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Memphis man arrested for involvement in Capitol riot, Justice Department says

Derrick Santistevan

A Memphis man was arrested Friday by the FBI and charged with federal offenses connected to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, authorities said.

Mathew Bledsoe is accused of chronicling the violent insurrection in a series of Instagram photos and videos.

One video showed Bledsoe and others outside an exterior door, where an alarm is blaring, according to the criminal complaint, and a companion is saying “We’re going in!”

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After receiving a tip, authorities said they were able to identify Bledsoe from a compilation of videos that showed him on the Capitol lawn and at the top of the exterior wall and inside the halls on Jan. 6, the day a pro-Trump mob forced their way inside the building and disrupted a joint session of Congress certifying the presidential election victory for Joe Biden.

(FBI)

After breaking in, authorities said Beldsoe triumphantly declares in a video, “In the Capitol. This is our house. We pay for this s–t. “

In an apparent reference to members of Congress, he adds: “Where those pieces of s–t at?”

(FBI)

Hours before the raid, President Trump held a rally encouraging supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight” the “stolen election,” peddling baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in the Nov. 3 election. 

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FBI agents said they were also notified of a Facebook post in which Bledsoe’s wife boasted about her husband’s involvement in the insurrection, which left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer. 

“Matt was inside the Capitol, he was one of the first,” she wrote. “They yelled and screamed, that’s about it. My husband is a Patriot solider.”

The post has since been deleted. 

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Bledsoe was charged with knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority, along with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

The Commercial Appeal newspaper, citing Tennessee business filings, identified Bledsoe as the apparent owner of a Memphis moving company. 

Source

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