Mark Ibrahim went on Fox News in March and claimed he had traveled cross-country to the Capitol on January 6 because a “friend I served in Iraq with asked me to help him get there for documentation purposes and we were just spectators.” Ibrahim went on to say that he had videotaped the commotion “so those criminals could face justice,” and that he had never set foot on the stairs of the Capitol.
His story became a cause celebre in right-wing circles, with some conservative figures condemning his supposed firing as unjust and some conspiracy websites urging readers to donate to his cause.
But prosecutors told a different story in court documents unsealed on Tuesday.
According to prosecutors, Ibrahim had informed the DEA weeks before the riot that he intended to resign. Ibrahim took personal leave from work, according to court documents, and traveled from California to Washington for January 6.
On the day of the riot, prosecutors say, Ibrahim went to the Capitol with a friend from his military service, and his brother, who Ibrahim has said is an FBI special agent. Ibrahim allegedly posed for pictures as he made his way across the Capitol grounds, flashing his DEA badge and gun holstered at his hip.
Prosecutors say he sent at least four videos to a group message with other members of law enforcement, one of which showed Ashli Babbitt — the 35-year-old Air Force veteran and fervent Donald Trump supporter who was fatally shot that day — steps away as she was rushed to an ambulance.
Ibrahim was interviewed by the FBI one week before he appeared on Fox News. According to court filings, Ibrahim admitted he had been at the Capitol with his DEA credentials and firearm but denied showing anyone the badge or gun. He also allegedly delivered the same story he told Tucker Carlson — that he had gone to the Capitol to assist his friend who had been asked by the FBI to document the riot.
But court documents say Ibrahim’s friend told investigators he had no directions from the FBI and that Ibrahim was trying to “cover his ass.” The friend said Ibrahim was planning his next career move after quitting the DEA and wanted use the rally to launch a political podcast and cigar brand.
He has not yet entered a plea in the case.
Ibrahim’s lawyer has previously said he was at the Capitol to enjoy “an important day in history” and that “Mr. Ibrahim was not part of, affiliated with nor participatory in any trespass or violent acts and vehemently denounces them.”
More than 540 people have been charged by the Justice Department in the attack on the Capitol.