Former West Virginia National Guard Member Finally Caught For Jan 6 Riot

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A woman who was a member of the West Virginia National Guard at the time of last year’s Trump-inspired attack on the Capitol has been arrested and criminally charged for participating in that violence. The woman, Jamie Ferguson, now resides in Virginia, and after an initial hearing this week, she was allowed out of custody on a personal recognizance bond.

Ferguson is not charged with assaulting anyone at the Capitol, unlike the hundreds who’ve been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement in some form. Her alleged offenses include four misdemeanor charges, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol; and two counts of disorderly conduct. Apparently, Ferguson requested leave from her then-position with the National Guard covering the time of the Capitol riot. She initially attended the large outdoor rally in D.C. before making her way to the Capitol building, which she entered, and at the Capitol, she was apparently under the impression she’d be “able to see the President again,” according to recent court filings.

Trump himself helped cultivate such a sense. “Now, it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy. And after this, we’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down, we’re going to walk down,” Trump said at one juncture during his speech at that pre-breach rally in D.C. The mere fact that Ferguson went from that rally to the Capitol violence helps yet again to establish how those associated with the rally can’t merely wish their connections to what happened at the Capitol out of existence. As for Ferguson, the Office of Special Investigations of the U.S. Air Force apparently alerted the FBI in January of last year — shortly after the violence — of information suggesting Ferguson’s participation, although for some reason, the charges weren’t unveiled until just recently. Ferguson “admitted entering the Capitol and staying for about 40 minutes, according to court records,” The Roanoke Times reports.

Ferguson’s case has been transferred to the D.C. federal court system. She’s among hundreds upon hundreds to have been charged so far in relation to the riot — and apparently, prosecutors are still pursuing hundreds more (reporter Scott MacFarlane said a U.S. Attorney revealed it’s 350 people that they’re still after, to be exact). It’s earlier this year, over 12 months after the initial riot, that the first charges of seditious conspiracy in relation to the violence were unveiled — so prosecutors are clearly in this for as long as it takes. Since those seditious conspiracy charges were revealed, three members of the far-right group known as the Oath Keepers have pleaded guilty to the offense. In tandem with the case against one of those who pleaded guilty, it’s been revealed that Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes apparently called someone close to Trump after the riot to push for the then-president to use the heavily armed group to help secure another term. Oath Keepers members evidently prepared for the possibility of Trump invoking the Insurrection Act, a law allowing presidents to call up militias — a role they were prepared to fill.