Rioter Who Brought Loaded Gun To Capitol Caught & Charged By Feds

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Federal prosecutors are requesting a stint in pre-trial detention for Mark Mazza, a Capitol rioter from Indiana who, among other offenses, brought a loaded gun to the Capitol, which he ended up losing while there. Mazza’s charges include illegal possession of a firearm on Capitol grounds; civil disorder; and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers with a dangerous weapon — and that last charge comes with a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison, if convicted. Even if Mazza were to end up with a sentence significantly below that level, the possibility alone helps indicate the seriousness of what’s going on here. This isn’t a game.

Prosecutors recapped the severity of Mazza’s actions at the Capitol in their filing requesting his detention. As shared by reporter Scott MacFarlane, prosecutors outlined how Mazza “loaded his Taurus Revolver both with shotgun shells and cartridges containing hollow point bullets, which are bullets that expand on contact and are significantly more lethal than regular bullets,” and authorities also noted how Mazza’s “comments about Speaker Pelosi suggest he intended to commit serious bodily harm to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.” Indeed: Mazza commented to authorities that he “never did get to talk to Nancy,” but if he had, then investigators would “be here for another reason.” You can’t decide to casually threaten serious harm against the U.S. House Speaker while showing that you’re capable and willing of acting on these threats and expect to get away with it.

The deranged instances of violence and threats of violence that mark these cases are what former President Trump and his allies are defending when they try and excuse the Capitol riot as a logical consequence of imaginary election fraud and/ or as something that wasn’t all that bad after all. As then-D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone, who endured the violence firsthand, recently explained things: “This was an orchestrated event. Despite the fact that most of the people on the ground are buffoons, so what? There are 15,000 of them.”

Meanwhile, the House committee that’s investigating the Capitol riot is looking into whether Trump’s actions rise to the level of criminality. Specific offenses for which they’re considering the possibility of issuing a criminal referral include obstruction of an official proceeding. Approving a criminal referral would leave the responsibility of deciding whether or not to pursue prosecutions with the Justice Department.

Featured Image (edited): via Blink o’fanaye on Flickr and available under a Creative Commons License