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Conservative social media influencer charged for her role in Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol

Video of noose, gallows before Jan. 6 attack
Video shows people suspected of erecting noose, gallows before Jan. 6 attack 04:45

A conservative social media influencer has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol and passing a stolen table out of a broken window, allowing other rioters to use it as a weapon against police, according to court records unsealed on Monday.

Isabella Maria DeLuca was arrested last Friday in Irvine, California, on misdemeanor charges, including theft of government property, disorderly conduct and entering a restricted area.

DeLuca, who has about 335,000 followers on the platform formerly known as Twitter, is a former congressional intern who works as a media associate for The Gold Institute for International Strategy. DeLuca's profile on the institute's website says she served as an ambassador for the conservative youth organization Turning Point USA.

DeLuca, who also has more than 125,000 followers on Instagram, also interned for former U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, both of whom are Republicans who have supported former President Donald Trump.

Capitol Riot Influencer Arrested
Isabella DeLuca, of Long Island, N.Y., appears outside the Supreme Court, Oct. 26, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington.  Jacquelyn Martin / AP

DeLuca, 24, of Setauket, New York, didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment. Online court records don't list an attorney representing her. A spokesperson for the Gold Institute for International Strategy said it learned Monday that DeLuca - who was hired in an unpaid position to update the organization's social media presence - was facing criminal charges and said, "following further internal investigation, we felt it necessary to sever our relationship."

On January 5, 2021, DeLuca's Amtrak train broke down near Baltimore, and, according to court records, she messaged others on Instagram, "My train isn't working" and "I need a ride to dc."

An image of the Instagram post was included in the affidavit, which noted she later got a ride to her hotel in Alexandria, Virginia.

  Isabella Maria DeLuca  Department of Justice

During the Jan. 6 riot, DeLuca replied to a Twitter post by writing, "Fight back or let politicians steal and election? Fight back!"

Videos captured her entering a suite of conference rooms inside the Capitol through a broken window on the Lower West Terrace. She passed a table out of the window and then climbed back outside through the same window. A table that another rioter threw at police resembled the one that DeLuca passed out the window, according to an FBI agent's affidavit, which included more than a dozen images showing DeLuca at the Capitol.

DeLuca posted about the riot for days after the Jan. 6 attack. When an Instagram user asked her why she supported breaking into the Capitol, she responded, "According to the constitution it's our house."

Several days later, she posted on social media that she was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and had "mixed feelings."

"People went to the Capitol building because that's Our House and that's where we go to take our grievances. People feel, as do I that an election was stolen from them and it was allowed," she wrote.

When the FBI questioned her roughly two weeks after the Capitol attack, DeLuca denied entering the building on Jan. 6, the agent's affidavit says.

DeLuca also acknowledged deleting Instagram posts from her profile in the immediate aftermath of January 6, the affidavit says. "Based on my knowledge, training, and experience, people who commit criminal acts will often delete information about those acts from social media accounts in an attempt to thwart any subsequent criminal investigation," the agent wrote.

Isabella Maria DeLuca on Jan. 6, 2021.  Department of Justice

More than 1,300 people have been charged with Capitol riot-related crimes. Over 800 of them have been sentenced, with roughly two-thirds getting a term of imprisonment ranging from a few days to 22 years.

Video recently obtained by CBS News shows a group of people who erected the infamous gallows and noose on the west front of the Capitol before the siege. A CBS News review of the charging documents in the approximately 1,300 Jan. 6 federal criminal cases filed by the Justice Department showed no case in which a defendant is accused of playing a role in the gallows construction.    

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