Capitol Hill mob aimed to assassinate elected officials, prosecutors say

Phoenix: The pro-Trump mob that stormed the US Capitol last week aimed to “capture and assassinate elected officials,” federal prosecutors said in court documents.

The remark came in a motion prosecutors filed late on Thursday (Friday AEDT) in the case against Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man who took part in the insurrection while sporting face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns.

Jacob Chansley, pictured in face paint and wearing a fur hat with horns during the riot, has been charged by police.Credit:AP

Prosecutors say that after Chansley climbed up to the dais where Vice-President Mike Pence had been presiding moments earlier, Chansley wrote a threatening note to Pence that said: “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”

Pence and other congressional leaders had been ushered out of the chamber by the Secret Service and US Capitol Police before the rioters stormed into the room.

“Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States Government,” prosecutors wrote in their memo, urging the judge to keep Chansley behind bars.

Gerald Williams, Chansley’s attorney, didn’t immediately return a phone call and email seeking comment. A detention hearing is scheduled in his case for later on Saturday AEDT.

The FBI has been investigating whether any of the rioters had plots to kidnap members of Congress and hold them hostage, focusing particularly on the men seen carrying plastic zip tie handcuffs and pepper spray.

Prosecutors raised a similar prospect on Friday in the case of a former Air Force officer who they alleged carried plastic zip-tie handcuffs because he intended “to take hostages.” But so far, the Justice Department has not publicly released any specific evidence on the plots or explained how the rioters planned to carry them out.

Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock jnr.

During a hearing in Texas on Thursday, a prosecutor urged a judge to keep Colonel Larry Rendall Brock jnr locked up, saying the man meant to “take hostages.” Brock was arrested on Sunday in Texas after being photographed on the Senate floor during the deadly riot wearing a helmet and heavy vest and carrying plastic zip-tie handcuffs.

"He means to kidnap, restrain, perhaps try, perhaps execute members of the US government,” Assistant US Attorney Jay Weimer said, without providing specifics.

Brock’s attorney, Brook Antonio II, noted that the man has only been charged with misdemeanours. Antonio said there was no direct evidence of Brock breaking doors or windows to get into the Capitol, or doing anything violent once he was inside.


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