A man who was photographed holding a Confederate Battle flag inside the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 has been charged, the Justice Department announced.
A criminal complaint (pdf) has charged Kevin Seefried and Hunter Seefried for their alleged participation in the U.S. Capitol breach last week. Prosecutors alleged that Kevin Seefried was the man who was holding the Confederate flag in a widely circulated photo (pdf).
Both men have been charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and one count of depredation of government property.
Citing video footage, authorities say the pair entered the Senate Building through a broken window. They say shortly afterward Kevin Seefried was photographed holding the flag.
The men were part of a larger group who verbally confronted several U.S. Capitol police officers, court documents alleged.
The FBI was able to identify the two men after receiving a report by Hunter Seefried’s co-worker, who said the man had bragged about being at the Capitol with his father on Jan. 6. The tipster also confirmed Hunter Seefried’s presence in a photo on a Metropolitan Police Department flier of the breach.
The pair confirmed their participation in the events to the FBI in separate interviews on Jan. 12. Kevin Seefried told agents that he brought the Confederate flag to the Capitol from his home in Delaware. He also told agents that Hunter Seefried was asked by an unknown individual to assist with clearing a window, which allowed people to enter the building, court filings said.
Over the past week, authorities have been identifying protesters who allegedly participated in the Capitol breach on Jan. 6 when lawmakers were counting electoral votes. Left-wing activists and some protesters waving American and Trump flags illegally stormed the Capitol building.
Among the protesters was Black Lives Matter activist John Earle Sullivan. Sullivan, 26, told FBI agents last week that he was at the Capitol during the breach, according to court documents. Sullivan had illegally entered a window and was shooting footage inside the building.
Videos also showed Sullivan joining others in breaking the barricade and encouraging other protesters to enter the building, according to authorities. He was charged this week with unlawful entry, disorderly conduct, and attempted obstruction of law enforcement.
Other protestors who were arrested include Richard Barnett from Arkansas, who was allegedly photographed sitting with his foot on a desk inside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office; Derrick Evans, a Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates; and Adam Johnson, 36, who apparently appears in a widely circulated photo carrying Pelosi’s podium.
The DOJ said it has opened at least 170 cases linked to the Jan. 6 events and have charged over 70 individuals.
Individuals are being charged with various offenses ranging from simple trespass, theft of mail, theft of digital devices, assault on local and federal officers to more serious offenses such as theft of potential national security information or national defense information and felony murder, Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney for Washington, said during a press conference on Tuesday.
The top prosecutor for the district also said that federal prosecutors are working to build “seditious and conspiracy charges” which carry a maximum prison term of 20 years.
The mayhem on the grounds resulted in at least five deaths, including a police officer, and dozens of police officer injuries.
The violence at the Capitol has been condemned by President Donald Trump, President-elect Joe Biden, as well as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.
The event has sparked various investigations and reviews and prompted officials to ramp up security for the upcoming inauguration on Jan. 20.