Man Who Made ‘Video Manifesto’ Charged for Role in Jan. 6 Riot


A Massachusetts man has been arrested and charged with participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, after investigators said he had recorded a video on his way there, predicting “mayhem, chaos and pandemonium” in order to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The man, Thomas J. Method, 57, of Framingham, Mass., has been charged with obstruction of an official proceeding, which is a felony, according to federal prosecutors. He also faces misdemeanor charges, including entering or remaining in a restricted area without authority and disorderly conduct, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Mr. Method was arrested on Wednesday in Framingham, and made an initial appearance in federal court in Boston, where he was informed of the charges. A public defender assigned to him could not be reached on Thursday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is prosecuting the case.

Investigators said Mr. Method’s words, texts, photographs and a video posted online led to the charges against him.

According to the criminal complaint and warrant, while traveling from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5, he made a “video manifesto,” in which he said he hoped “the strength in numbers and this movement will get more senators on board, and we can overthrow this.”

“I don’t care what happens as long as Trump maintains his presidency,” Mr. Method said in the video, according to the document. “I have a feeling it’s going to be mayhem, chaos and pandemonium.”

During the investigation, the complaint said, Mr. Method’s cellphone and email usage was traced to locations around the Capitol, including inside the building. “I was there,” he later said, when asked by an investigator, according to the charging document.

Investigators found video footage showing a man identified as Mr. Method entering the Capitol building among what they called a “riotous crowd,” which was seeking to overturn the certification process of the 2020 vote. They also found a photograph he took of himself standing in front of the Landing of Columbus, an oil painting depicting Christopher Columbus that was installed in the Capitol rotunda in 1847.

The document also said that Mr. Method later admitted to attending the “Stop the Steal” rally before marching to the Capitol, where he said he thought people were being allowed to enter. He said if he had known there was going to be violence he would not have gone to the Capitol, the document says.

More than 1,313 people have been charged from nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the mob attack on the Capitol in support of former President Donald J. Trump. More than 469 of them have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

More than 720 people have received sentences so far, and more than 450 of them were sentenced to periods of incarceration, ranging from a handful of days to more than 20 years.

Prosecutors have called the inquiry the largest in the history of the Justice Department.



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