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Right-wing social media influencer charged for role in January 6 riots

A 24-year-old conservative social media influencer was arrested and charged with several misdemeanours related to her alleged involvement in the January 6 attack on the Capitol, including allegedly stealing a table and passing it off to other rioters to fight back against police.

The influencer, Isabella DeLuca, was arrested in Irvine, California, on Monday and charged with theft of government property and entering a restricted building, among other charges.

According to an affidavit, federal law enforcement officials were made aware that Ms DeLuca was at the Capitol on January 6 approximately three days after the riot. Ms DeLuca told followers on X and Instagram that she was going to the Capitol and live-streamed parts of the riot on her platform.

Isabella DeLuca appears outside the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill on 26 October 2020 (AP)
Isabella DeLuca appears outside the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill on 26 October 2020 (AP)

Ms DeLuca has over 335,000 followers on X and 125,000 followers on Instagram.

When initially interviewed, Ms DeLuca told investigators she was at the Capitol but denied entering the building.

However, federal investigators allege Ms DeLuca can be seen entering the Capitol through a broken window on the Lower West Terrace and removing a table to pass to rioters outside of another window, in footage taken at the Capitol that day.

That table was allegedly used by rioters to assault law enforcement officers guarding the lower west tunnel.

Through a search warrant, federal investigators uncovered messages Ms DeLuca exchanged with acquaintances on Instagram in which she described the scene as “insanity”, claiming she was maced and experienced a sound bomb.

On 7 January, Ms DeLuca responded to a message from an Instagram user asking why she supported breaking into the Capitol saying, “According to the Constitution it’s our house.”

About a week later, Ms DeLuca posted a message on her social media pages saying she had “mixed feelings” about being at the Capitol on 6 January. She said she believed the election was stolen and went to the Capitol because “that’s where we go to take our grievances” and it was “allowed”.

Up until Monday, Ms DeLuca was an unpaid volunteer with the Gold Institute for International Strategy, a nonprofit think tank that focuses on issues of national security. Following her charges, the institute severed ties with her, according to The New York Times. They said they were unaware she was facing criminal charges.

Prior to her role there, Ms DeLuca was an ambassador for Turning Point USA and interned for former New York representative Lee Zeldin and Arizona representative Paul Gosar.

Ms DeLuca did not immediately respond to comment requests but posted on her X account thanking the public for “all the kind messages and the support”. She also linked to an online fundraiser seemingly aimed at raising money for her legal defence fund.

More than 1,300 people have been charged with crimes in connection to the Capitol riot.

The Independent has reached out to Ms DeLuca’s attorney for comment.