Suspects in Capitol riot arrested across the US
Police, fire departments investigate claims that off-duty officers were involved in protest
Jacob Anthony Chansley, centre, with other Trump supporters in the Capitol building, in Washington. Photograph: Erin Schaff/ The New York Times
Arrests took place across the United States at the weekend as some of those suspected of being responsible for last week’s riot in the US Capitol were charged with federal offences.
In Arizona, a prominent supporter of the Q-Anon conspiracy movement was arrested. Jacob Chansley is widely believed to be the man photographed wearing horns and carrying a spear in the US Capitol on Wednesday.
Adam Johnson (36), who was pictured carrying House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern, was charged in Florida.
In Alabama, Ronnie Koffman was detained after police found 11 Molotov cocktails, an assault rifle and two pistols in a pick-up truck near the Capitol.
The arrests took place as the FBI appealed for information from the public after Wednesday’s events, which saw supporters of president Donald Trump storm the US Capitol in Washington. Police and fire departments in at least four states are investigating claims that off-duty officers may have been involved in the riot.
Security has been heightened around the Capitol complex following the attack and ahead of the January 20th presidential inauguration. Social media company Twitter warned on Friday night that plans for future armed protests had “already begun proliferating on and off Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17th, 2021”.
On Sunday, a procession took place along Constitution Avenue for Brian Sicknick, the Capitol police officer who died from injuries sustained during the incursion. In total, five people died during or in the aftermath of the attack.
The White House belatedly lowered its flag on Sunday afternoon to mark the death of Mr Sicknick, four days after the Capitol had lowered its flags to half-staff.
While the halls of Congress were empty as members returned to their districts for the weekend, the Capitol physician warned that some members may have been exposed to coronavirus while hiding from rioters.
In an email to members, Dr Brian Monaghan said one person in a room occupied by House members for several hours had tested positive for Covid-19.
As the fallout from the attack on Congress continued, several Republicans called on Mr Trump to resign.
“I think the best way for our country...is for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible,” said Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey.
He also accused Republican senators who voted to reject the election results during last week’s joint session of Congress as “complicit” in Mr Trump’s lies.
“They compounded that with this notion that somehow this could all be reversed in the final moments of the congressional proceedings. So that’s going to be, that’s going to haunt them for a very long time,” he said.
Prominent conservatives denounced the decision by Twitter to ban Mr Trump, accusing the social media giant of censorship.
Complaining that she had lost 50,000 Twitter followers, former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders wrote: “The radical left and their big tech allies cannot marginalise, censor, or silence the American people. This is not China, this is United States of America, and we are a free country.”