Photo: Jon Cherry / Getty Images
A veteran officer of the Capitol Police of the United States was arrested on Friday for allegedly encouraging a suspect to participate in the assault on the Capitol on January 6, to conceal evidence of their participation in the attack. The officer faces two counts of obstruction of justice and has been placed on administrative leave while the case is ongoing.
The agent, Michael A. Riley, he has been removed for the time being from the Capitol Police Corps.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the defendant would have asked his contacts on social networks who participated in the riot to remove the photographs that were taken that day, as they could be arrested.
“Obstruction of justice is a very serious accusation,” said the Capitol Police Chief, Tom manger, who has communicated that the department has been aware for “several weeks” that Riley was being investigated.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Riley would have contacted other social network users who would have participated in the attack on the Capitol on January 6 to show their support and recommend that they remove the photos they had posted, to avoid reprisals from the authorities.
“I am an officer of the Capitol Police who agrees with your political position”; or “remove the part where you were in the building, they’re investigating and they’re going to press charges against everyone who was there. Be attentive! ”Are some of the messages that, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, Riley would have sent.
“I’m glad you got out of there unscathed. More than fifty agents were injured, some quite seriously, “Riley also reportedly told one of his contacts, who was later recommended to leave social networks.
“They are arresting dozens of people every day. To all those who were in the building, participated in violent acts or in property damage… And all are being accused under federal laws for serious crimes ”, is another of the messages that the Prosecutor’s Office attributes to Riley.
One of the people Riley communicated with in the days after the assault she was arrested by the FBI on January 19, a day before the agent deleted these messages.
Riley, who has worked for the Capitol Police for the last 25 years, was not inside the building during the attacks, although he was on duty, as he responded to notices about the alleged presence of an explosive device in the vicinity of the place that same day.
So far some 630 people have been identified for their participation in the assault on the Capitol and they are awaiting their sentences, while about twenty have already received some type of sanction, most of which for demonstrating illegally in the Capitol facilities, the basic agreement that most of them have reached with the Justice Department.
The latest have been Edward Hemenway and Robert Bauer, sentenced to 45 days in prison, after the authorities considered their criminal record as aggravating.
With information from agencies
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