Instagram Posts Seal Fate Of Trump-Loving Bodybuilder Who Dragged Capitol Cop
When former President Donald Trump tweeted January 6th as a "historic day" earlier this year, a conspiratorial former Michigan bodybuilder let the president know he was behind him.
"I'll be there," replied Logan Barnhart @realDonaldTrump on Twitter.
Now, seven months after the Internet man named #CatSweat was photographed dragging a police officer down a flight of stairs during the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Michigan man has been arrested by the FBI. An official confirmed the arrest to HuffPost Tuesday morning.
Barnhart, named Capitol Suspect 128-AFO by the FBI for being wanted for assaulting federal officials, was a primary target of the Sedition Hunters community, nicknamed him "CatSweat" for wearing a branded sweatshirt carried with the name Caterpillar, the construction machinery manufacturer. (Barnhart was a machine operator for Barnhart & Son Inc., owned by his father.)
HuffPost positively identified Barnhart based on the work of citizen sniffers months ago prior to his arrest, but stopped publishing his name because of his violent history (including being charged with rioting as a teenager) and because the FBI was working on the case.
The man known as #CatSweat was wanted for attacking officers in the Capitol. (Photo: SeditionHunters.org)
A turning point in the investigation came when the Sedition Hunters uncovered a video of Barnhart showing him without sunglasses during the Trump rally in the pre-attack White House ellipse.
This image of Barnhart's face, attached to a publicly available facial recognition website, spawned several other images of Barnhart that can be found on bodybuilding websites and photo portfolios on the internet. Photos of a shirtless Barnhart even graced the cover of romance novels with names like "Stepbrother UnSEALed: A Bad Boy Military Romance" and "Lighter", which included the slogan "Wrong has never felt so right".
But it was Barnhart's Instagram account - where he referred to himself as the "Pipe Layer \ Heavy Machine Operator" and posted right-wing memes next to shirtless thirst traps - that sealed the deal. In July 2019, Barnhart posted a picture of himself wearing the same American flag hat he would later wear in the Capitol. And in August 2020, he posted a video of himself at work in a Caterpillar sweatshirt.
Barnhart was a "white whale" to members of the Sedition Hunters community that came to life after January 6th. A picture from that day shows a man in a "CAT" hoodie reaching for a DC Metropolitan Police Department officer with whom he and others are pulling down a flight of stairs in front of a tunnel on the west side of the US Capitol.
The picture to the right shows #CatSweat and other insurgents dragging a police officer down the Capitol stairs. (Photo: SeditionHunters.org)
Several defendants were arrested in connection with this attack, including Jack Wade Whitton, who was positioned next to Barnhart with his hand on the officer's neck. (Whitton was charged along with Jeffrey Sabol, Peter Stager, Michael Lopatic, and Clayton Mullins.)
Federal prosecutors said suspects, including Whitton and Sabol, dragged the officer who started with the initials "B.M." was identified. - Down the stairs and into the crowd, where Peter Stager defeated him with an American flag on a pole.
"When asked about the attack, B.M. remembered his baton being grabbed and dragged into the crowd, ”the prosecutors wrote in a court file arguing for Whitton's pre-trial detention. "Once in the crowd, B.M. remembered being hit several times in the helmet with objects. B. M. said that he believed the crowd was trying to get him into the crowd as deeply as possible. "
After participating in the Capitol attack, Barnhart continued to post far-right material on Instagram denying the threat posed by COVID-19. He posted a video of himself in a Walmart (where he said he was the only person not wearing a mask), as well as memes about LeBron James and swear words about Black Lives Matter.
In February, about a month after participating in the attack, Barnhart sarcastically mocked the "amazing FBI that does a good investigative job," citing a Capitol picture that had been tampered with to contain a meme owned by an FBI - Affidavit was included.
"As I said several times. Anything you are told about it is a lie and will be revealed, ”wrote Barnhart on February 5th. "Sorry, but what really happened in the [Capitol] is being hidden from you."
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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