A growing number of Capitol rioters facing federal trial have been charged with other unrelated crimes — from domestic violence to gun and drug charges — according to a review of Justice Department records published by CBS News.
In one case, federal authorities said a Navy SEAL went into a “panic” after riots at the Capitol and made $50,000 in firearms purchases, the Washington Post reported. Hatchet Speed, who was indicted in June in connection with the riots, was also indicted by a Virginia grand jury on three counts of illegal possession of a silencer, according to CBS News.
CBS News reports that another Capitol rioter, Ken Lazo, was arrested by federal authorities in May 2021 for being part of the mutiny, but was arrested again three months later in Virginia on domestic violence charges.
CBS News reported that prosecutors used a domestic violence charge against Lazo to get him to prison. In another case, police discovered guns and controlled items when they searched Elias Costianis’ home in Maryland in connection with the riots, leading to more charges being brought, the outlet reported.
reports that so far, he has faced 910 charges in connection with the January 6 rebellion.
The politicization of the January 6 trial of the defendants may increase the likelihood that they will return to prison again, Michael Greenberger, a law professor at the University of Maryland told CBS News.
Additionally, these additional charges may make it difficult for defendants to obtain reduced sentences in the Capitol riot charges and may mean that other defendants may struggle to secure pretrial release.
Greenberger told CBS News that Trump’s rhetoric “leaves these bad actors in no doubt that they will eventually be forgiven — if not embraced.”
“The reality, however, is likely to settle upon these men when they are finally sentenced or re-sentenced to many years in prison,” he continued.
Former President Donald Trump and his allies praised the rioters. Trump previously said he “financially supports” the rioters and would consider “very seriously” pardoning those arrested in connection with the riots if he is re-elected in 2024.
“It’s a disgrace what they’ve done to them,” Trump said earlier this month.