Capitol Police Officer Indicted for Obstructing Justice in Jan. 6 Investigation


A Washington, D.C., police officer has been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly helping to hide evidence of one protester’s involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion.

Capitol Police officer Michael Riley was charged with telling a participant in the day’s events to remove posts from Facebook that showed the individuals inside the Capitol, according to court reports.

“[I’]m a capitol police officer who agrees with your political stance,” Riley said in a Facebook direct message, according to the indictment, The Associated Press reported.

“Take down the part about being in the building they are correctly investigating and everyone who was in the building is going to be charged. Just looking out!” the report added.

The news of the arrest and allegations of a fellow officer attempting to obstruct the investigation into the events of Jan. 6 is especially notable as other officers were reportedly attacked when people entered the Capitol.

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Riley was placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

NBC News reported one person who received a message Riley sent was Jacob Hiles.

“He pleaded guilty in early September to a charge of illegally parading in the Capitol and will be sentenced in December. Court documents in his case said he ‘smoked an unknown substance’ during his time in the building,” NBC reported.

Riley may have been the only Capitol Police officer investigated regarding Jan. 6, but he has not been the only officer to face charges over the events of the day.

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“Following the insurrection, three dozen officers were investigated for misconduct, six of whom were suspended with pay,” the Washington Examiner reported Friday.

“The Jan. 6 commission has been working to enforce subpoenas for those believed to have been involved in the insurrection or to have knowledge of actions preceding the event,” it added.

In August, the committee sent letters to dozens of telecommunications companies and social media platforms asking them to retain records of those they believe could have been involved in the Capitol incursion — including their fellow lawmakers.

While the letters don’t specify whose information is being sought, CNN reported those lawmakers included Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Jody Hice of Georgia and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.

That’s crossing a major line, as far as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California is concerned. In a strongly worded statement posted on Twitter, he warned companies that “a Republican majority will not forget” if they cooperate with the committee’s intrusive request.

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“Adam Schiff, Bennie Thompson and Nancy Pelosi’s attempts to strong-arm private companies to turn over individuals’ private data would put every America with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democrat politicians,” McCarthy said in a statement.

Schiff, a California Democrat, is on the committee; Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, is its chairman; and Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, is responsible for the committee’s creation.

“If these companies comply with the Democrat order to turn over private information, they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States,” McCarthy wrote.

He didn’t cite the laws the companies would be violating by complying with the committee’s entreaties, but he made it clear the GOP elephant wouldn’t forget this one.

“If companies still choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law,” the minority leader said.

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Dillon Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Western Journal and is the author or co-author of numerous books.
Dillon Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Western Journal and is the author or co-author of numerous books. An accomplished endurance athlete, Burroughs has also completed numerous ultramarathons. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and three children.