WASHINGTON — The FBI arrested a Georgia man who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and then posted a video on social media bragging that rioters “took the White House,” the Justice Department said Wednesday.
William Frederick Beals II, a 52-year-old from Ringgold, Georgia, is charged with a felony count of knowingly making false statements, along with several misdemeanor offenses. Beals, photos show, wore a black helmet with a “F— ANTIFA” sticker on it when he stormed the Capitol. Photos show that Beals was at the front of the mob, climbing up scaffolding to get towards the building, and the FBI said he shouted expletives at police. Beals was arrested in Georgia last week, and made his initial appearance in Tennessee, according to the Justice Department.
“So we officially took the White House,” Beals said in a TikTok video after exiting the Capitol building on Jan. 6, the FBI affidavit stated.
Numerous other Jan. 6 rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, home to the legislative branch, also believed they stormed the White House, the seat of the executive branch. “Storm the White House!” said Doug Jensen, a QAnon believer sentenced to five years in prison. “That’s what we do!” Another man, a Florida doctor named Kenneth Kelly, said during his guilty plea it was “embarrassing” that he confused the Capitol for the White House. Far-right extremist Riley Williams also stated, falsely, that she was “STORMING THE WHITE HOUSE.”
The FBI said that Beals also bragged in a text message following the Capitol breach that he knew it would be “easy to get in.”
Beals entered the Capitol building at least twice and donned a gas mask the second time, joining a group that “physically overpowered” officers at the Senate wing door, the FBI said.
Beals previously spoke with the FBI in July 2021 and October 2021, according to the affidavit and denied entering the Capitol. During the second meeting, Beals said his “security clearance had been revoked,” according to an affidavit. (In June 2023, citing documents obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request, a journalist for Raw Story reported that the Tennessee Valley Authority banned Beals from the nuclear power facilities where he worked.)
Later, after moving to Georgia, he reportedly complained about losing his career as a union carpenter because of the Jan. 6 investigation.
While countless Jan. 6 participants have been accused in court documents of lying to the FBI about their actions, few have formally been charged with a felony charge for such conduct. The so-called “1001” charge, as it’s known in law enforcement circles, makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully lie to federal agents. A Justice Department database of Jan. 6 defendants indicates that the charge has only been brought against two other Capitol attack defendants.
About 1,100 people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack. The total scope of individuals who could face charges tops 3,000, and online “Sedition Hunters” have identified hundreds more Jan. 6 participants who have not yet been arrested. The statute of limitations for most of the crimes committed during the Capitol attack expires in January 2026.