Feds: West Virginia woman thought Capitol raid ‘was cool’

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A woman took a “Members Only” sign near the Senate chambers as she accompanied supporters of President Trump in illegally storming the U.S. Capitol, according to federal court documents.

Gracyn Dawn Courtright, 23, was charged in a criminal complaint with theft of government property under $1,000, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and knowingly engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct in any restricted building or grounds.

The FBI filed an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint and arrest warrant Saturday in federal court for the District of Columbia.

No hearing date for Courtright was immediately set. It was not immediately known whether she has an attorney who could comment on the charges.

According to the affidavit, a witness saw a video of Courtright in the halls of the Capitol and messaged her on Instagram asking if she was there. The witness provided a screenshot of the messages to the FBI.

Courtright admitted she went in, prompting the witness to express embarrassment, according to the FBI.

Courtright allegedly said, “I’m not embarrassed so you shouldn’t be,” bragged that the event was making “history” and said she thought “it was cool.”

When the witness accused her of treason, Courtright said she did not know what treason was, according to the affidavit. Before Courtright deleted her Instagram account, she wrote, “Infamy is just as good as fame. Either way I end up more known. XOXO.”

The affidavit said photos of a woman seen at the Capitol on Jan. 6 are similar to the physical features of Courtright’s driver’s license and her Instagram account. The FBI said she was wearing a black coat and a hat with a yellow band at the Capitol.

A woman whose clothes and physical features matched those of Courtright was seen on a video near the Senate chamber carrying a “Members Only” sign before a law enforcement officer confiscated it.

A newspaper photo also appeared to place Courtright in a crowd that initially clashed with police in the halls of the Capitol, the FBI said.

The affidavit said Courtright is a senior at the University of Kentucky. According to the university, she is from Hurricane, West Virginia, and is majoring in mathematical economics.


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