Plumber turned political candidate busted in Capitol riot

Jul 28, 2021, 2:03 PM | Updated: 3:33 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City plumber who’s moonlighted as a fringe political candidate is in hot water for allegedly storming the U.S. Capitol during January’s insurrection, boasting about it on social media and then trying to cover his tracks.

Daniel Christmann, a 38-year-old who screamed at the city’s current Republican mayoral nominee during a debate two years ago, was arrested Wednesday at his Brooklyn home after the FBI was alerted to videos on his Instagram feed showing rioters inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, prosecutors said.

Christmann was seen on security camera footage climbing through a Capitol window and later acknowledged he was there when someone on Instagram asked if he had “stormed the capitol,” prosecutors said.

“Yeah im not going to lie,” Christmann said in his Jan. 7 reply, according to prosecutors, later bragging that he had “scaled a wall on a garden hose.”

Christmann, charged with disorderly and disruptive conduct inside the Capitol, was released on his own recognizance after an initial court appearance Wednesday in Brooklyn. He did not enter a plea. Another court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 10.

Christmann’s case will be prosecuted in Washington, D.C. Under the terms of his release, he’s only allowed to visit Washington for legal proceedings and is banned from leaving the U.S. or going inside any state capitols.

Christmann’s lawyer declined comment.

About 550 people have been charged with federal crimes after supporters of former President Donald Trump violently broke into the Capitol to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory. The uprising led to Trump’s second impeachment and the start of congressional hearings Tuesday.

In addition to security footage, Christmann was also seen in the background of video footage showing throngs of people outside the Capitol, prosecutors said.

Christmann, a plumber and union pipefitter by trade, ran as a third-party candidate against State Senator Julia Salazar last November and lost by more than 90,000 votes. Christmann, running under the flag of his self-founded New Moderate Party, tallied just 2,235 votes — or 2.3% of votes cast.

About two weeks after the Jan. 6 riot, after two people he knew had been arrested for their alleged involvement, Christmann sent a Facebook message asking someone to delete his videos, prosecutors said.

“Its go time on the end of times,” he wrote in the Jan. 18 message, according to prosecutors.

The Instagram account where the FBI said Christmann posted videos from the Capitol riot bears the handle, “dannyforsenate,” prosecutors said.

Christmann also advertised himself on social media as a candidate for city council and on LinkedIn lists among his jobs a stint as a Journeyman Steamfitter and a failed effort to become New York City’s Public Advocate.

A Queens newspaper, the Rockaway Wave, described Christmann during his campaign for public advocate as a “MAGA Libertarian” — a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. The newspaper reported Christmann tore into opponent Curtis Sliwa — now the Republican nominee for mayor — at a debate in January 2019 over his proposal to eliminate the public advocate post.

In a candidate questionnaire during his state senate run last year, Christmann described himself as a “hardworking, Blue-Collar, lifelong New Yorker” and a “no nonsense humanist” who wanted “what is best for the little guy.”

On LinkedIn, referring to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Christmann described himself as: “NYC’s real working man, needs to hold Cuomo’s feet to the fire!”

In the questionnaire, Christmann listed Malcolm X as “by far my favorite activist” and said Wolverine, the X-Men character played in the movies by Hugh Jackman, was the fictional character he’d most want to be.

Christmann wrote that he supported free markets but that when left unchecked “they become so oppressive that even Communism becomes appealing.”

He suggested a tax on technology to pay for healthcare, said he wanted to build up small businesses and floated a plan to overhaul the city’s public housing to included a path to ownership for residents.

“My goal is to help the people and eliminate the areas of our current model that exploit us and make housing inequitable,” Christmann wrote.


Follow Michael Sisak on Twitter at

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

US to require more rest between shifts for flight attendants

Airlines will be required to give flight attendants at least 10 hours off duty between shifts, one more hour than currently, under a rule announced Tuesday by the Federal Aviation Administration. Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said that the extra hour of rest would contribute to safety. Congress directed the FAA in 2018 to increase […]
8 hours ago
Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom President Petro Kotin speaks during an interview with Th...
Associated Press

The AP Interview: Ukraine aims to restart occupied reactors

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine is considering restarting Europe’s largest nuclear plant, which is occupied by Russian troops, to ensure its safety just weeks after fears of a radiation disaster prompted its shutdown, the facility operator’s head said Tuesday. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has emerged as one of the most worrying flashpoints in Russia’s […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Florida deputy, one of department’s youngest, fatally shot

POLK CITY, Fla. (AP) — A 21-year deputy was fatally shot Tuesday while serving a warrant in central Florida, authorities said. The deputy was shot after entering a trailer in the early morning with three other deputies to serve a warrant on a suspect wanted for failing to appear on a felony drug charge, said […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, attends the opening of the Tesla factory Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenhe...
Associated Press

Musk’s plan to end Russian war infuriates Ukraine on Twitter

Elon Musk has gotten into a Twitter tussle with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after the tech billionaire floated a divisive proposal to end Russia’s invasion. The Tesla CEO, soon facing a court fight over his attempt to abandon a $44 billion offer to buy Twitter, argued in a tweet Monday that to reach peace Russia […]
8 hours ago
Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowicz supervises the pantry inside the Chabad Lubavitch of Southwest Florida, Mo...
Associated Press

Amid Ian’s wounds, Jews see healing, renewal in Yom Kippur

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Even though a destructive hurricane tore through his community just days earlier, nothing was going to stop Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowicz from holding prayer services Tuesday night for the start of the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Throughout a southwest Florida devastated by Hurricane Ian, Jews planned to hold worship […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Sheryl Sandberg steps into abortion fight with ACLU donation

Sheryl Sandberg opened her next chapter as a full-time philanthropist Tuesday with a donation to the American Civil Liberties Union to fight state abortion bans across the country. Sandberg, who officially left her position as Facebook’s parent company Meta’s chief operating officer last week after 14 years, donated $3 million to the ACLU Ruth Bader […]
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Plumber turned political candidate busted in Capitol riot