Federal agents have arrested more than 30 people since a violent mob of President Donald Trump's supporters laid siege to the US Capitol last week to stop the peaceful transfer of power.
In an affidavit against one of the defendants this week, the FBI detailed how he turned over evidence of his potential crimes to an agent he addressed as "Nice FBI Lady," and explained how he walked into the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom he described as "big boss."
According to the affidavit, the defendant, Kevin Lyons, posted multiple photos on social media showing his plans to attend a January 6 rally in Washington, DC, headlined by the president. Trump has been widely accused of inciting the Capitol riot at his rally, during which he urged supporters to march to the Capitol, "fight" the results of the 2020 election, and "take back our country."
One photo Lyons posted to his Instagram account was a screenshot of a map depicting the route from Lyons' home in the Chicago area to Washington, DC. In the caption, Lyons wrote that he was "heading to DC to STOP THE STEAL!" After the attempted coup, Lyons posted another photo on the social media platform of a wooden sign that said "Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi." Lyons' caption accompanying the photo said, "WHOS HOUSE?!?!? OUR HOUSE!!"
The FBI's affidavit said that when agents questioned Lyons about the second photo on January 8 — two days after the riot — he expressed surprise that investigators had uncovered it because it was only up on his account for an hour before being taken down. Lyons added that he couldn't "guarantee that he posted it," but went on to show agents the same photo, which he had saved, on his phone, the affidavit said.
He was also "evasive" about revealing whether he had entered the Capitol, the document said, but told agents he had a "dream" in which he saw "a lot of banging on doors, paper being throwing about, and a mob of people." Lyons went on to say people in the dream "really didn't have much choice of where they were going because of the mob" and that if he was inside the Capitol, it was for about 45 minutes.
Lyons also showed agents video footage that was recorded inside the Capitol. When asked if he would be willing to turn over the video to the FBI, the defendant said the file was too big to send over and offered to upload the videos to YouTube and send the links over instead.
"Hello Nice FBI Lady, Here are the links to the videos," Lyons said in an email to FBI Special Agent Land, according to the affidavit. "Looks like Podium Guy is in one of them, less the podium. Let me know if you need anything else. Kevin Lyons."
"Podium Guy" was a reference to Adam Johnson, another pro-Trump insurrectionist who was photographed carrying Pelosi's lectern out of the Capitol and has since been arrested. The lectern was also recovered.
The FBI's affidavit said the three videos Lyons sent over featured footage of people inside and outside the Capitol, and his voice could be heard throughout.
At the January 8 interview with FBI agents, the affidavit said, Lyons gave a detailed description of traveling to Washington, DC, marching to the Capitol with the pro-Trump mob, and entering the Capitol, roaming around the building, and entering the "big boss" office.
"Lyons was asked if this was a reference to Nancy Pelosi and he stated yes," the affidavit said. Based on Lyons' description of the events he participated in, the FBI believed there was probable cause to charge him with violating a federal statute that prohibits people from knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so; and violating a federal law barring violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Lyons appeared before a judge after being arrested on federal charges this week and was released on a $10,000 recognizance bond. His court-appointed lawyer, Lawrence Wolf Levin, did not make any remarks at the hearing, The Chicago Tribune reported. Levin did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.