As part of the investigations into hundreds of people who invaded and vandalized the United States Congress, Samuel Camargo, 26, has been indicted by the FBI (American Federal Police) for having been implicated in acts of insurgency initiated by Donald Trump.
Son of Brazilians, Camargo was born in Boston, Massachusetts and now lives in Fort Myers, Florida. According to relatives heard by Folha, he is a supporter of the Republican leader and participated in rallies in Washington and in acts against the Capitol to “defend what he believes in”.
According to one person who chose not to be identified, they are not a terrorist, have no weapons or would risk smearing their criminal record. In the FBI’s opinion, however, Camargo committed at least four crimes during the protests.
According to the federal agency’s complaint, Camargo will be responsible for obstructing the work of security force agents; to enter a restricted area without permission to do so; for knowingly committing physical violence against people or property in restricted areas; and for using disorderly or disturbing conduct to interrupt a session of Congress – in this case, certifying the victory of US President-elect Joe Biden.
How authorities managed to identify Camargo as one of the Capitol invaders exemplifies one of the FBI’s main investigative strategies to hold those involved in the attack on Congress criminally accountable: complaints through d ‘images published in the press and on social networks.
“If you have witnessed illegal violent acts or know someone who participated in these illegal acts, we recommend that you submit any information, photo or video that may be relevant,” the federal agency explains on a page created exclusively for the investigation of the acts in Washington.
More than 140,000 people have sent information to the FBI to identify participants in the attack on Congress and, according to the US Department of Justice, most of the complaints have been filed by friends and family of the invaders. At least 200 people have been arrested and, according to a George Washington University investigation, 80 are charged with federal crimes.
In the case of Camargo, the first complaint was filed on the same day as the invasion. A witness sent a post to the FBI in which he showed, through the “stories” tool of his Instagram profile, a “piece of metal from an unknown structure in the Capitol building” – according to Camargo, an object that ‘he himself took to take away memory.
The next day, more Camargo posts were sent to federal agents. In the footage, he appears at several rallies throughout the day in Washington. Then the videos show him climbing the steps of the Capitol next to a crowd. Finally, Camargo appears with other people trying to force entry into the building through the door that was protected by security guards.
The FBI complaint also features a reproduction of a Facebook post in which Camargo apologizes to family, friends, and the entire American people for his “actions on Capitol Hill” hours after the invasion.
“I was involved in the events that took place earlier today. I will be leaving social media in the near future and will cooperate with any inquiries that may arise from my involvement. I apologize to all the people I disappointed, because it’s not who I am or what I represent, ”he wrote.
Behind the scenes, however, Camargo isn’t sorry for what he did, according to what the report found. A close person heard by Folha said posting everything on social media is silly and even if he is arrested he will maintain the idea that he fought for what he believed in.
FBI Special Agent Michael Attard, who signs the complaint, says in the document that he spoke to Camargo by phone. According to Attard, the young man was unwilling to cooperate with the investigations, told the agent he had no information to provide and questioned his loyalty to the US Constitution.
A few hours later, Camargo posted a new post on Facebook. “I just spoke to an FBI agent. I believe I was cleared,” he wrote, showing a misperception of the case itself.
Folha contacted Camargo, but got no response until this report was released.