Trump Obsessed Jan. 6 Rioter/Ex-Cop Found Guilty Of 5 Felonies


Former Virginia police officer Thomas Robertson was found guilty by a jury on Monday of each and every one of the six criminal charges he faced in relation to last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol. Robertson’s charges included five felonies and one misdemeanor; the felony offenses were obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds while carrying a dangerous weapon, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building while carrying a dangerous weapon, and tampering with a document or proceedings. In addition, the misdemeanor was disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.

The Justice Department explains that, after arriving in D.C., Robertson and co-defendant Jacob Fracker — another ex-Virginia police officer — “donned gas masks and approached the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol, where they joined an advancing mob of rioters. Robertson carried a large wooden stick and confronted members” of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. The tampering charge appears to be specifically related to actions Robertson took after the violence was long over — after being informed he was facing criminal charges, Robertson “destroyed” both his and Fracker’s phones, as the Justice Department explains. Fracker, meanwhile, has pleaded guilty to a criminal conspiracy charge. Both Fracker and Robertson were still employed as law enforcement officers at the time of the violence, although they were off-duty and fired afterwards. Fracker was among those who testified as part of Robertson’s recently concluded trial.

Officers who participated in the defense of the Capitol also testified. Among the evidence prosecutors presented against Robertson at that trial were online remarks he made before January 6 in which he pushed for what he called an “open armed rebellion,” which — conjecturally — would certainly seem to eliminate questions of motive. He appeared prepared for violence. In those same social media remarks, Robertson troublingly added: “I’ve spent the last 10 years fighting an insurgency in Iraq and then Afghanistan. I’m prepared to start one here and know a bunch of like minded and trained individuals.” These are the kinds of sentiments Trump fostered. It’s unclear as of this point when Robertson might be sentenced, although he could face considerable time in jail — obstruction of an official proceeding and tampering with a document or official proceeding come with up to 20 years in prison apiece, although sentences substantially more limited than those lengths of time are possible.

Robertson’s conviction follows last month’s conviction by a jury of Texas resident and Capitol rioter Guy Reffitt, who was found guilty of two counts of civil disorder along with individual counts of obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a firearm, and obstruction of justice. Reffitt had been the first rioter to go to trial; many others had opted for plea agreements. Reffitt’s obstruction of justice charge was connected to threats he made to family members in an attempt to pressure them against turning him in.