The 25-year veteran of the Capitol force was arrested and appeared in court on Friday
A Capitol Police officer has been charged with helping a Jan. 6 rioter attempt to obstruct justice by encouraging him to delete incriminating social media posts, federal prosecutors announced Friday.
In the two count indictment, prosecutors say the officer, Michael Riley, expressed support for the unnamed rioter’s political views and contacted him on Jan. 7 via Facebook direct message. Riley encouraged him to remove incriminating evidence that he was inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. The rioter, identified only as “person 1,” was subsequently arrested.
Riley, a 25-year veteran of the Capitol Police force, faces two counts of obstruction and is expected to appear in court Friday afternoon. He was on duty on Jan. 6 as part of a K-9 unit, but did not enter the Capitol building during the melee, according to the indictment. He was among the officers who responded to explosive devices placed near the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee offices.
“Obstruction of Justice is a very serious allegation. The Department was notified about this investigation several weeks ago,” said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger. “Upon his arrest, the officer was placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the case. The USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility will then open an administrative investigation.”
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