On Thursday, Capitol Police Officer Michael Riley was charged with misconduct in connection to an internal investigation by police into the response to January 6th riot. Two counts of obstruction of justice were indicted.
On January 7, 2021, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendant, MICHAEL ANGELO RILEY, aid knowingly corruptly persuade, and attempt to do so, with intent to cause and induce any person to alter, destroy, mutilate, and conceal an object with intent to impair the objects integrity and availabilty for use in an official proceeding —that is, RILEY directed Person 1 to take down from Facebook records relating to his conduct at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, with the intent of making the records unavailable for use in the federal investigation resulting from the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol.
On January 20, 2021, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendant, MICHAEL ANGELO RILEY, did corruptly alter, destroy, mutilate, and concealed record, document, and other objects, and attempt 10 do so, with the intent to impair its integrity and availability for use in an official proceeding— that is, RILEY deleted his Facebook direct communications with Person 1 to impair their use in the federal investigation resulting from the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol.
As was reported by Axios Riley had contacted an rioter, and had sent a series of messages:
- Riley allegedly sent a message to the rioter saying, “Im a capitol police officer who agrees with your political stance [sic],” according to the indictment.
- “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!,” Riley wrote.
- “Riley and Person 1 exchanged dozens more Facebook direct messages on January 7, 2021,” according to the indictment.
- Person 1 and Riley had never met but “were avid fishermen and members of fishing-related Facebook groups,” according to the indictment.
In September, the Capitol Police issued six recommendations for indictments against six officers. Six cases were found guilty of violations and recommended disciplinary action.
- Three for conduct unbecoming
- One for failure to comply with directives
- One for improper remarks
- One for improper dissemination of information
- Another case about an official who is accused of unsatisfactory performance and conduct unbecoming is still pending. The administrative investigation started after a criminal investigation, in which charges were not filed.
Six Capitol Police officers were fired for taking part in the Capitol riot. Video footage from the day showed several officers leading rioters into the building. USCP officers have also seen opening barricades for the mob to enter the Capitol Building complex.
Rep. Tim Ryan (a Democrat from Ohio) expressed concern over the behavior of Capitol Police officers during the January 6 events.
“We do have a couple of Capitol Police we talked about before with taking selfies and another, another Capitol Police [officer] evidently put on a MAGA hat and was walking people, not sure all the details,” said Ryan, “They have been suspended. Someone else has been arrested.”
From the beginning, Capitol Police officers’ behavior on January 6 was suspicious. Nine months later, we still find out about the wrongdoing committed nine months later by a secretive body of police that reports directly to Congress.