ORLANDO, Fla. — Joseph Randall Biggs, a suspected member of the Proud Boys white supremacist group, appeared in federal court in Orlando on Wednesday on charges linked to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
What You Need To Know
- Joseph Randall Biggs charged in connection with the US Capitol attack
- Biggs, 37, was arrested in Florida
- The charging affidavit alleges that Biggs is a Proud Boys member
- Biggs is visible on video from the siege, the charging documents say
A federal charging affidavit alleges Biggs marched with others on Constitution Avenue while chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” and expletives.
Biggs was later captured on video inside the Capitol, according to the affidavit.
"In the video, a voice off camera says, "Hey Biggs, what do you gotta say?" The person depicted below smiles broadly and replies, "This is awesome!" before pulling his gaiter up to cover his face," a probable cause affidavit from the FBI says.
The video was live streamed on the Parler social-media site, the FBI said.
“One of those clips shows what I believe to be people entering the Capitol shortly after the events described in the preceding paragraph,” the affidavit states. “One of those individuals, who entered the door within 20 seconds of its opening, is a person that I believe to be” Biggs.
Biggs and other alleged members of the Proud Boys in the U.S. Capitol attack were equipped with “walkie-talkie style communication devices” on their chests, the FBI alleges.
Agents contacted Biggs two days ago.
He “admitted to entering the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, without forcing entry,” the affidavit states. He told an agent the doors of the Capitol were wide open when he walked into the building.
Biggs “denied having any knowledge of any pre-planning of storming the Capitol, and had no idea who planned it,” the affidavit says.
He was arrested Wednesday in Florida. Documents indicate he has lived in Ormond Beach in the past.
Biggs is charged with obstruction of an official proceeding in a restricted building and violent and disorderly conduct.
“The nature of these charges are so unique and strike to the core of democratic principles right? And so the interference of the obstruction of that proceeding is a serious, serious charge," said former federal prosecutor David Haas.
But that is just the beginning, Haas said.
“I think there’s going to be a lot more evidence that’s not contained in this affidavit that will eventually come to light either by way of a trial, or by way of a plea agreement, or by way of the discovery process," he said.
What happens next is still up in the air, but Haas said it doesn't look good for Biggs.
“It’s difficult to say this early how the case will resolve, but they are serious charges, and with his background, he’s going to be looked at more harshly most likely by the government," Haas said.
A federal judge barred reporters from attending Wednesday's hearing in Orlando.
Biggs was eventually released on a $25,000 bond on the condition that he not leave his home until his case continues in Washington D.C.