Many tipsters described watching someone they knew or loved develop increasingly extreme beliefs in the time leading up to the riot, with some even messaging the person on January 6 to debate the beliefs that led them to the Capitol.
Richard Michetti messaged with his ex-girlfriend throughout the siege, texting her when he arrived in D.C. and sending videos of rioters yelling inside the building. Throughout the day, he tried to explain to her why he was there. “Gotta stop the vote,” he said, telling her he believed Donald Trump had won the election.
“I understand your point,” he said to her, “but what I’m saying is [ex’s name] the election was rigged and everyone knows it.” In another message, he wrote, “If you can’t see the election was stolen you’re a moron.”