A pair of brothers from Georgia were recently arrested by federal authorities and accused of physically fighting police officers in the Capitol Rotunda during the pro-Trump rampages on January 6, 2021. The violence that day was spurred by lies tracing to Donald Trump of a stolen presidential election — deception that he still propagates.
The defendants are Cepane Sarty and Seth Sarty. During their alleged time at the Capitol complex and then inside the actual building in tandem with the pro-Trump assault, authorities accuse the pair of also entering offices belonging to then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat. They were also accused of entering the Capitol building multiple times, confronting police in a physical altercation after a re-entry.
“Body-worn camera and Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage capture the pair shoving officers and temporarily driving them back. Court documents say that for the next nineteen seconds, Seth and Cepane continued to fight with police, preventing the police from clearing the Rotunda of rioters,” a federal press release says. They left the area after police deployed a chemical agent meant for riot control, per the government’s claimed details.
Both Sarty brothers were specifically charged with assaulting police, a charge that precedent suggests could land them both with a stint in prison that’s years in length. Both are also accused of a series of misdemeanors. They were allegedly among the first rioters streaming into the building within ten minutes of the crowd first forcing its way past the doors.
Trump has repeatedly suggested pardoning rioters if he regains the presidency, a specter that remains looming over Capitol riot cases. He has also referred to detainees with allegations originating in the riot as “hostages,” clearly furthering a trend of opposition to even basic steps towards accountability. Accused Capitol rioters, like ex-president-turned-defendant Trump himself, have consistently had access to established, procedural protections for defendants in the justice system, with the opportunity for grievances to be heard.