Many of the videos used as evidence by the impeachment managers this week were originally posted to Parler, a social media platform that was popular among Trump supporters at the time of the insurrection.
Parler was taken offline after Amazon Web Services pulled hosting support for the site in the days after the insurrection.
An anonymous computer programmer who uses the online name “Crash override” and the Twitter handle @donk_enby realized that the social media platform was full of videos that could be used as potential evidence to identify insurrectionists.
The programmer sprang into action and began downloading videos from Parler before the site was taken fully offline. "I had an efficient way to download it all. I knew what was there, but it seemed that nobody else could see the value,” she told CNN on Wednesday. In total she gathered 30 terabytes – that’s 30,000 gigabytes – of video, she said.
Seeing so much of the material being used as evidence in this week’s impeachment trials, she told CNN:
“I hope it inspires more people with similar skills to mine to use those skills for good.”
She told CNN she is not based in the United States and describes herself as a “hacktivist” – she states in her Twitter bio she uses she/her pronouns. Although she describes herself as a “hacktivist,” she clarified that “everything I archived was publicly accessible.”
ProPublica posted hundreds of the videos gathered by @donk_enby to a database on its website. Parler videos being used by the House impeachment managers were downloaded from this ProPublica database.