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Conspiracy theory podcaster charged with stealing congressional papers during Capitol riot

Mitchell Paul Vukich, of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, was arrested last week on five counts in connection with January 6.

WASHINGTON — A conspiracy theory podcaster who the Justice Department says wore a “Trump Punisher” shirt to the Capitol riot was arrested last week on multiple charges in connection with January 6, including theft of government records.

Mitchell Paul Vukich, of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, was taken into custody on June 23 along with another man, Nicholas J. Perretta, of Baden, Pennsylvania. In court documents unsealed Monday, the Justice Department said Vukich and Perretta were photographed walking through the U.S. Capitol building together while a pro-Trump mob was storming the building.

According to a statement of facts, the FBI received seven tips about Vukich’s possible involvement in the Capitol riot, including screenshots from his Twitter account bragging that he was “one of the first 15 people in the #Capitol.”

Investigators said a search warrant then showed a mobile device associated with Vukich’s Gmail account was present inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Court documents include multiple surveillance images of a man identified as Vukich walking through the halls of the Capitol, including one shot in which he appears to be holding paperwork. In an interview with the FBI at the Las Vegas Airport, Vukich allegedly admitting to being in the Capitol and to taking congressional paperwork.

Vukich co-hosts a conspiracy-oriented podcast called “Down the Rabbit Hole with Mitch Vuk.” The show’s Apple Podcasts page lists recent episodes dealing with a “Global Satanic Cult,” “Roswell and other Shadow Government Coverups” and the “Rothschild Takeover” – an apparent reference to an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about the Jewish Rothschild family.

Another Pennsylvania resident, Sandra S. Weyer, of Mechanicsburg, was also charged separately last week in connection with the Capitol riot.

According to court documents filed in her case, Weyer allegedly filmed and encouraged an assault on a New York Times photographer by members of the pro-Trump mob inside the Capitol building.

Vukich faces five charges in connection with the riot, including entering a restricted building without lawful authority, theft of government property and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. As of Tuesday afternoon he had not made an initial appearance before a judge in the case.

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