Speed Reads

Capitol Siege Aftermath

Virginia cop convicted on all 6 charges in 2nd Jan. 6 Capitol siege case to go before jury

A federal grand jury on Monday evening convicted Thomas Robertson, a Virginia police officer fired for his participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, on all six felony and misdemeanor charges tied to those actions. The convictions included felony obstruction of Congress as it counted the 2020 presidential electoral votes, plus civil disorder, entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, violent entry, and evidence-tampering.

Robertson, who was a police officer in Rocky Mount, Virginia, when he participated in the Capitol riot, is the second Jan. 6 defendant convicted after a jury trial, out of two cases that have gone before a jury. The other defendant, Guy Reffitt, was convicted on all five charges brought by prosecutors. Two other cases have been decided by bench trial; U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, appointed in 2017, acquitted one defendant of all charges and partially acquitted a second one.

Nearly 800 people have been arrested in the Justice Department's sprawling investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, and about 250 have pleaded guilty.

Robertson's trial "featured harrowing footage of the mob and testimony from a co-defendant," Jacob Fracker, "who served on the police force with Robertson at the time of the Jan. 6 attack," Politico reports. "Fracker pleaded guilty to his involvement in the breach and testified that Robertson was the driving force behind their actions that day," and "helped get rid of their cellphones after Jan. 6." The video footage showed Robertson in a gas mask, wielding a long stick that his lawyers argued was just a walking stick. 

"At the time, that was all fun and games," Fracker testified. But "my mom would slap me in the face if she saw what I was doing that day. I sit here today ashamed of my actions. I didn't have to do all that stuff, but I did." 

"I absolutely hate this," Fracker added. "I've always been on the other side of things. The good guys side, so to speak." He said he took the plea deal and agreed to testify against his former friend to cut down his prison sentence, so he could spend more time with his young daughter.