FBI releases 10 new videos of assaults on officers during Capitol riot

Caption
Images from violence in D.C as protestors and supporters of President Donald Trump and his false election fraud claims storm the Capitol in protest of the Electoral College certifying President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

U.S. law enforcement agency asking for public’s help in identifying those shown

The FBI released on Thursday 10 new videos showing suspects who are believed to have assaulted federal officers during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

“The FBI is asking for the public’s help in identifying 10 individuals suspected of being involved in some of the most violent attacks on officers who were protecting the U.S. Capitol and our democratic process on January 6,” said Steven D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “These individuals are seen on video committing egregious crimes against those who have devoted their lives to protecting the American people.”

To date, the FBI has arrested more than 300 people who are suspected of taking part in the Capitol riots. Of those, more than 65 were arrested for assaulting law enforcement officers.

But the FBI said Thursday some of the most violent suspected offenders haven’t yet been identified, including the 10 shown in the newly released videos.

ExploreUS Capitol riots investigation

U.S. officials have arrested and charged two men with assaulting U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick with bear spray during the Jan. 6 riot, but they do not know yet whether it caused the officer’s death.

George Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, West Virginia, and Julian Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania, were arrested Sunday on an array of charges, including assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy and other offenses. The idea that Sicknick died after being sprayed by a chemical irritant has emerged in recent weeks as a new theory in the case.

The arrests are the closest federal prosecutors have come to identifying and charging anyone associated with the deaths that happened during and after the riot. Five people died, including a woman who was shot by a police officer inside the Capitol. But many rioters are facing charges of injuring police officers, who were attacked with bats, sprayed with irritants, punched and kicked, and rammed with metal gates meant to keep the insurrectionists from the Capitol.

Investigators initially believed that Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, based on statements collected early in the investigation, according to two people familiar with the case. But as they’ve collected more evidence, the theory of the case has evolved and investigators now believe Sicknick may have ingested a chemical substance — possibly bear spray — that may have contributed to his death, officials have said.

Sicknick and other officers were standing guard behind metal bicycle racks as the mob descended on the Capitol on Jan. 6.

On Wednesday, the U.S. House passed a bill to award congressional gold medals to U.S. Capitol Police and Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department for protecting the Capitol and members of Congress during the riot.

Before any medals can be awarded, the House version of the measure, passed 413-12, will need to be reconciled with a Senate-passed bill that would award a congressional gold medal to Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who led rioters away from the Senate chamber.

The congressional gold medal is the highest honor Congress can bestow on an individual or institution.

Congress first started commissioning the medals during the American Revolution to honor citizens who participated in the war, according to the House historian. Later, Congress broadened the scope of the award and started giving medals to a variety of individuals whom lawmakers considered worthy of recognition, including actors, authors, musicians, astronauts, scientists, doctors, athletes, humanitarians and public servants.

House and Senate rules require congressional gold medal bills to have at least two-thirds of the respective chamber co-sponsoring the measure before it can be considered.

Sponsored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the bill had 333 cosponsors heading into the vote. The measure would commission three gold medals: one each for the Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department to display at their respective headquarters, and one for the Smithsonian Institution to display with a plaque that lists the other law enforcement agencies that aided in protecting the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Some Republicans who didn’t co-sponsor the bill said they had concerns about the language, including the use of the term “insurrection” and calling the Capitol a “temple.” A dozen ended up voting “no.”

Capitol Police officers stationed outside the chamber during the vote were overheard questioning which members voted against the bill.

“It’s just offensive that we literally logrolled recognition of the Capitol Police,” Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of the “no” votes, told CQ Roll Call. “We didn’t give it its own dignity. We had to combine it with these editorial comments about the Jan. 6 sequence of events, and then we had the logroll it with this exhibit at the Smithsonian, and that was a little much for me.”

Rep. Thomas Massie told CQ Roll Call he voted against the bill because it used the term “insurrection” and the implication codifying that description of Jan. 6 could have on prosecutions of individuals in the Capitol that day.

“If we give weight to the word ‘insurrection’ that then that comes up in somebody’s prosecution, so that’s a concern of mine,” the Kentucky Republican said. “Also calling this a temple is a little too sacrilegious for me. This is not a religion here. This is a government. We separate our religion from our government.”

Texas GOP Rep. Chip Roy also took issue with the phrase in the bill’s findings section that calls the Capitol “the temple of our American Democracy,” saying, “It’s neither a temple, nor is it a democracy.” However, he ended up voting for it.

Other Republicans who voted against the bill were Texans Michael Cloud, Louie Gohmert and Lance Gooden, Georgians Andrew Clyde and Marjorie Taylor Green, Arizonian Andy Biggs, Virginian Bob Good, Marylander Andy Harris, Tennessean John W. Rose and Floridian Greg Steube.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.