Metro Atlanta contractor latest arrested in Jan. 6 probe

Matthew Jay Webler, a 42-year-old contractor from Decatur, was arrested in December on four misdemeanor counts related to his alleged participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Authorities provided this photo taken from a security camera inside the U.S. Capitol. (Photo: U.S. Department of Justice)
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Matthew Jay Webler, a 42-year-old contractor from Decatur, was arrested in December on four misdemeanor counts related to his alleged participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Authorities provided this photo taken from a security camera inside the U.S. Capitol. (Photo: U.S. Department of Justice)

In a video taken from inside the U.S. Capitol, metro Atlanta contractor Matthew Jay Webler declared Jan. 6, 2021, his best birthday ever. Now he faces charges for his alleged role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol that day.

The FBI arrested Webler last month, charging him with multiple misdemeanors related to the riot and making him the 17th Georgian charged in the expansive investigation.

According to court records, Webler, who turns 43 Thursday, was recorded by multiple security cameras at various points inside the Capitol. He was easy to spot. Court records include photos showing Webler inside the Capitol wearing a bright yellow jacket and a QAnon flag as a cape.

And, like so many of the more than 725 people so far arrested in the riot, Webler posted about his exploits on social media and defended his actions. According to court documents, a voice believed to be Webler can be heard in a selfie video taken inside the Capitol saying, “It’s my birthday, and it’s the best one ever.”

Webler allegedly posted the video to Facebook on Jan. 8. It was one of several posts authorities claim Webler posted documenting his participation in the riot.

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A photo of metro Atlanta resident Matthew Jay Webler taken from an FBI affidavit.

A photo of metro Atlanta resident Matthew Jay Webler taken from an FBI affidavit.
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A photo of metro Atlanta resident Matthew Jay Webler taken from an FBI affidavit.

“Biden called Jan 6 the worst domestic terror attack in our history. Here’s some of my footage,” Webler posted to Facebook on April 28 after dozens of Capitol insurgents had already been arrested. “Can you find the terror?”

On Facebook, Webler allegedly wrote Capitol Police were “just chilling.” Federal officials claim Webler wrote that police officers were unconcerned with his presence and helped him find the exit when he got “bored.”

According to the Justice Department, 140 police officers were assaulted during the Capitol attack and more than 75 defendants have been charged with using a dangerous or deadly weapon or causing serious injury to an officer during the attack.

In the same post, authorities claim Webler wrote he was “proud of myself for not getting caught up to (sic) much” and that he stopped a would-be vandal.

“Missed the guy taking ‘souvenirs’ though,” the post reads. Justice officials say more than 45 defendants have been charged with destruction of government property and 35 have been charged with theft.

Webler has a criminal history and had two prison terms in Georgia totaling more than six years for burglary, aggravated assault and auto theft and other charges. He was most recently in prison in 2005, according to Georgia Department of Corrections records. Webler did not respond to emails seeking comment for this story.

Webler was arrested in Decatur on Dec. 2. His LinkedIn profile and corporate records on file with the Secretary of State indicate he is a home contractor.

According to a Justice Department affidavit in the case, the FBI tracked Webler’s travel from Georgia to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5 from gas station transactions made from his credit union account and traced Webler’s foray through the Capitol using GPS data from his mobile phone subpoenaed from Google.

Webler was apparently deeply caught up in baseless conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 presidential election. Shortly before going to Washington, D.C., Webler gave an interview to NTD News saying he staked out government offices looking for evidence of voter fraud.

“I have been involved with helping Lin Wood and Sidney Powell try find all the information that we can,” Webler said in the video published Dec. 28, 2020.

Webler said he conducted overnight surveillance on what he described as a “official election warehouse.”

He faces four misdemeanor charges related to the Capitol attack, each of which could carry up to a year in prison. Most defendants who have so far pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts have been sentenced to a handful of months, although some have received longer prison terms.

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