WASHINGTON (AP) – Former President Donald Trump posted on his social media platform on the same day that a A man with guns in his van was arrested near the property, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday, revealing new details about the case.
Taylor Taranto, 37, who prosecutors say was involved January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol riot, According to a Justice Department request aimed at keeping him behind bars, he retained two firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in a van he had driven across the country and lived in.
On the day of his arrest on June 29, prosecutors say, Taranto reposted a Truth Social post from Trump that allegedly included Obama’s home address. In a post on Telegram, Taranto wrote: “We’ve got these losers surrounded! See you in Hell, Podestas and Obamas.” This is a reference to John Podesta, former chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Democratic presidential campaign.
Taranto also told his followers on his YouTube live stream that he was looking for a “good angle to shoot,” according to prosecutors.
A federal defense attorney representing Taranto did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment. But in a request for release pending trial, the attorney wrote that Taranto was not a flight risk, had family in Washington state, and served in Iraq before being honorably discharged from the US Navy.
“Mr. Taranto has been available and within sight for two and a half years,” wrote attorney Kathryn D’Adamo Guevara.
According to the Justice Department sticky note, Tarento’s wife told investigators that this time he came to Washington because of an offer by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy earlier in the year to produce invisible video of the Jan. 6 attack. Taranto is already facing four misdemeanors in connection with the attack on the Capitol when prosecutors say he joined a swarm of rioters who broke into the building and made their way to the Speakers’ Lobby entrance outside the House Chamber .
Since then, prosecutors say Taranto has been active online, posting a Facebook video of himself in the Capitol that day and supporting a conspiracy theory that called for Taranto’s death Ashli Babbitt — who was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer as she began to climb through the broken portion of a door leading into the Speaker’s lobby — was fake.
The FBI had been monitoring Tarento’s online activities for his involvement in the riots and began searching for him last Wednesday after he claimed on his YouTube live stream that he was in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on a “unilateral mission” and had the intention to blow him up the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The next day, he continued his livestream from the Washington neighborhood where Obama lives — an area heavily monitored by US intelligence — and said he was looking for “entry points” and wanted to get a “good angle on a shot.” . according to the bond.
Officials said he was spotted by police forces a few blocks from the former president’s home and fled, despite being pursued by Secret Service officials.