Ex-military member charged with crashing into FBI office had online links to QAnon, report says


WASHINGTON — The ex-military member who federal authorities say drove his SUV into a barricade at the FBI office in Atlanta on Monday had online ties to QAnon-related content and appeared to be a supporter of former President Donald Trump, according to an open-source investigation by the group Advance Democracy.

Ervin Lee Bolling currently faces a count of destruction of government property. He has not yet entered a plea. An FBI affidavit states that after crashing his car, Bolling got out and tried to walk past the gate where he was stopped by three special agents. Bolling refused instructions to sit on the curb and resisted arrest when the agents tried to take him into custody, according to the charging documents.

Advance Democracy, in a report seen by NBC News, found social media accounts that appeared to be linked to Bolling that had a history of promoting conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election as well as QAnon.

“I love you @realDonaldTrump,” one account suspected to be linked to Bolling posted back in December 2020, according to Advance Democracy. “You have more support than even you know.”

A person is in custody after allegedly ramming car into an Atlanta FBI building. (MSNBC)A person is in custody after allegedly ramming car into an Atlanta FBI building. (MSNBC)

A person is in custody after allegedly ramming car into an Atlanta FBI building. (MSNBC)

A separate Telegram account that used the name “Lee Bolling” and has a handle that Bolling appears to have used on other platforms was a member of nine public Telegram groups, several of which were related to QAnon, according to Advance Democracy.

The court docket in Bolling’s case does not indicate he has a lawyer. Reached by NBC News and asked about Bolling’s beliefs in QAnon, his wife declined to comment.

Details of the Advance Democracy report were first first published by Wired.

Daniel J. Jones, the president of the non-profit group Advance Democracy, told NBC News that it was important to take “the increasing violent rhetoric and actions we’re seeing seriously, and our elected officials, especially Republican elected officials, need to speak out” against violent actions.

“We don’t yet know the individual’s motivation for using his vehicle to crash into a gate at the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office,” Jones said. “But this individual’s suspected social media activity is part of a trend: Trump supporters espousing anti-government rhetoric and conspiracy theories — often echoing Trump’s own statements — that decide to take violent action against public officials.”

More than 1,265 defendants have been charged in connection to Jan. 6, according to the Department of Justice. Trump himself has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction, and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted in connection to his actions regarding the results of the 2020 election. He has pleaded not guilty. His trial is delayed indefinitely.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com



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