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First known active-duty military member is charged in Jan. 6 insurrection

Published: (Updated: ) in USA news by .

Maj. Christopher Warnagiris of the U.S. Marine Corps was arrested in Virginia on Thursday.


An active-duty Marine has been charged with assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police officer in the Jan. 6 insurrection, the Department of Justice announced on Thursday.

Maj. Christopher Warnagiris of the U.S. Marine Corps, 40, was arrested in Virginia on Thursday after being charged with a number of federal crimes, including “assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers” and obstructing law enforcement, according to charging documents. He’s the first known active-duty military member to have been charged with a crime in connection with the insurrection.

Warnagiris is accused of “violently enter[ing]” the Capitol on Jan. 6 after he forced his way through a line of officers protecting the Capitol. He pushed his way through the East Rotunda doors, according to charging documents, after which he appeared to help other rioters get through the guarded doors.

An officer tried to close the doors, but Warnagiris tried to push it open more, according to the documents. The officer said that he ordered Warnagiris to leave the entryway, but that he didn’t do so. The officer then tried to push him away, and Warnagiris pushed back to try to stay where he was in the doorway.

The episode for which Warnagiris is charged was captured on security camera footage that was part of the charging documents.

A witness is said to have seen photos of Warnagiris on the web and reported him to the FBI. Investigators found that Warnagiris was stationed at the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Northern Virginia.

Hundreds of people have been charged in connection with the riots, which delayed the certification of the Electoral College vote and have left many lawmakers calling for a 9/11-style commission to examine what happened. Then-President Donald Trump held a rally before rioters stormed the Capitol and was impeached on a charge of inciting the insurrection. He was acquitted in the Senate after leaving office.

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Evidence filed by the Justice Department suggests pre-rally coordination between groups like the Proud Boys, a self-described Western chauvinist group, and the Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia network.

Maj. J. A. Hernandez, a spokesperson for the Marines, confirmed to POLITICO that Warnagiris is an active-duty Marine and said that the Marines were “working to receive” any information that could be released from his profile.

“The Marine Corps is clear on this: There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps,” Hernandez said in a statement. “Those who can’t value the contributions of others, regardless of background, are destructive to our culture, our warfighting ability, and have no place in our ranks.”

Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/13/marine-charged-capitol-insurrection-488113

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