Feds Capture Jan. 6 Defendant Accused Of Assaulting Journalists In D.C.

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Federal authorities have brought a criminal case against a Texas woman accused of assaulting journalists and aggressively engaging with police on January 6, 2021, as supporters of then-President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election converged on the Capitol.

The defendant is Dana Jean Bell, and she’s facing felony accusations of assaulting, resisting, or impeding police along with obstructing law enforcement during a civil disorder. The alleged assault on journalists, which is mentioned in a federal press release associated with her case, took place outside the Capitol and was mostly if not entirely captured on camera. Acting roughly in tandem with a small crowd gathered there, Bell “aggressively engaged with the reporter and kicked the reporter in the front lower legs,” authorities alleged. They noted the evident presence of her distinctive cellphone case in footage of what transpired. The case — characteristically — depicted Trump.

It sounds like Bell was in the area at least just after January 6 participant Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot by an officer — and Bell, in line with some of her other actions that day, resisted police trying to clear the area according to authorities’ recounting. Rather “than heed officers’ orders for the crowd to disperse and/or back up so they could render aid to an injured rioter, Bell instead approached the officers, and aggressively yelled at them,” that release said. The press release alleges an extensive series of aggressive remarks from Bell towards police officers, who were targets of both physical attacks and widely documented, incessant verbal abuse from rioters. Bell allegedly also grabbed an officer’s weapon — their baton — during the melees of the day.

Some of the alleged details in these cases really make you wonder what these people were thinking. Who thinks they can just grab a police officer’s weapon without serious consequence? Meanwhile, Trump’s continued interest in issuing pardons for January 6 participants if he regains the presidency still looms amid these cases, potentially even impacting defendants’ decisions.