Feb 14, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Jan. 6 rioter pleads guilty to attacking police officer

Michael Fanone testifies before the House Select Committee

Michael Fanone testifies before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack in July 2021. Photo: Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images

A Jan. 6 rioter who allegedly used an "electroshock" weapon on former D.C. police officer Michael Fanone during the insurrection pleaded guilty to four felonies, including conspiracy and assaulting a police officer during the Capitol breach, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Driving the news: Daniel Rodriguez, whose case had been scheduled to go to trial this month, admitted to assaulting officer Fanone with a taser. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson is scheduled to sentence him on May 16.

  • His alleged co-conspirator, Edward Badalian, is set to go to trial on Feb. 27, per NBC News.

State of play: Prosecutors said Rodriguez and Badalian, were part of a Telegram group chat called the “Patriots 45 MAGA Gang," according to the original indictment.

  • Both men used the group chat "as a platform to advocate violence against certain groups and individuals that either supported the 2020 presidential election results, supported what the group perceived as liberal, or communist ideologies, or held positions of authority in the government," the indictment added.
  • During the Capitol riot, Rodriguez threw a flagpole at police officers before receiving a "small, black electroshock weapon" from another rioter, which he then used on Fanone, per the indictment.
  • Fanone "subsequently lost consciousness and was later admitted to Washington Hospital Center for treatment for his injuries."
  • A little more than an hour later, Rodriguez posted in the Telegram group chat, writing, "Omg I did so much f---ing s--- rn and got away tell you later," before adding, "Tazzzzed the f--- out of the blue," according to the indictment.

The big picture: Fanone gained national attention after testifying about his experience during the Capitol riot before the House Jan. 6 committee.

  • Fanone suffered a minor heart attack and a traumatic brain injury after he was dragged into a mob, beaten and tased during the Jan. 6 riot.
  • Fanone resigned from the force in Dec. 2021.
  • Another Jan. 6 rioter, Albuquerque Head, who dragged Fanone into the pro-Trump mob during the insurrection, was sentenced to more than seven years in prison last October.
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