First indictments issued in connection with Capitol riots
© Wikimedia (Tyler Merbler)
First indictments issued in connection with Capitol riots

The US Department of Justice on Monday filed the first two federal grand jury indictments in connection with last week’s Capitol riots.

The first of the indictments charges Mark Leffingwell of Seattle with civil disorder, violent entry into a restricted building, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding two police officers. According to the criminal complaint filed against Leffingwell, he punched a police officer repeatedly while attempting to storm the Capitol Building. The second of the indictments charges Lonnie Coffman of Alabama with possession and carrying of unregistered firearms and unlawful possession of ammunition. In the affidavit for the criminal complaint against Coffman, officers reported that Leffingwell possessed firearms and Molotov cocktails in the back of his pickup truck and intended to transport the weapons to the Capitol.

According to an FBI briefing Wednesday, federal authorities have already charged more than 70 individuals associated with the riots. Among those arrested was a man from New York named Aaron Mostofsky, against whom a federal agent also filed a criminal complaint. The complaint reports that Mostofsky posted videos on his social media account of traveling to the Capitol, and photos of him in the Capitol Building circulated online following the riot.

In addition to the indictments for riot participants, the US House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump Wednesday for his rhetoric addressing the protesters prior to the riot. In anticipation of similar threats on the Capitol for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, NBC has reported that the Capitol police and military have increased security for Inauguration Day.