Capitol Rioter Could Face 10+ Years After Allegedly Carrying Handgun During Violence

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Though the FBI and federal Justice Department didn’t make many details immediately available, a Texas man named Mario Mares has been arrested and criminally charged for allegedly participating in the Capitol riot and carrying a handgun while doing so.

The theory has sometimes spread on the Right that the Capitol violence didn’t, in fact, constitute an armed attack, though allegations of having carried a weapon have repeatedly figured into criminal cases arising from what happened. For Mares, he was allegedly in possession of a black semi-automatic handgun while joining the Capitol crowds, the Justice Department says. Having already had his first court appearance, he now faces four criminal charges, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, which appears to come with up to ten years in prison if eventually found guilty.

Two and a half years after the attack on the Capitol inspired by Trump’s baseless claims about the 2020 presidential election, the total number of those arrested in relation to the event has now passed 1,000. Trump now faces his own charges related to the accompanying attempts to upend the election victory that Joe Biden saw in the 2020 race, and Trump was recently in Washington, D.C., for his arraignment, pleading not guilty. After his trip to D.C., he maligned the city, which has a large Black population, as “filthy” among other complaints.

In the time since, Trump has posted characteristically antagonistic comments on Truth Social, leading to a request from federal prosecutors for a protective order. Subsequently, a spokesperson for the former president claimed that Trump’s original remarks referred not to individuals involved in or otherwise connected to his criminal case but to other opponents of his. “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Trump said online on Friday. The subsequent statement from a spokesperson claimed he was referring to special interest groups and super PACs that challenged him. Despite his multiple criminal cases, Trump remains generally the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination for 2024.