Missouri man John George Todd III was convicted this week by a federal jury of a series of felony and misdemeanor offenses for participation in the Capitol riot of January 6, 2021, that was spurred by lies tracing to Donald Trump of a stolen election.
Details in a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office for Washington, D.C., say that Todd repeatedly attempted to cajole police officers into more direct physical confrontations. “Throw down your badge and gun, let’s go one-on-one!” Todd reportedly told an officer inside the Capitol. Outside the building itself, the behavior continued. “Put your shields down and fight!” he said, per the release.
The indoors incident appears to have produced Todd’s upheld charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding police and inflicting bodily harm. Todd took a broken piece of a makeshift flagpole from the officer who he was confronting, leaving their hand bleeding and in need of stitches.
Todd reportedly aggressively resisted officers’ attempts at clearing the area throughout his interactions with police. “Law enforcement officers in the Rotunda soon began an effort to clear the area of rioters; however, Todd dug in his feet and body, refusing to move,” that release says, describing the lead-up to what left one officer bleeding from their hand.
Todd was also charged with and convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding, which combined with the assault offense suggests that he will eventually receive a years-long sentence. A finding of specific intent has been generally associated with a judge or jury upholding the obstruction allegation, which prosecutors have used in a large share of Capitol riot cases. Todd was among the Capitol riot participants who evidently also gave an interview that day, putting his face on camera in direct association with the day’s events.
Still looming over all these cases is the repeated suggestion from Donald Trump, who remains the front-runner for the GOP’s presidential nomination this year, of pardoning Capitol rioters if he wins in November.