When former President Donald Trump sent a tweet early this year promoting Jan. 6 as a â€œHistoric day,â€ a conspiracy-minded former bodybuilder from Michigan let the president know he had his back.
â€œIâ€™ll be there,â€ Logan Barnhart replied to @realDonaldTrump on Twitter.
Now, seven months after the man online sleuths dubbed #CatSweat was photographed dragging a police officer down a set of stairs during the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Michigan man has been arrested by the FBI. An official confirmed the arrest to HuffPost Tuesday morning.
Barnhart, whom the FBI referred to as Capitol suspect 128-AFO because he was wanted for assaulting federal officers, was a major target for the â€œSedition Huntersâ€ community, which had given him the nickname â€œCatSweatâ€ because he was wearing a sweatshirt branded with the name of Caterpillar, the construction equipment manufacturer. (Barnhart worked as a machine operator for Barnhart & Son Inc., which is owned by his father.)
HuffPost positively identified Barnhart before his arrest based on the work of citizen sleuths months ago, but held off on publishing his name based on his violent history (which included rioting charges when he was a teenager) and because the FBI was working on the case.
A tipping point in the investigation came when the Sedition Hunters uncovered video of Barnhart during the Trump rally at the White House Ellipse prior to the attack that showed him without sunglasses.
That image of Barnhartâ€™s face, plugged into a publicly available facial recognition website, pulled up several other images of Barnhart that are plastered across the internet on bodybuilding websites and photography portfolios. Photos of a shirtless Barnhart even graced the cover of romance novels with names like â€œStepbrother UnSEALed: A Bad Boy Military Romanceâ€ and â€œLighter,â€ which included the slogan â€œwrong never felt so right.â€
Yet it was Barnhartâ€™s Instagram account â€• where he described himself as a â€œPipe Layerheavy machine operatorâ€ and posted right-wing memes alongside shirtless thirst traps â€• that sealed the deal.Â In July 2019, Barnhart posted an image of himself wearing the same American flag hat heâ€™d later wear to the Capitol. And in August 2020, he posted a video of himself at work in a Caterpillar-branded sweatshirt.
Barnhart was a â€œwhite whaleâ€ for members of the Sedition Hunters community, which sprung to life after Jan. 6. An image from that day shows a man in a hooded â€œCATâ€ sweatshirt grabbing onto a D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officer whom he and others are dragging down a set of stairs outside a tunnel on the western side of the U.S. Capitol.
Several defendants have been arrested in connection with that attack, including Jack Wade Whitton, who was positioned next to Barnhart and had his hand on the back of the officerâ€™s neck. (Whitton has been indicted alongside Jeffrey Sabol, Peter Stager, Michael Lopatic, Clayton Mullins.)
Federal prosecutors said suspects including Whitton and Sabol dragged the officer â€• identified by the initials â€œB.M.â€ â€• down the stairs and into the crowd, where Peter Stager used an American flag on a pole to beat him.
â€œWhen asked about the assault, B.M. remembered having his baton grabbed and he was pulled into the crowd,â€ prosecutors wrote in a court filing arguing for Whittonâ€™s pretrial detention. â€œOnce in the crowd, B.M. recalled being struck in the helmet multiple times with objects. B.M. advised that he believed the crowd attempted to take him as deep into the crowd as possible.â€
After participating in the attack on the Capitol, Barnhart continued to post right-wing material on Instagram that dismissed the threat of COVID-19. He posted a video of himself inside a Walmart (where he said he was the only person not wearing a mask) as well as memes about LeBron James and rants about Black Lives Matter.
In February, about a month after taking part in the attack, Barnhart sarcastically mocked the â€œamazing FBI doing some fine investigative work,â€ citing a Capitol image that was doctored to include a memeÂ that was included in an FBI affidavit.
â€œLike Iâ€™ve said multiple times. Everything youâ€™re being told about this is a lie and it will be revealed,â€ Barnhart wrote on Feb. 5. â€œSorry but what really happened at the [Capitol] is being hidden from you.â€
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