According to the affidavit, Beals came to the Capitol dressed in fatigues, a leather vest, gloves and a helmet and was allegedly among the mob that broke through police lines on the Lower West Terrace. Once through the police line, Beals is accused of climbing up the scaffolding on the Capitol steps erected for the inauguration of President Joe Biden and making his way into the Capitol.
The affidavit claims Beals left the building after a few minutes and joined other rioters on steps outside the Capitol as police officers attempted to secure the breached door. About 20 minutes later, Beals allegedly pulled on a gas mask and reentered the building through the same door with a group of rioters who “physically overpowered” Capitol Police.
After a few more minutes, Beals allegedly left the building and recorded a TikTok video where he announced, erroneously, “We officially took the White House.”
Credit: U.S. Depart
Credit: U.S. Depart
Beals remained on the Capitol grounds for some time, posing for photographs, including one where he is sitting atop a police motorcycle. The affidavit claims he took another photograph holding a police shield outside of the restricted area. That photograph appears to be the basis for the theft charge.
Beals has been a suspect in the FBI investigation for more than two years and agents have interviewed him on several occasions, but Beals always denied entering the Capitol.
FBI investigators apparently learned of Beals’ alleged participation in the riot while investigating another suspect. According to the affidavit, the suspect’s cell phone contained a text exchange with Beals in which he allegedly discussed marching into the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“I knew it was easy to get in,” he allegedly wrote in the exchange.
According to the affidavit, Beals came to the FBI in October 2021 complaining that he had lost his security clearance to work as a contractor for the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federal agency that provides electric power for southern states through a series of dams and power plants.
“At this time, Beals was advised that it is a crime to lie to federal agents during the course of an investigation,” the FBI agent wrote in her affidavit. “Beals advised he understood.”
The agent wrote that Beals was shown photos of himself in the Capitol and Beals denied being there, claiming the photos were faked.
“I pointed out these tattoos in the photos that Beals has on his hand and neck,” the agent wrote. “Beals stated that many people had the same tattoos and continued to deny entering the Capitol Building.”
The online publication Raw Story called Beals in June after receiving TVA documents through an open records request. According to that story, Beals told the publication he worked as a contract carpenter in a TVA nuclear facility in Tennessee. Raw Story obtained a letter Beals wrote to TVA officials pleading to get his clearance back to he could resume working and again denied that the photographs were of him.
“I need to get this cleared up, please. I need to work,” he wrote in the letter.
Beals is the 26th Jan. 6 defendant with Georgia ties to be charged in the federal investigation.