Federal prosecutors say Springfield man was on the Senate floor during Capitol breach
Thomas B. Adams Jr. is at least the sixth person from Illinois to face federal charges in connection with the riot.
A Springfield man who allegedly carried a “Trump” flag onto the floor of the U.S. Senate during January’s breach of the U.S. Capitol is the latest person from Illinois to face charges in connection with the riot that interrupted the Electoral College vote, court records show.
Thomas B. Adams Jr., 39, is charged with entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, as well as obstructing an official proceeding, according to records filed in federal court in Springfield.
Adams had an initial appearance Tuesday after his arrest, records show. Prosecutors did not seek his detention, but he couldn’t immediately be reached Wednesday. An attorney listed in court records declined to comment. The records show Adams has worked for a lawn care company in Springfield.
He is at least the sixth person from Illinois to face federal charges in connection with the riot. The charges against him were filed April 2 in federal court in Washington, D.C., records show.
An FBI special agent explained in a court affidavit that authorities first noticed Adams because of an interview he gave to the publication Insider following the riot. The article said Adams trampled over police barricades, made his way into the Capitol, and eventually reached the Senate chamber after lawmakers had been evacuated, according to the affidavit.
The article also quoted Adams as saying, “It was a really fun time,” and it said he described the scene as “hilarious.”
But only one day after the riot — on Jan. 7 —the FBI was already driving by Adams’ home in Springfield as part of its investigation, records show. An agent then interviewed Adams on Feb. 4, according to the affidavit.
During that interview, Adams allegedly admitted to being on the floor of the Senate on Jan. 6. He allegedly said the door to the Capitol was open, and he didn’t realize things were not peaceful until he and a friend walked over broken glass.
Adams called the Capitol a public-access building and allegedly said he thought to himself, “What are they going to do if a half a million people are here and standing inside of a building and want to be heard?” The affidavit indicates he spoke with the agent about groups such as the Proud Boys, the Not F---ing Around Coalition and Antifa.
The feds say Adams admitted recording videos of himself and a friend inside the Capitol building. He also allegedly took additional photos and videos, and the feds included examples of them in the affidavit. Adams said he entered the building from the back door, where people had breached with window washing equipment, it said. He said they were forced out a side door.
Adams told the agent the worst thing he did while inside the Capitol was try to find his friend’s glasses on the ground as they were being pushed out the door, according to the feds. He claimed an officer had grabbed his friend’s glasses and ripped them off his face in an attempt to mace him.
Meanwhile, Adams allegedly said he heard people yelling “Let’s take the White House,” “let’s storm this place and show them they can’t make us leave,” and “They can’t arrest us all.”
Adams also confirmed to an FBI agent that he was the person in a photograph holding a Trump flag on the Senate floor.
Adams told the agent he thought some people in the building that day had an agenda, while other innocent people got caught up in the riot.He also allegedly said he didn’t think everyone there should be in trouble because not everyone did things that were wrong — some just felt they were peacefully entering a building.