Sep 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jan. 6 rioter pleads guilty to assaulting Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick

The U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot.

The U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Somerset, New Jersey, man pleaded guilty to two charges of assaulting police officers with pepper spray during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Why it matters: One of the law enforcement officials assaulted was U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer Brian Sicknick, who suffered two strokes and died of natural causes the day after the Capitol attack.

  • The Justice Department said Julian Khater, 33, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties on each of the two counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon.

The big picture: George Tanios, Khater's co-defendant in the case, pleaded guilty in July to two misdemeanor charges after striking a deal with federal prosecutors.

  • In his plea deal, Tanios, of Morgantown, West Virginia, said he brought two cans of chemical spray to the Capitol complex on Jan. 6 and gave one to Khater.
  • Video footage from the scene of the insurrection showed the pair "working together to assault law enforcement officers with an unknown chemical substance by spraying officers directly in the face and eyes," according to an FBI affidavit.
  • Khater and Tanios were arrested in March 2021.

What's next: Tanios is set to be sentenced on Dec. 6, and Khater is set to be sentenced on Dec. 13.

  • The misdemeanors Tanios pleaded guilty to carry maximum of two years in prison and potential financial penalties.

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