Oct 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Capitol Police officer charged with obstructing Jan. 6 investigation resigns

Capitol police use pepper spray and tear gas to clear the capitol. Trump supporters clashed with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol in Washington D.C on January 6, 2021.
Capitol police use pepper spray and tear gas to clear the capitol. Trump supporters clashed with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol in Washington D.C on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police Officer, who was indicted on obstruction of justice charges in the Jan. 6 riot investigation, resigned on Friday, ending his 25-year career on the force, NBC News reports.

Driving the news: Michael A. Riley, 50, was charged earlier this month after he allegedly helped hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot. He pled not guilty to the obstruction charges.

Flashback: Riley is accused of telling a rioter to delete posts from Facebook that showed the person in the Capitol during the attack.

  • He allegedly sent a message saying, "Im a capitol police officer who agrees with your political stance [sic]," according to the indictment.
  • "Take down the part about being in the building they are currently investigating and everyone who was in the building is going to be charged. Just looking out!," Riley wrote.

What they're saying: Riley's legal team said in a statement that he "engaged in acts of heroism" on Jan. 6 while responding to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, NBC News reports.

  • "With regard to the charges against him, the evidence will show that it is not a felony for one person to suggest to another that they take down ill-conceived Facebook posts," the statement reads, per NBC News.

Go Deeper: In September, Capitol Police recommended disciplinary action for six officers over their alleged roles in the insurrection.

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