Samuel Montoya, identified as a video editor for the Infowars far-right conspiracy website, was arrested for participating in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
Federal agents arrested Montoya at his Texas home on April 13, and he was charged Wednesday on four counts: entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a Capitol building; impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings; and “parading, demonstrating or picketting” in a Capitol building.
In a court affidavit submitted preceding Montoya’s arrest, a FBI counterterrorism special agent in the San Antonio field office (whose named is redacted) cited a 44-minute video embedded with the tag “THERESISTANCE.VIDEO” whose narrator identifies himself as “Sam with Infowars.com.”
The video shows Montoya — wearing a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap — entering the Capitol Building along with Trump rioters on Jan. 6, 2021. At one point, Montoya turns the camera on himself and says, “It feels good to be in the Capitol, baby!”
In a statement posted on the Infowars site about Montoya’s arrest, the site said, “Montoya was reporting live on the ground freely exercising his First Amendment right to document the events of that day in a journalistic capacity.” Infowars also claimed that Montoya was “charged with essentially being loud at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.”
The FBI said it received a tip on Jan. 11 from a family member of Montoya who said they had proof that Montoya was physically inside the U.S. Capitol during the riot, referencing the video he shot on Jan. 6, titled “Patriots Storm Congress Raw Footage Includes Execution of Ashli Babbitt.”
The video shot by Montoya shows himself walking through the Capitol until he arrives by the doors outside the Speaker’s Lobby, where it depicts the shooting of the woman publicly identified as Ashli Babbitt.
According to the FBI, Montoya’s statements in the video included: “We’re gonna crawl, we’re gonna climb. We’re gonna do whatever it takes, we’re gonna do whatever it takes to MAGA… I don’t wanna get shot, I’ll be honest, but I don’t wanna lose my country. And that’s more important to me than — than getting shot.”
At another point, he says, “Here we are in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in the Capitol building, it has officially been stormed by Trump supporters. Again, the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., has officially been stormed by Trump supporters. And here we are, taking our — the people’s house back!”
According to the affidavit, Montoya also says, “We have had enough! We’re not gonna take your fucking vaccines! We’re not gonna take all your bullshit! The people are rising up! Folks, I am now on the steps of the Capitol. Here we go! Here we go! Having a good time!”
In the video, Montoya variously describes himself as a “reporter” and “journalist.” According to the affidavit, the U.S. Senate press office confirmed that no one by that name has congressional press credentials as an individual or via any affiliated organization.
Infowars and its founder, Alex Jones, have been banned by multiple online platforms including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Apple and Spotify for violating policies on hate speech and harassment.