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Active-Duty Marine Corps Major Charged In Capitol Riot

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Brent Stirton
/
Getty Images
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

An active-duty officer in the U.S. Marine Corps has been arrested and charged for allegedly assaulting police during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.

Maj. Christopher Warnagiris was arrested Thursday in Virginia and charged with five counts, including assaulting or impeding an officer, obstruction and unlawful entry. Officials say he is believed to be the first active-duty military service member to be charged in connection with the Capitol insurrection.

According to an FBI document filed in federal court, security camera footage from the Capitol on Jan. 6 shows Warnagiris forcing his way through East Rotunda doors.

Warnagiris then allegedly tried to prevent U.S. Capitol Police officers from shutting the doors and at one point pushed an officer who was trying to secure the entrance.

The FBI received a tip from the public in March that helped identify Warnagiris, according to court papers. Agents followed up on the information by obtaining two government photographs of Warnagiris and then interviewing a co-worker at his military command, who identified him in photographs from the Capitol.

Warnagiris made his initial appearance Thursday in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia. The government did not seek his detention.

More than 400 people have been charged so far in connection with the Capitol breach, including around 40 military veterans as well as a handful of guard members and reservists.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ryan Lucas covers the Justice Department for NPR.

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