A U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer was charged this week with obstruction of justice for allegedly interfering with the investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, according to court documents released Friday.
Michael Riley, a USCP officer for more than 25 years, is accused of telling an unnamed person who was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 to remove photographs from their Facebook page.
Riley and the person became friends on the social media platform over their shared interests in fishing and Riley sent the person a direct message on Jan. 7, according to prosecutors.
“Hey [Person 1], im a [sic] capitol police officer who agrees with your political stance. Take down the part about being in the building they are currently investigating and everyone who was in the building is going to charged. Just looking out!” he allegedly wrote.
Riley and the person exchanged dozens more messages on Facebook, including the person sharing three videos that showed them outside and inside the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Riley responded that what happened on that day was “a total [expletive]” and that he was glad the person “got out of there unscathed,” adding, “We had over 50 officers hurt, some pretty bad.”
“The only thing I can see is if you went in the building and they have proof you will be charged. You could always articulate that you had no where to go, but thats [sic] for court,” Riley is accused of writing. He was also said to have offered the person a place to stay if they went to Washington and that he would give the person and their daughter a tour of the Capitol.
The person was arrested on Jan. 16 by the FBI.
Riley deleted all of his messages on Jan. 20.
The grand jury indictment is for two counts of obstruction.
“Obstruction of Justice is a very serious allegation. The department was notified about this investigation several weeks ago. 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,” USCP Chief Tom Manger told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.
It wasn’t clear whether Riley had retained a lawyer.