Defendant Seeks to Identify Jan. 6 Suspicious Actors, Government Informants at Capitol

Defendant Seeks to Identify Jan. 6 Suspicious Actors, Government Informants at Capitol
A suspicious actor vandalized a Capitol window on Jan. 6, 2021. He has not been placed on the FBI wanted list nor has he been arrested or charged. (Bobby Powell/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
Joseph M. Hanneman

A Texas man who says he was “set up for prosecution” for shooting video of a U.S. Capitol window smashing on Jan. 6, 2021, wants to compel prosecutors to identify suspicious actors or informants who could have been behind the vandalism.

Ryan S. Zink, 34, of Lubbock, Texas, filed a motion with U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington to force the government to identify “individuals suspected of being confidential government sources, undercover agents, or protected Antifa assets.”

Prosecutors have not yet filed a reply with the court.

On March 5, 2021, Zink was indicted for alleged obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.

Zink was standing directly in front of a window on the upper-east patio of the Capitol when 20-year-old Hunter A. Ehmke of Glendora, California, jumped onto the window sill and began smashing the glass.

A group of eight Capitol Police officers tackled Ehmke and restrained him. The officers then inexplicably abandoned the broken window and left the area with Ehmke, who was later convicted and sentenced to four months in jail for the vandalism.

What happened next is at the center of Zink’s motion and remains one of the enduring mysteries of Jan. 6.

Agent and Vandal?

While Michigan journalist Bobby Powell began cleaning up the smashed glass, a man approached him and asked why he didn’t break the rest of the window and go inside the Capitol.

As Powell turned away momentarily, the dark-clad man pulled a large sheet of tempered glass from the damaged window. Powell turned his camera back just in time to capture the vandalism. The unidentified man quickly dropped the sheet of glass.

He then approached protester Gavin Crowl, shoved him so hard he nearly fell down, and shouted, “Why are you breaking that window? Who do you think you are? Get out of here!” Crowl, seemingly incredulous—since his accuser was the guilty party—walked away when the man made a fist as if to strike him, video shows.

“In this case, Mr. Zink is being prosecuted for serious crimes in part for trying to expose unknown vandals at the Capitol whom are not being prosecuted,” reads the motion filed by defense attorney John Pierce.

“As a matter of basic fairness, due process, and the right to confront accusers, Mr. Zink has a right to know and cross-examine the witnesses and actors he is accused of interacting with on January 6.”

Pierce said the defense believes the government knows the identity of the man, whom the FBI did not seek despite Powell’s vociferous attempts to get the Bureau to take notice.

“Zink, like Powell, was also a witness to these same events. The prosecution is withholding the exculpatory evidence of who the players were or are, and how Zink was set up for prosecution,” the motion said.

“Now, instead of recognizing or rewarding Zink’s valiant efforts, the United States is prosecuting Zink and not the people who committed the crimes.”

Prosecutors allege on his way to the Capitol, Zink broadcast video on social media on which he stated, "We stormed the Capitol. There's thousands of us here. They can't stop us all!"

Zink posted on Facebook that he was "literally inside the capital (sic) shots fired on the floor there is a fire and gas and flash bangs have been used multiple serious injuries reported."

Zink told The Epoch Times that despite suggestions in his charging documents, he never went inside the Capitol.

"Yes, they say I forced my way inside. That never happened," Zink said in a statement. "I never went in the building. They made it up, never having any proof of me going in the building, yet stated I did."
While the window-vandalizing man in Powell's video has not appeared on the FBI’s Jan. 6 most-wanted page, the Sedition Hunters web site created a listing for him on April 3 with a variety of photos from various places on Capitol grounds.

The "Capitol Glass Man" was also found on video shot by a French television crew, appearing to render aid to a Capitol Police officer who had been sprayed with mace.

A man standing next to him, wearing a cap with two green stripes around the brim, was holding a white wooden pole that appears identical to one "Glass Man" carried onto the east patio a short time earlier.

The man with the striped hat appears in several photos with Glass Man in the Sedition Hunters photo gallery. His identity is not known.

Election Mystery

Zink’s case was already shrouded in mystery. His father, suburban Phoenix resident Jeff Zink, told The Epoch Times that he received a series of phone calls urging him to drop his Republican bid for U.S. House in Arizona's 3rd Congressional District.

In the first instance, he said, an unidentified caller told him the Jan. 6 case against his son would be dropped if he would scrap his candidacy.

"...There was a voice on the other end," Zink said, "and it stated that if I would drop out of the race, that they would drop the charges on my son."

Jeff Zink took his phone to some "white-hat hackers" for analysis. They told him there were no data on the phone showing he received such a call.

Zink said he received two other calls, both of which promised him money if he would drop out of the race. In the first, the caller said "if I would drop out of the race, there would be an account with enough money that my wife and I would never have to work again," Zink said.

Zink lost to Democrat incumbent Ruben Gallego in the Nov. 8, 2022, midterm election.

Joseph M. Hanneman is a reporter for The Epoch Times with a focus on the January 6 Capitol incursion and its aftermath, as well as general Wisconsin news. In 2022, he helped to produce "The Real Story of Jan. 6," an Epoch Times documentary about the events that day. Joe has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. He can be reached at: [email protected]