Former New York state senate candidate and plumber Daniel Christmann was released on bail after being seen virtually in Brooklyn federal court this afternoon for his role in the January 6th Capitol riot in Washington, D.C.
Christmann was arrested Wednesday morning by the FBI at his Brooklyn residence after two people tipped off the authorities that photos and videos from the scene were posted on his now-deleted Instagram account, according to prosecutors.
He also wrote to followers in private messages on social media that he entered the Capitol building with other demonstrators that day, and scaled one of the walls outside on a garden hose, the FBI’s “statement of facts” said.
On January 7th, a follower asked Christmann if he’d gone inside the Capitol, when he responded “How could I not?”, the filing read.
The FBI said they were able to identify Christmann from crowd photos outside the Capitol by comparing pictures of him on Instagram and an NYPD booking photo for an August 2020 arrest on criminal mischief, making graffiti, and possession of graffiti instruments.
Christmann, according to the complaint, two Facebook friends to delete videos of him at the Capitol, explaining, “My friend jake got taken in and my campaign manager from this summer got take in. Its go time on the end of times.”
He is now charged with knowingly entering and remaining in a restricted building with the intent of disrupting government business, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building.
Christmann is one of more than 500 people so far charged in connection with the riot, and one of more than 40 New Yorkers. His court appearance comes a day after U.S. Capitol Police officers testified in front of Congressional members about the insurrection, detailing the harrowing experience of trying to protect federal lawmakers and their staffers while dealing with the violent mob.
The conditions of his bail include that he must stay away from DC unless for court-related reasons, that he must not travel to any state or federal capitol, and that he would be subject to random home and employment contacts.
His lawyer, Michelle Gelernt, declined to comment but did confirm that he had been released on his own recognizance.
The 38-year-old works as a plumber, and most notably ran for the New York State Senate on the libertarian ticket in the November 2020 general election to represent district 18 in Brooklyn, getting 2.3% of the vote.
He lost to the Democrat incumbent, State Senator Julia Salazar, who got 97.5% of the vote.
Christmann also ran for president, but failed to get the Libertarian nomination in May 2020.
He will continue to reside in his home in Brooklyn during the course of the trial, which he is next set to appear remotely on August 10.