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Former government official charged for falsely accusing colleagues of participating in Jan. 6 attack

Written by on May 4, 2024

Doug Armand/Getty Images

(VIRGINIA) — A former government official in Virginia has been charged for allegedly submitting false tips to the FBI and accusing seven of his coworkers of participating in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, newly unsealed court records show.

Miguel Zapata was taken into custody Thursday after prosecutors accused him of using the FBI’s anonymous tip website to report the allegations about his colleagues, several of whom were members of an unnamed intelligence agency.

According to his arrest affidavit, Zapata said his former colleagues were tied to groups like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys and even accused some of sharing classified information with the extremist groups in what he described as a coordinated plot to overturn the government.

When agents ran down the tips, they were easily debunked, according to the court records.

It’s not clear why Zapata falsely targeted his former colleagues or why he is no longer employed by the U.S. government.

He has not yet entered a plea and was released on bond following a hearing before a federal magistrate judge in Washington, D.C.

A public defender listed as representing Zapata did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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