Chicago man allegedly told feds ‘Wow you are pretty good’ when shown his picture of Pelosi sign from US Capitol
Kevin James Lyons is the second known person from Illinois to face federal charges as a result of last week’s U.S. Capitol breach.
When FBI agents first asked Kevin J. Lyons whether he had entered the U.S. Capitol during last week’s breach, they say he didn’t give a direct answer.
Then they showed him a photo briefly posted to his Instagram account of a sign that read, “Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.”
“Wow you are pretty good,” Lyons, of Chicago, allegedly replied. “That was up for only an hour.”
Now Lyons, 40, has become the second known person from Illinois to face federal charges in connection with last week’s riots at the Capitol. Though charged in federal court in Washington, D.C., Lyons was arrested in Chicago Wednesday and participated in a virtual court hearing with a federal magistrate here.
Court records show Lyons was separately charged in July 2014 with obstructing a Chicago police officer, though the specifics of the incident were not immediately known. That case against Lyons was stricken three weeks after he was charged.
Federal prosecutors did not seek Lyons’ detention in the Capitol case Wednesday, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Fuentes ordered him to have no contact with anyone who participated in the Capitol breach or who is planning to further disrupt the U.S. House or Senate.
Though the photo of Pelosi’s sign was allegedly removed from Lyons’ Instagram page, another appears to show the route he planned to drive from Chicago to Washington. A post beside it reads, “I refuse to tell my children that I sat back and did nothing. I’m heading to DC to STOP THE STEAL! #MAGA #KAG.”
Another appears to show a ballot filled out for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. A post beside it reads “Back to back, Baby!!”
When interviewed by the FBI on Friday, Lyons acted “evasive” about whether he entered the Capitol, according to a 12-page criminal complaint. He allegedly said he “100% guaranteed, without incriminating” himself, that he saw nothing being damaged.
Then, he made a comment about a dream in which he saw banging on doors, paper being thrown about, and a mob of people, according to the complaint. He said the people didn’t have much of a choice of where they were going because of the mob. He also allegedly said that, if he had been inside, it was for about 45 minutes.
That’s when agents said they showed him the photo of Pelosi’s sign from his Instagram account. He allegedly said he couldn’t guarantee that he posted it. However, he then showed agents the same photo on his phone, according to the complaint.
Lyons also allegedly provided video to agents, uploading them to YouTube and sharing the links in an email that began, “Hello Nice FBI Lady, Here are the links to the videos. Looks like Podium Guy is in one of them, less the podium. Let me know if you need anything else. Kevin Lyons.”
The feds say Lyons did admit traveling from Chicago to Washington for a Trump rally. He allegedly said he took an Uber to the Washington Monument and tried to wear a Kevlar vest but was unable to fit it over his sweatshirt.
Lyons also claimed he became caught up in a crowd of people who pushed toward the Capitol and there was little he could do to escape because he weighs only 140 pounds. He also denied entering the Capitol through a window.
Once inside, Lyons allegedly said he did not go to the House chamber because he didn’t know where to find it. But he allegedly said he did enter the “big boss” office — a reference to Pelosi’s office. He allegedly said 20 to 30 people were inside, and he saw a broken mirror. He also said that a Capitol Police officer entered with a pistol drawn. Lyons allegedly said he left when that officer told him to do so.
Once he exited the Capitol, Lyons said he went directly to his vehicle and left Washington.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.Lyons complaint (DCD).pdf