HELENA – A Montana appliance store owner and supporter of former President Donald Trump faces federal felony charges for his alleged participation in the breach of the U.S. Capitol while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote.
Videos taken inside the Capitol and social media posts led to Monday’s arrest of Henry Phillip Muntzer, 52, of Dillon. He was booked into the Missoula County jail, according to jail records.
Charging documents filed on Jan. 13 and unsealed Thursday indicated the FBI found videos taken at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 that included images of Muntzer inside the building as members of Congress were evacuated from the House and Senate chambers.
Five people died, including a Capitol police officer who was beaten to death and a woman who was shot by law enforcement.
A video taken outside the building includes an interview with Muntzer, in which he said he was inside the Capitol for about an hour, the documents said.
Muntzer is known in Dillon for a mural on the building of his appliance store that supports Qanon, according to the Dillon Tribune, which first reported Muntzer’s arrest.
Many Qanon followers believe in a baseless, convoluted conspiracy theory in which Trump is the “savior” against Democrats running a satanic pedophile ring. Many also believed that thousands of deep state operatives and top Democrats would be rounded up and sent to Guantanamo Bay during an event called “The Storm.”
A Facebook post by Muntzer and cited in court documents included video taken from inside the U.S. Capitol and was entitled “Stormed the Capitol in Washington DC.”
In that post, court records said, Muntzer said people pushed through Capitol police and entered several chambers.
It added: “I did not see anyone get hurt other than tear gas and pepper spray and I got sprayed a lot. We sent the message that we are not going to take it, we want out country back…”
Congress confirmed the Electoral College vote and President Joe Biden was sworn in on Wednesday.
Before Jan. 6, Muntzer made several Facebook posts indicating his plans to travel to Washington D.C., rent a house and offer help for people to pay for their trip plus “floor space” in his rental for people unable to find lodging, court records said.
Muntzer also held peaceful demonstrations in Dillon in recent months to express support for Trump, the Tribune reported.
Muntzer is charged with illegally entering the Capitol and disorderly conduct.
Federal court documents do not yet say when he is expected to make an initial court appearance, or indicate if he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
The phone at his business, Dillon Appliances Inc., rang unanswered Thursday morning.
After returning from Washington, Muntzer told the Dillon Tribune he had been in the Capitol for an hour.
“So, we get inside there and we’re going, ‘Our house! Our house!’ you know, just kind of chanting it, and just walking around in these rooms and standing there,” Muntzer said.
After about 15 minutes inside the building, Muntzer told the newspaper that “they started spraying all of us and pushing on us, and we had no place to go because we were all packed in there like sardines.”
He added: “Then we start pushing back against them, then it would stop for a minute and it would start again.”
Muntzer’s Facebook account is no longer online.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.