It’s interesting how Donald Trump’s participation in national politics keeps producing headlines that are just utterly ridiculous.
This time, the owner of a chain of funeral homes on Long Island in New York has been arrested and criminally charged by federal authorities after the man, Peter G. Moloney, allegedly used anti-wasp spray on police officers during 2021’s Trump-inspired Capitol attack. The Justice Department alleged that Moloney used the spray against police officers at least twice. According to the same press release, he is also accused of participating in assaults on bystanders who members of the rioting crowd believed to be members of the news media, and he’s charged in specific connection to those actions as well.
His charges include assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, civil disorder, assault by striking, and more. Assaulting or resisting police has come up in the charges brought against hundreds and hundreds of riot participants, and civil disorder has also been a frequent fixture of these cases.
In Moloney’s case, NBC News noted that he had long since been identified by web-based researchers who’ve looked into the identities of people they could find to have participated in the Capitol riot, generally relying on what is known as open-source information. Moloney participated in physical struggles against police outside the Capitol. Though the crowds there were very large, prosecutors continue focusing largely on those who either entered the Capitol building or committed physical acts of violence in some form. Moloney was seemingly prepared, as further information from the Justice Department — besides the photographic and video documentation that has already been circulating and shows his actions at the Capitol — shows him in protective gear including a helmet.
To be clear, physical violence against police is something that has come up time and time again in cases stemming from the riot. When public figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Donald Trump ally themselves with these people, they can’t get away from the fact that they’re aligning themselves with groups who had openly murderous intentions and left many with serious physical injuries! This isn’t a game. Obviously, the U.S. legal system runs on the principle of innocent until proven guilty, but prosecutors have a very solid record in winning these cases.