A New Jersey man accused of being at “the front line” of violence during the Jan. 6 insurrection boasted about his involvement online—then googled “Countries where you can buy citizenship” once he realized he would probably be caught, prosecutors say.
Christopher Joseph Quaglin was arrested Wednesday in New Brunswick, New Jersey on a slew of charges, including assaulting an officer and civil disorder. Prosecutors allege that he can be seen in a black helmet, gas mask, and a MAGA shirt “repeatedly assaulting” several cops guarding the Capitol, according to a criminal complaint.
Quaglin spent months prior to Jan. 6 posting online about conspiracy theories, including his anger over purported fraud associated with the 2020 election, and about going to the Capitol on Jan. 6. He had multiple Facebook and Instagram accounts—and had been banned multiple times for “inflammatory posts”—but frequently posted election gripes on an account under the name “Chris Trump.”
“I’m going to war,” Quaglin wrote on Nov. 5 to a Facebook friend. “I’m writing my letter to my wife and people will have it. But I might not even make it back.”
‘They Aren’t Doing Shit’: This Capitol Cop Is Mad as Hell—and Calling It Quits
“I’m bringing the big cock,” he wrote in another message. “I’m really ready to just the kamikaze.” The next day, he wrote to another Facebook friend: “Looking forward to war.”
The complaint states Quaglin posted about the gas mask, helmet and bear spray he would bring to the event, and encouraged others to come to D.C. on Jan. 6. He even offered up an “extra double twin bed” in his hotel room.
“Trump is speaking and everyone is walking there,” Quaglin said in one video before pointing to the Capitol and holding up his gas mask to show he is “ready.” “We will see how it goes. Proud of our boy.”
On the day of the riot, prosecutors allege, Quaglin was in the “front line of the rioters” attempting to breach the Capitol through the Lower West Terrace doors.
He started out by verbally accosting cops guarding the building, the complaint says. Soon after, videos show him grabbing one cop by the neck, “physically strik[ing] and shov[ing]” another cop, ripping a barrier fence, grabbing an officer’s shield and lunging at a D.C. cop.
“You don’t want this fight. You do not want this fucking fight. You are on the wrong fucking side. You’re going to bring a fucking pistol, I’m going to bring a fucking cannon,” a seemingly unprovoked Quaglin can be heard saying in one video. “You wait! You wait! You wait! Stay there like a fucking sheep! This guy doesn’t know what the fuck is going on.”
In what appears to be the most violent altercation, Quaglin can be seen on Capitol Police surveillance footage “pushing his way to the front of a large crowd attempting to push past the police” guarding the Capitol doors.
“Quaglin continues to try to push past the law enforcement officers guarding the Lower West Terrace Exterior Doors for approximately the next 15 minutes during which he can be seen on video attacking officers with a stolen riot shield and spraying them with a chemical irritant,” the complaint states, noting that one of the officers was sprayed directly in the face.
Prosecutors state they believe Quaglin used MK-9 OC spray, or pepper spray, during the attack. Once at the front of the line, he pushed, hit, and shoved officers with a riot shield before he finally gained entry.
Prosecutors state that Quaglin livestreamed the whole day and the videos were handed over by a tipster.
Quaglin even pointed directly to his involvement in a Facebook Live after the riot. “When you guys see the footage, I was the guy in red, white, and blue uhh hoodie and black helmet…I’m absolutely on a loop on Fox News…I got punched pretty good…It was a great time, I got bumps and bruises,” he said in the selfie-style livestream.
In another video, a shirtless Quaglin appears to be “cooking a steak in his shower” as he states he got “pepper-sprayed like twenty fucking times, I’m sure I’m going to make the news,” the complaint says.
Prosecutors note that, in the days after Jan. 6, Quaglin repeatedly Googled his involvement in the riots, including multiple searches for “guy gets bear sprayed at capital” and the FBI “seeking information” page. Seemingly fearing his impending arrest, Quaglin also searched “Countries where you can buy citizenship, residency, or passport.”
Andrew Jackson Morgan, a Texas resident and self-described “law enforcement auditor,” was also charged Wednesday for his role in the riot. Prosecutors allege he can be seen in videos encouraging rioters to break into the Capitol and filming them.
“I want my bullet and goin in my house,” Morgan can be heard yelling in the video as he walks up a stone railing, according to a criminal complaint.
Morgan only entered the Capitol briefly before he was met by a wall of cops. During a stand-off, Morgan can be heard encouraging the crowd to take the building and repeating “I want my bullet.”
The complaint states that federal authorities were able to identify Morgan as the creator of the YouTube channel “Political trance Tribune,” where he presents himself as a law enforcement “auditor” who routinely videotapes officers as “they are conducting traffic stops and/or other law enforcement duties in the public.”
When authorities executed a search warrant at Morgan’s house last month, he told FBI agents he wanted to tell “his story.” He said he went to D.C. because “something unprecedented” was going to happen and he wanted to cover the events “because he is an independent journalist and civil rights auditor.” His wife also told the FBI she drove Morgan to the Capitol “with a group of political auditors” who she said sometimes refer to themselves as “independent patriots.”
“Morgan reiterated he was there was a ‘chameleon,’” the complaint states. “He said he wishes now that he had not said the things that he did, but just filmed the events.”
Morgan also told authorities he was “concerned that the government has been hijacked” and was “concerned why Mike Lindell’s video about election fraud was banned.” “He is like-minded with the Founder’s of the country and with QAnon. He has come to realize that the people in power keep power through child pedophilia. They use child pedophilia to control the masses,” he allegedly said.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!
Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.