As federal investigations into the deadly riot at the Capitol in January continue, authorities have now revealed that one rioter — Maryland resident Nicole Prado — was implicated in the violence by material that an apparent friend of hers had posted on social media. The apparent friend — who authorities have not publicly named — posted two images to Instagram showing scenes at the Capitol on the day of the riot in addition to a video showing Prado in which the individual capturing the footage explicitly says that Prado “stormed the Capitol.” It doesn’t get more direct than that.
In the video, which authorities note appears to have been taken shortly after the Capitol breach from on the ground in D.C., the individual behind the camera says as follows in reference to Prado:
‘Please meet the new Congresswoman… She was just in the Capitol for the first time today. She stormed the Capitol, she’s the new Congresswoman. She’s the new Speaker of the House.’
Again — it hardly gets more directly incriminating than that. An FBI agent sharing information about Prado’s case in a court filing indicates that they found security camera footage showing Prado taking the photographs that eventually went up on the other individual’s Instagram account. Now, Prado is facing criminal charges including knowingly entering a restricted building and engaging in “disorderly or disruptive conduct” with the intent and end result of impeding government functions, as a filing in her case explains. Prado apparently had her first court appearance on Friday.
"She stormed the Capitol, she’s the new Congresswoman. She’s the new Speaker of the House.”
Jan. 6 charges unsealed against Nicole Prado of Maryland. She was arrested and had her initial appearance on Friday. pic.twitter.com/vEG1CZBedi
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) June 14, 2021
Whether the incriminating social media posts are rooted in ignorance or flagrant disregard of the law — and reality, the fact that a former president of the United States has cultivated a legion of followers who would be willing to support a violent and murderous attack on the U.S. Capitol — and then post about it on social media! — is troubling. Prado’s case is not the first time that proceedings connected to the Capitol riot have included social media posts as evidence. So far, hundreds of Trump supporters have been hit with federal criminal charges over their participation in the riot, and with only two guilty pleas so far, there’s still substantial ground ahead.