records said. The video was captioned, “Girl is ‘Looking for Proud Boy!'” a seeming reference to the neo-fascist group whose members were present during the Capitol attack.
—Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) June 4, 2021
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Authorities confirmed Baez was inside the Capitol on January 6 by identifying her in video footage and using cellphone GPS data to place her in the area, the complaint said.
Baez posted a photo of herself to Instagram on January 8 dressed in the same black shirt she was seen wearing in open source video footage from the day of the Capitol attack. The shirt features a photo of author George Orwell and attributes to him the quote “BOY DID I CALL IT OR WHAT?”
“Welcome to 1984! Things are going to get crazy,” Baez’s photo caption reads. “But as long as Patriots love America, she won’t fall…”