FBI raids home of Knoxville man charged in Capitol riot

Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville man is facing federal charges after two witnesses reported to the FBI that he participated in the January 6 Capitol insurrection in Washington D. C., according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

Clifford James Meteer, 66, appeared in Knoxville federal court on Tuesday, August 10. FBI agents were seen raiding his home in North Knoxville.

Meteer is charged with the following:

  • Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority
  • Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building
  • Entering and Remaining on the Floor of Congress 
  • Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building

According to FBI documents and photos, Meteer is seen walking throughout the Capitol Building for around 30 minutes. In the video, Meteer can be seen carrying a two-sided sign with the words, “Stop the steal,” and “Save the republic,” on them.

Images from video recorded at the Capitol on Jan. 6 were used to identify Meteer in the crowd. In one image, the person identified by agents as Meteer is seen ascending the Upper West Terrace staircase by climbing the stone handrailing and entering the Capitol building through the Senate Wing door at 2:24 p.m. Eastern Time.

Along with those images, the FBI said in an affidavit that Meteer made a public Facebook comment on Jan. 5 in which he wrote, “I’ll be in DC on the 6th protesting the stolen election.” Meteer also allegedly messaged multiple people on Facebook about his involvement and plans to participate in the events at the Capitol, often ending his comments with a winky-face emoji.

Facebook messages between Meteer and a friend discussing the events on Jan. 6

In the criminal complaint, the FBI agent said Meteer sent several messages through private messaging on Facebook, saying ” I was in the capital ;)” and “I was one of those idiots scaling the wall ;)” along with photos the FBI say were taken at the Capitol building.

No bond was set. Meteer waived all preliminary readings and was released ahead of a hearing later this month in Washington D.C.

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