More than 950 individuals have been charged for various layers of participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
Now two years removed from that chaotic day, the Justice Department says it’s still investigating those who played a part in disrupting a peaceful transition of power following the 2020 presidential election, including many who possess a military background.
“We have secured convictions for a wide range of criminal conduct on January 6 as well as in the days and weeks leading up to the attack,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement, adding that the work was “far from over.”
Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that a group of veterans joined former D.C. police officer Michael Fanone in delivering a letter to GOP leaders in the House of Representatives, urging them to condemn political violence.
While the exact number of individuals with military backgrounds who participated in the attack is unclear at this time, some of the most high profile judicial outcomes to date include defendants who once wore a uniform.
In November, former Army paratrooper Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the far-right extremist group, the Oath Keepers, was convicted of seditious conspiracy for plotting to overturn the election results.
Separately, Thomas Webster, a Marine veteran and retired police officer, received the longest prison term doled out thus far when, in September, he was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for, among other charges, attacking an officer with a flagpole, according to the Justice Department.
Also in September, the Washington Post reported that 45-year-old decorated Army veteran Lucas Denney was sentenced to four years in prison for assaulting police at the Capitol. In November, Military Times reported that retired Air Force Lt. Col. Larry Brock was convicted for entering the Senate chamber wearing military gear.
Recently, cases more removed from the public eye have been processed featuring veterans found to have participated in the events at the Capitol.
For example, in December, 35-year-old Army veteran Nicholas Hendrix was sentenced to 30 days behind bars for his participation in the riot, according to ABC affiliate WMTW. The Tampa Bay Times also reported last month that Air Force veteran Thomas Fassell and his wife were sentenced to jail time.
By the numbers
According to the Justice Department, the most recent statistics on criminal charges and trials surrounding the Jan. 6 attack are as follows:
- Approximately 860 defendants have been charged with entering or remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds. Of those, 91 defendants have been charged with doing so while carrying a dangerous or deadly weapon.
- More than 284 defendants have been charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers or employees, including 99 who have been charged with “using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer.”
- More than 295 defendants have been charged with corruptly obstructing, influencing or impeding an official proceeding, or attempting to do so.
- Approximately 59 defendants have been charged with destruction of government property, and 36 with theft of government property.
- Approximately 11 individuals have been arrested for assaulting a member of the media or destroying media equipment.
- About 50 defendants have been charged with conspiracy.
- An estimated 484 individuals have pleaded guilty, including 119 who pleaded guilty to felony charges. Approximately 364 pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.
- 40 individuals have also been found guilty at contested trials and another 10 have been convicted following an agreed-upon set of facts.
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies, in addition to the Justice Department, are continuing to investigate perpetrators of the attack.
“In the months and years to come, the FBI Washington Field Office will continue to partner with U.S. attorney’s offices across the country,” David Sundberg, the assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, said in a statement. The partnership, Sundberg added, will seek “to bring to justice those who attempted to use violence to substitute their will over the will of the people.”
Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media