NEW YORK CITY, New York - A New York City man who who stoked tensions before and after the storming of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, and urged supporters to assassinate members of Congress, is now in custody and is facing serious charges.
Brendan Hunt, of Queens, New York, also known as "X-Ray Ultra," was arrested on Tuesday in Queens and made his initial appearance later that day before United States Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr., who ordered his detention pending trial.
Hunt is a part-time actor and filmmaker, and a full-time employee of the New York State Office of Court Administration.
His alleged activities are not confined to the events at the Capital on 6 January.
According to the court filing, on January 8, 2021, two days after the riot in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, Hunt posted a video to the Internet-based video-sharing site Bitchute saying:
We need to go back to the U.S. Capitol when all of the Senators and a lot of the Representatives are back there, and this time we have to show up with our guns. And we need to slaughter these motherf....rs. [O]ur government at this point is basically a handful of traitors . . . so what you need to do is take up arms, get to D.C., probably the inauguration . . . so called inauguration of this motherf....ng communist Joe Biden . . . [T]hat's probably the best time to do this, get your guns, show up to D.C., and literally just spray these motherf.....rs . . . like, that's the only option . . . [T]hey're gonna come after us, they're gonna kill us, so we have to kill them first . . . [S]o get your guns, show up to D.C., put some bullets in their f.....ng heads. If anybody has a gun, give me it, I'll go there myself and shoot them and kill them . . . [W]e have to take out these Senators and then replace them with actual patriots . . . [T]his is a ZOG government . . . [T]hat's basically all I have to say, but take up arms against them.
And a month before the storming, on December 6, 2020, Hunt posted a threatening, and inciting statement on his Facebook page:
Trump, we want actual revenge on democrats. Meaning, we want you to hold a public execution of pelosi aoc schumer etc. And if you dont do it, the citizenry will. We're not voting in another rigged election. Start up the firing squads, mow down these commies, and lets take america back!
Later the same day Hunt posted a similar message to his Facebook page in response to a New York Daily News article about a Staten Island resident who allegedly used his vehicle to run over a law enforcement officer who had come to arrest the resident for violating New York City regulations to control the COVID-19 pandemic:
F... the lockdown po-lice! Yeah booiii run those pigs over! Anyone enforcing this lockdown mask vaccine bullshit deserves nothing less than a bullet in their f.....g head! Including cops! If you're going to shoot someone tho, go after a high value target like pelosi schumer or AOC. They really need to be put down. These commies will see death before they see us surrender! USA!!
Hunt operates a website and a network of social media accounts using the X-Ray Ultra mantle, some of which have been taken down:
Hunt's description on YouTube appears as:
Official Youtube channel of the one and only Brendan Hunt. Accept no substitutes! A classically-trained actor, Hunt is perhaps best known for his ground-breaking documentation of the Occupy Wall Street protests, the Sandy Hook event, and the death of Kurt Cobain. Through his media production company, X-Ray Ultra, Brendan Hunt explores the sometimes uncomfortable truths of our society through art and activism. He has also been an archivist for the Vaughn Bode estate, and has collaborated on several projects with son Mark Bode. Hunt runs several websites including his personal one (BrendanHunt.com) and his multimedia site (XrayUltra.com). He boycotts Facebook and encourages the use of alternative social media sites like BitChute, Gab, etc.
Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Dermot F. Shea, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced Hunt's arrest and charge.
"Our democracy depends on the legislators who shoulder the responsibility of government. By allegedly threatening to murder and intimidate elected officials, Hunt is striking at the core of our government," Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said.
"Before the assault on the Capitol building, and again after, Hunt's alleged online commentary directly called for the assassination of members of Congress. This is not a hard message to understand threats of violence against our public officials won't be tolerated. Mr. Hunt was arrested this morning by the FBI's New York Joint Terrorism Task Force. To others from this area who still don't get it if you are considering a similar path to 'take up arms' like Mr. Hunt did, that road leads nowhere except a reservation at our building downtown," William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office added.
The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Hunt faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The government's case is being handled by the Office's National Security and Cybercrime Section. Assistant United States Attorneys David K. Kessler, Ian C. Richardson and Francisco J. Navarro are in charge of the prosecution.
(Photo credit: XrayUltra.com).