Federal authorities have charged an Illinois couple who posed for a photograph inside the U.S. Capitol decked out in Trump 2020 attire during the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.
According to a federal criminal complaint, Christina Gerding, 46, and Jason Gerding, 50, of Quincy in western Illinois were arrested Thursday on charges of unlawful entry, disorderly or disruptive conduct on any restricted building or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
In the 11-page complaint, an FBI agent details a raft of evidence linking the couple to the insurrection, much of it provided by the couple themselves on social media.
One photograph posted to Jason Gerding's Twitter account and retweeted widely shows the couple inside the Rotunda in front of a painting of the Declaration of Independence with a caption reading, “Quincy Made it Inside.”
The complaint also includes a photograph from Jan. 6 of a bust of George Washington wearing a red baseball hat with “Trump” emblazoned on the front that was posted on Gerding's Facebook and Twitter account.
The two are at least the fourth and fifth Illinois residents to be arrested for taking part in the assault by a violent mob of pro-Trump supporters.
But they may be the first in which federal authorities have made a direct link between the two and QAnon, a network of adherents to a conspiracy theory centered on the baseless belief that Trump is waging a secret campaign against “deep state” enemies and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.
In the complaint, the FBI included a post from Jason Gerding's Twitter account from December in which he says he has booked a flight to Washington, D.C., for the pro-Trump rally that preceded the attack and asks “Anons” if they know of a good place to stay.
The complaint also includes another post on Jason Gerding's Twitter, from Dec. 18, that includes an image of former President Abraham Lincoln and the quote, "We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
The Associated Press called a phone number listed for Jason and Christina Gerding in Quincy, but that number was disconnected.