The US Department of Justice announced the arrest of Marine Corps major Christopher Warnagiris on Thursday for crimes related to his involvement in the January 6 siege on the US Capitol. Warnagiris is the first active-duty military member that has been arrested for crimes perpetrated during that attack.
An FBI Special Agent filed the criminal complaint charging Warnagiris on Wednesday. After investigating video footage from January 6, FBI agents determined not only that Warnagiris was involved in the Capitol attack, but that he was instrumental in breaching the Capitol itself. Warnagiris was the first rioter to breach the East Rotunda doors. Once inside, Warnagiris struggled against several Capitol police officers to keep the doors open for more rioters to gain entry. Further footage showed Warnagiris walking around the Capitol building after leaving the East Rotunda doors.
Warnagiris faces charges of assault, resisting or impeding officers or employees, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, obstruction of justice and Congress, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Major JA Hernandez, a spokesperson for the Marines, denounced Warnagiris’ actions:
The Marine Corps is clear on this: There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps. Those who can’t value the contributions of others, regardless of background, are destructive to our culture, our warfighting ability, and have no place in our ranks.
More than 400 individuals have been charged with criminal offenses related to the January 6 Capitol breach, including 40 military veterans, and four members and reservists of the National Guard.