March 7, 2021

Politics & News

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Investigators Eye Right-Wing Militias at Capitol Riot

2 min read

The federal authorities have prioritized not only militias but others who were involved in attacking police officers. The F.B.I. has also arrested members of the Proud Boys, a far-right nationalist group.

On Sunday evening, Donovan Crowl, 50, a former U.S. Marine, and Jessica Watkins, 38, an Army veteran, surrendered to the authorities in Ohio after they published photos of themselves on social media wearing combat gear and saying that they had stormed the Capitol. They were charged in a criminal complaint with unlawful entry, disorderly conduct and obstructing an official proceeding.

The F.B.I. said Ms. Watkins considered herself the commander of the Ohio State Regular Militia, which is affiliated with the Oath Keepers. In a social media post by Ms. Watkins, Mr. Crowl was depicted with the caption: “One of my guys at the Stop the Steal Rally today.”

Federal prosecutors also unsealed charges this weekend against Robert Gieswein, 24, of Woodland Park, Colo., who they say is affiliated with the Three Percenters.

Mr. Gieswein, who runs a private paramilitary training group called the Woodland Wild Dogs, was among the early wave of invaders to breach the Capitol, court papers said. Photographs from the attack show him clad in a military vest, goggles and an Army-style helmet, wrestling with Capitol Police officers to remove metal barricades and brandishing a baseball bat. In a criminal complaint, prosecutors cited a video of Mr. Gieswein encouraging other rioters as they smashed a window at the Capitol with a wooden board and a plastic shield and then climbing through the broken glass into the building.

Mr. Gieswein was photographed inside the building with another suspect, Dominic Pezzola, a former Marine and member of the Proud Boys, who was charged last week.

After the assault, Mr. Gieswein said in a news documentary interview that he attacked the Capitol to “get the corrupt politicians out of office,” according to court papers, adding, “They have completely destroyed our country and sold them to the Rothschilds and Rockefellers.”

Adam Goldman, Katie Benner and Alan Feuer

2021-01-18 20:56:47

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