A United States Capitol Police Officer has been charged with obstruction of justice for his role in attempting to strongarm witnesses of the January 6th insurrection into deleting incriminating evidence from various online forums, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
Consequently, the internet is forever.
Officer Michael A. Riley, a 25-year veteran of the force, encouraged a rioter to erase photos from Facebook and even expressed to the unnamed individual that he “agrees with your political stance,” referring to former President Donald Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
“The indictment spells out how Riley sent dozens of messages to the unidentified person, encouraging them to remove incriminating photos and videos and telling them how the FBI was investigating to identify rioters,” AP wrote.
“His arrest and the accusation that an active duty Capitol Police officer was trying to obstruct the investigation into the attack is particularly notable because many of his colleagues were brutally beaten in the insurrection. The riot left dozens of police officers bloodied and bruised as the crowd of pro-Trump rioters, some armed with pipes, bats and bear spray, charged into the Capitol, quickly overrunning the overwhelmed police force. One officer was beaten and shocked with a stun gun repeatedly until he had a heart attack; another was foaming at the mouth and screaming for help as rioters crushed him between two doors and bashed him in the head with his own weapon,” the agency noted.
AP also discovered via court records that “at least 49 defendants are accused of trying to erase incriminating photos, videos and texts from phones or social media accounts documenting their conduct as the pro-Donald Trump mob stormed Congress and briefly interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.”
More than 600 people have been indicted for crimes related to the attack that killed five people at the scene, including Capitol Cop Brian Sicknick. Two other police officers subsequently committed suicide.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.