Politics

Capitol Police Veteran Charged With Obstructing Investigation Into Jan. 6 Defendant

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Andrew Trunsky Political Reporter
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A U.S. Capitol Police officer who has been with the department for over two decades is facing two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly helping a Jan. 6 rioter avoid prosecution.

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Michael Angelo Riley allegedly friended the defendant on Facebook, named “Person 1” in the court documents, and told Person 1 to delete photos that showed him in the Capitol as the riot occurred.

The documents state that Riley and Person 1 did not know each other, “but both were avid fishermen and members of fishing-related Facebook groups.” Person 1’s Facebook profile, according to the indictment, showed “photographs, videos, and other commentary … admitting his presence and conduct inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.” (RELATED: Capitol Rioter Who Threatened To Kill His Family Becomes First To Face Weapons Charges Under Riot Law)

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s victory. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

“Hey [Person 1], im a capitol police officer who agrees with your political stance,” Riley wrote, according to the documents. “Take down the part about being in the building they are currently investigating and everyone who was in the building is going to (be) charged. Just looking out!”

“I get it…it was a total shit show!!!” Riley added after Person 1 allegedly sent him more videos. “Just wanted to give you a heads up … Imglad you got out of there unscathed We had over 50 officers hurt, some pretty bad.” (RELATED: Man Who Bragged About Storming The Capitol Turned In To Police After Trying To Court Woman On Dating App)

“The only thing I can see is if you went in the building and they have proof you will be charged,” Riley said. “You could always articulate that you had no where to go, but thats for court.”

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said the charges represent a “very serious allegation” in a statement Friday.

“The Department was notified about this investigation several weeks ago,” Manger said. “Upon his arrest, the officer was placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the case. The USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility will then open an administrative investigation.”

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