A U.S. Marine Corps officer was arrested Thursday on charges of participating in the violent Jan.6 assault on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, the Justice Department reported.
Commander Christopher Warnagiris is the first active duty officer to be charged in the attack, in which hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the headquarters of Congress and blocked the session that confirmed Joe Biden as the winner of the November presidential election.
Warnagiris, 40, was charged with assaulting or resisting law enforcement officials, obstruction of law enforcement and obstruction of justice.
The Justice Department said it had video of Warnagiris “violently” shoving officers and making his way through the Capitol doors along with others.
He is one of 440 people charged so far in the department’s investigation into this attack.
More than a quarter of them have been accused of assaulting or obstructing the application of the law.
Several members of anti-government militias and white supremacists also face charges of violent conspiracy, and the Justice Department is believed to be weighing more serious sedition charges against them.
Prosecutors are still preparing the cases and the first trial is expected to begin in June.
In April, Jon Schaffer, a member of the Oath Keepers, one of the groups that allegedly led the attack, pleaded guilty to trespassing on Capitol Hill and is believed to be cooperating with the investigation of other members of the group.
The presence of four serving National Guard members and 40 military veterans among those arrested in the attack on the Capitol prompted the Pentagon to hold briefings on the threat of extremism in the ranks.
In a statement, the Marine Corps confirmed the identity of Warnagiris, who was working out of its base in Quantico, Virginia.
“There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps,” he noted. “Our strength derives from the individual excellence of each Marine, regardless of their origin. Intolerance and racial extremism go against our fundamental values ”.
With information from AFP