Jan 6 Rioter Who Brought Loaded Gun To Capitol Gets Jailed

0
515

U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui has ruled that Indiana resident and Capitol rioter Mark Mazza is to be held in custody ahead of further proceedings on charges including assaulting police and bringing a loaded gun to the Capitol complex. Specifically, Mazza had a revolver with three shotgun shells and two hollow point bullets at the Capitol, and amid the chaos of the day, he dropped it — later falsely reporting to local authorities that it had been stolen. Referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Mazza told investigators that he “never did get to talk to Nancy,” but if he had, then authorities would “be here for another reason” — clearly threatening Pelosi.

Mazza’s attorney, Greg English, tried to push responsibility for his client’s actions onto Trump — although Mazza’s after-the-fact threats against Pelosi undercut the idea that he was some kind of hapless pawn. English said, though, that the circumstances constituted “a unique situation where the President of the United States called people to come to Washington and lied to them and essentially said the election had been stolen, where no credible evidence, to my knowledge, has been presented of that.” Among Faruqui’s observations in response was the comment that “what’s particularly concerning to me is that the defendant’s firearm was loaded with shotgun shells and hollow-point bullets… which are significantly more lethal.” Mazza’s apparent actions, the judge said, don’t suggest a “momentary lapse of judgement.”

Mazza’s charges also include obstruction of an official proceeding, which is a felony offense that comes with a potential sentence of up to 20 years, if convicted. This offense is the same charge that’s been contemplated as potentially applying to Trump himself, and the House committee investigating the Capitol riot has been considering sending criminal referrals to the Justice Department for Trump and others. Although these referrals wouldn’t force the Justice Department to bring a criminal case against Trump, they’d increase the pressure for action. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) herself, who serves as the vice chair of the riot investigation panel, said at a recent hearing that questions include whether Trump, “through action or inaction, corruptly [sought] to obstruct or impede Congress’s official proceeding to count electoral votes” — a question utilizing the language of the law.