SALT LAKE CITY — He’s a businessman, a dad, a political donor and a noodler.
Those are all words to describe 40-year-old Brady Knowlton -- the latest Utah man accused of breaching the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He is charged in federal court with three counts: knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and obstruction of justice or Congress.
Knowlton had an initial appearance Wednesday in federal court in Salt Lake City. The rest of his criminal case is expected to be prosecuted in Washington, D.C. Knowlton is free pending trial so long as he does not travel to Washington – except for court – and surrenders his passports and his firearms.
Knowlton did not return messages FOX 13 sent to him and to an attorney representing him in a civil matter.
About 10 years ago, Knowlton was in the news for something much different: noodling.
That’s when someone tries to catch a catfish using bare hands. The New York Times, Texas Tribune and CBS News all published or broadcast stories about Knowlton advocating for noodling’s legalization in Texas.
“Been around the world doing a lot of hunting and fishing,” Knowlton told CBS. “Been chased by lions, elephants and I don’t think anything creates the level of excitement as the wrestle with these fish.”
Texas legalized noodling in 2011 at least in part due to Knowlton, according to his interview with CBS.
Knowlton’s efforts also earned him a television show – briefly. Animal Planet broadcast three episodes of “Catfishin’ Kings,” starring Knowlton, in 2013, according to IMDB.
Public records show Knowlton has spent much of his life in Texas. There, he worked in financing for the oil and energy industry. Knowlton’s LinkedIn profile says since 2003 he has worked for a financial consulting company called “Monarch Financial” and is currently its executive vice president.
Federal election records show he’s donated to Republican candidates for president or the U.S. Senate, including Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. His only recorded donation to President Donald Trump was $50 he gave to WinRed, a Republican Party fundraising platform, in August of last year.
In all, Knowlton’s donations have totaled $12,068.
Texas and Utah court records show he’s been married twice. He has two children from his first marriage.
Knowlton appears to have moved to Utah in 2019. That’s when he bought a home near St. George, according to real estate records.
A special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation provided Fox 13 a “Statement of Facts” with pictures they believe is Knowlton at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Before and after the riot, Patrick Montgomery, of Littleton, Colorado, posted on social media photos of himself at and in the Capitol during the insurrection. Federal prosecutors charged Montgomery with crimes a week later.
One of the photos Montgomery posted, according to an FBI affidavit, shows him standing with a man wearing a tactical vest and later identified as Knowlton. But documents indicate the FBI didn’t know Knowlton’s identity until another person came forward.
That witness, who according to an affidavit has long known Knowlton and has been engaged in litigation with him, identified Knowlton from the photos. The witness said he or she had not met Montgomery, but knew of him and said he’s Knowlton’s “right-hand man.”
The information on Knowlton’s arrest comes less than a week after a Kaysville man and former Salt Lake City police officer, Michael L. Hardin, was arrested in connection to the Capitol riot. The first Utahn arrested, John Sullivan, is still awaiting trial in D.C. since put on house arrest during the second week of January.