One of the “white whales” from the Jan. 6 Capitol siege has finally been apprehended, and it’s partially thanks to his Instagram feed. Logan Barnhart, a former body builder who was allegedly photographed assaulting a police officer, was arrested by the FBI seven months after the failed but deadly coup, according to HuffPost. One of the most sought of the day’s perpetrators, he was known among the “Sedition Hunters” community by the colorful nickname “CatSweat.” (More on that in a second.)
Barnhart had eluded law enforcement for over half a year, in part because his face was partially obscured by sunglasses. But online hunters were able to track down video of him before the riot without the eyewear but still wearing a grey hoodie bearing the name “Caterpillar,” the name of the construction equipment manufacturer. (HuffPost claims they ID’d him earlier, thanks to citizen sleuths, but held back going public with it due to his history of violent behavior, including rioting charges as a teenager.)
Turns out Barnhart’s face got around:
That image of Barnhart’s face, plugged into a publicly available facial recognition website, pulled up several other images of Barnhart that are plastered across the internet on bodybuilding websites and photography portfolios. Photos of a shirtless Barnhart even graced the cover of romance novels with names like “Stepbrother UnSEALed: A Bad Boy Military Romance” and “Lighter,” which included the slogan “wrong never felt so right.”
But what “sealed the deal,” said HuffPost, was Barnhart’s Instagram account. Billing himself as a “Pipe Layer\heavy machine operator,” he was prone to posting right-wing memes alongside “shirtless thirst traps.” In one post, from July 2019, he wore the same American flag hat he would later wear to the Capitol. In another image, from August 2020, he wore the same Caterpillar hoodie.
Barnhart is allegedly one of a number of Trump supporters photographed assaulting a D.C. metro police officer, whom they dragged down a set of stairs on the Western side of the building. His alleged participation in the failed insurgence didn’t inspire him to cool it on far right social media posts:
After participating in the attack on the Capitol, Barnhart continued to post right-wing material on Instagram that dismissed the threat of COVID-19. He posted a video of himself inside a Walmart (where he said he was the only person not wearing a mask) as well as memes about LeBron James and rants about Black Lives Matter.
In another of his posts, from February, Barnhart sarcastically joked about the “amazing FBI doing some fine investigative work.”