A former police officer has been convicted of obstructing Congress and five other charges after his involvement in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
A federal jury found 49-year-old Thomas Robertson guilty on Monday on all six counts related to his storming at the Capitol. Jacob Fraker, Robertson’s fellow former Rocky Mount, Virginia, police officer, was originally scheduled to stand trial with him, but pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and instead Served as a key witness for the prosecution.
In addition to obstructing Congress, a Washington, D.C., jury also indicted Robertson. charge entering a restricted area while carrying a dangerous weapon; Interfering with the authorities during a civil disorder; disorderly or disruptive conduct inside the Capitol Building; disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted area while carrying a dangerous weapon, which was a large wooden stick; and the impediment related to destruction of evidence after the riots.
Five of the six cases were crimes. Robertson could face up to 20 years in prison. The date of hearing on his sentence has come Not yet According to CNN.
Robertson was the second suspect to face trial by jury on January 6. Guy Refitt, 49, Texas’ first, was convicted of five felony charges last month. Although Refitt was not charged with entering the Capitol like Robertson did, he could face up to 20 years in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for June 8.
U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper struck down Robertson’s pre-trial release last July after he was charged with illegally stockpiling 34 firearms and attempting to conceal ammunition purchases. The judge wrote in his ruling that Robertson “expressed pride in his role” in the Capitol riots and “excitement for the potential for future political violence”.
In court filings requesting his pre-trial detention, prosecutors said that Robertson, “despite holding a position of public trust as a police officer, traveled to the District of Columbia and participated in one of the most riotous acts of rebellion.” took what the nation has ever seen.. Then, he repeatedly and openly defied a court order that there are no firearms.”
Robertson and Fraker were both fired from the Rocky Mount Police Department in early 2021 after a photo was shared with colleagues showing them posing with extended middle fingers alongside a statue of John Stark inside the Capitol. were shown.
Fraker testified that he and Robertson participated in the attack on the Capitol in the belief that they could prevent Congress from attesting President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, according to the Associated Press. Both men believed former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the election had been “stolen” from him.
Robertson did not testify in his trial, which lasted three days and was followed by 1 1/2 days of jury deliberations. Defense attorney Mark Rollins reportedly argued that Robertson should only be convicted of misdemeanor charges, telling the jury that “there were no plans to go down and say, ‘I want to stop Congress from voting this. I’m going.”
“I think the government made a really compelling case and the evidence was overwhelming,” said a juror who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. said As soon as she left the court.
Federal charges have been filed against more than 770 alleged Capitol riot participants, with more than 250 defendants pleading guilty to charges that include large-scale misdemeanors.
newsweek Reached out to Rollins for comment.