What happened to these Capitol rioters?

Written by on January 6, 2022

On 6 January, 2020, people around the United States were shocked by images coming from the US Capitol.

The pictures – many of which were captured by news agency photojournalists on hand to document the vote certifying Joe Biden’s electoral win – depicted rioters trespassing in government offices, or roaming the Senate chamber, or assaulting police officers.

In the weeks and months that followed, however, the snaps came back to haunt many of the rioters. To date, more than 725 have been arrested in nearly every US state and Washington DC. More than 30 so far have been sentenced to incarceration, with US officials vowing that more prosecutions are likely in the future.

Investigators are seeking public help in identifying 350 rioters, including 250 suspected of attacking police officers.

Here are five of the most iconic pictures of rioters and what’s happened to them since 6 January.

Jacob Chansley, 34 – The QAnon ‘Shaman’

Among the most widely shared images was that of Jacob Anthony Chansley, a 34-year old who referred to himself as the ‘QAnon Shaman’. An ardent Trump supporter, Chansley was pictured wearing horns and a bearskin headdress during the riot, quickly becoming one of the most recognisable figures from the siege.

Chansley was arrested just days after the riot. In November, he was sentenced to 41 months in prison for his involvement, in addition to 36 months of supervised release. In court, Chansley said he now believes it was “wrong” to enter the Capitol and that he hopes to “evolve”.

His sentence is one of the longest so far doled out to 6 January rioters.

Adam Johnson, 36 – the ‘Podium Guy’
Another rioter, 36-year-old Florida resident Adam Johnson, was famously pictured walking – wearing a Trump beanie – between guide ropes meant for tours at the Capitol. He was carrying a podium bearing the seal of the Speaker of the House and posed in front of a painting depicting the surrender of British General John Burgoyne in the American Revolutionary War.

Johnson, who was dubbed ‘Podium Guy’ by social media users in the wake of the riot, was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and theft of government property just days later.

In November, Johnson pleaded guilty to entering and remaining in a restricted building and now faces up to six months in prison and up to $9,500 in fines. The other charges were dropped by prosecutors in exchange for his guilty plea.

Additionally, Johnson – who has expressed interest in writing a book – agreed to hand over any publishing profits to the government for a five-year period.

Richard Barnett, 61
Another Trump supporter, Richard Barnett, was pictured sitting with one boot on a desk in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The image of Mr Barnett – dressed in a baseball cap and chequered shirt – went viral, as did pictures of the notes he and others left on Mrs Pelosi’s desk.

Mr Barnett now faces multiple charges in connection with the riot, including obstruction of an official proceeding, entering a restricted building with a deadly or dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct.

He is currently being held in a Washington DC jail awaiting trial and is scheduled to appear before a judge on 1 February. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Kevin Seefried, 52
A fourth rioter, Kevin Seefried, was photographed holding a Confederate battle flag while walking through the halls near the entrance to the Senate, encountering little resistance.

Mr Seefried and his son, Hunter, were arrested a week after the riot and hit with multiple charges, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and remains free while awaiting a jury trial, according to a federal database of 6 January participants who have been arrested.

Aaron Mostofsky, 35
The son of a prominent and politically connected New York City judge, Aaron Mostofsky was famously pictured wearing a fur pelt as a ‘caveman’ and holding a police riot shield and wooden stick inside the US Capitol during the 6 January riot.

He told the New York Post he felt that supporters of President Trump “were cheated” in the election.

“I don’t think 75 million people voted for Trump – I think it was close to 85 million,” he told the newspaper. “I think certain states that have been red for a long time turned blue and were stolen, like New York.”

Mr Mostofsky was arrested in New York six days after the riot and charged with multiple offences, including theft of government property, assaulting or impeding officers and disorderly conduct.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and is scheduled to appear in court for a jury trial on 24 January.


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