Active duty Marine arrested for ‘violently’ participating in Capitol riot

Department of Justice officials said the man fought against Capitol police officers during the riot

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 13 May 2021 21:07
Paul Gosar describes Capitol insurrectionists as ‘peaceful patriots’

A 40-year-old active duty US Marine has been arrested for participating in the Capitol riot.

Major Christopher Warnagiris, who was stationed at Quantico, Virginia prior to his arrest, allegedly "violently entered the Capitol on 6 Jan, after pushing through a line of police officers guarding the East Rotunda doors. Once inside, Warnagiris positioned himself in the corner of the doorway, using his body to keep the door open and pull others inside," according to the US Department of Justice.

The DOJ said the Marine resisted a police officer's attempt to shut the doors to the Capitol.

"When a US Capitol Police (USCP) officer tried to pull the doors shut, Warnagiris refused and continued pushing it open. Warnagiris can be seen pushing the officer in an effort to maintain his position in the open door in security camera footage and publicly available video footage captured shortly after 2.25pm," the DOJ said.

Mr Warnagiris has been charged with "federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of justice, among other charges."

The Marine's first court appearance was on Thursday in the Eastern District of Virginia.

House Republicans have attempted to revise history in recent days, offering up a number of defences of the insurrection that range from conspiracy theories to full on lies.

Congressman Paul Gosar called the insurrectionists "peaceful patriots" who are being harassed by members of the Department of Justice.

Numerous Capitol police officers suffered injuries during the attack, and ample video footage is available from the day of the insurrection that shows supporters of Donald Trump brawling with Capitol police officers.

Mr Gosar also defended Ashli Babbit, a rioter shot dead by police while trying to break through to the Speaker’s lobby.

He called her a "veteran" who was "wrapped in a US flag" and said she was "executed."

The officer who shot Ms Babbit has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Another Republican, South Carolina Congressman Ralph Norman, denied that the insurrectionists were Trump supporters. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, some conservatives attempted to shift the blame for the attack onto Antifa, alleging they had dressed as Trump supporters to sully the name of a president who was already leaving office anyway.

That conspiracy theory has been thoroughly debunked, as no investigation has turned up any evidence to support it and many of the insurrectionists who have been identified have long histories of supporting the president via their social media accounts.

Congressman Andrew Clyde of Georgia went even further by claiming that characterising the attack as an "insurrection" was a "bold faced lie," saying that the events looked like "a normal tourist visit."

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